United brace for Liverpool crunch
LONDON. - Manchester United have a golden opportunity to haul themselves into the English Premier League soccer title race at the expense of bitter rivals Liverpool this weekend, while leaders Chelsea will look to steady their nerves at Leicester.
United go into the Old Trafford showdown in fine fettle after beating Hull in the League Cup semi-final first leg in midweek to extend their winning streak in all competitions to nine matches.
Jose Mourinho’s sixth-placed side still trail Chelsea by 10 points and lag five behind second-placed Liverpool.
But victory tomorrow, with Mourinho calling for United fans to raise the roof, would be a significant statement of intent.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been a key figure in United’s recent surge and despite his team’s current position the Swedish striker has set his sights on adding a Premier League medal to the league titles he won in Spain, Italy, France and Holland.
“I’m chasing the head trophy, the Premier League, that is my aim,” said Ibrahimovic, who has 13 league goals this season.
“I try to help the team and do what I’m best at -- scoring goals, playing good and creating chances for my team-mates.”
Ibrahimovic’s team-mate Paul Pogba has also spoken out about Manchester United’s rivalry with Liverpool ahead of their Premier League clash - dismissing the Manchester City derby in the process.
The French midfielder talked about the history of the game with Liverpool and says he’s desperate for all three points tomorrow.
One of the things he picks up on is the special atmosphere, which builds ahead of the clash and is present when the two teams take to the pitch.
In the same breath he dismisses United’s derby with City, suggesting that for himself and the fans three points against Liverpool means a little bit more.
Pogba said: “The history with Liverpool and Manchester United, it’s a big derby.
“More than Man City, I think because the way you feel the atmosphere - it’s more.
“For me I want to win, I want three points, it’s good to win three points against Stoke City, any team in the league.
Fixtures (all 5pm unless stated)
Today: Burnley v Southampton, Hull v Bournemouth, Leicester v Chelsea (7:30pm), Sunderland v Stoke, Swansea v Arsenal, Tottenham v West Brom (2:30pm), Watford v Middlesbrough, West Ham v Crystal Palace Tomorrow: Everton v Manchester City (3:30pm), Manchester United v Liverpool (6pm) -