Mohamed Salah is adamant Manchester United versus Liverpool retains its illustrious status in spite of their indifferent starts to the Premier League campaign.
Liverpool and United go in search of their first victory of the season when English football’s most-decorated clubs renew their rivalry at Old Trafford on Monday
Night Football – live on Sky Sports.
After Monday’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace and opening-day draw at Fulham, Liverpool have failed to win either of their first two Premier League matches for the first time since 2012.
United, meanwhile, go into the weekend in unfamiliar territory, sat bottom of the Premier League having lost their opening two games for the first time since the inaugural season in 1992/93.
Despite this, Salah insists a fixture of such magnitude will never lose its cachet and is relishing another special occasion under the lights at Old Trafford.
“Manchester United is always a special game for the city, for the fans and for everyone around the world,” he exclusively told Soccer Saturday. “Maybe the biggest two teams in England history-wise, so I think it’s a special game for everybody.
“United, City, Chelsea, Arsenal – these top teams, you always want to play against them. It’s always going to be a derby. That competition between Liverpool and Manchester United is always going to be there because we’ve won the league a few times, they’ve won the league a few times.
“There’s always that competition between both teams and it’s going to be there forever because, history-wise, it’s the biggest two teams in England.”
Salah scored five times against Manchester United last season, including a hat-trick as Liverpool inflicted an embarrassing 5-0 defeat on United at Old Trafford towards the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure as manager.
Asked if Monday’s game presented Liverpool with the chance to deepen United’s current plight under new manager Erik ten Hag, Salah added: “Well, I don’t want to put more oil in the fire, but I think they are so excited for this game, we are so excited for this game, so let’s see what’s going to happen.
“I don’t look at this game like that, because they’re still a top team with top players. They’ve not had a great start, but they want to win against us. So from my side, I have too much respect for them and I’m sure they want to fight with all they can to win that game as well.
“It’s not going to be easy and I’m not thinking I’m going to score one, two or three goals, I know it’s going to be a really tough game. They have top players, they have a top coach, so it’s not going to be easy at all.”
Salah: Too early for talk about gap to Man City
Liverpool could be seven points behind Manchester City come kick-off on Monday night if the Premier League champions win at Newcastle on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
However, such a prospect is of no concern to Salah, who insists it would be premature ruling Liverpool out of a title race at such an early stage given the powers of recovery displayed by the Reds last season by pushing City right to the wire.
“It could be a little bit of pressure if we’re seven points behind City, but I think it’s too early to think about that,” Salah said. “Last season we were behind by about 10 or 11 points, and we came back. So it’s too early to think about that.”
Liverpool missed out on the Premier League title to Manchester City by a single point last season before losing the Champions League final 1-0 to Real Madrid in Paris.
After coming so agonisingly close to the biggest prizes in the game, getting Liverpool hands on those trophies is Salah main objective this year.
“I never say before the season [my individual goals],” Salah said. “But the collective one is the Premier League and Champions League. It has to be. That was my target last season and I go again until I win both again.”
Asked which trophy he would like to win more, Salah added: “I always say Champions League, but this year I can say the Premier League.”
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