Opinion: Liverpool clash is key in United's season turnaround

Opinion: Liverpool clash is key in United's season turnaround

Manchester United travel to face bitter rivals Liverpool at Anfield after the international break in what promises to be a huge clash in the Red Devils' hopes to get back to winning ways.

Karen Fawaz

Manchester United fans were left disappointed after the club's underwhelming league draw at home to Stoke City last weekend.

Jose Mourinho's men controlled the game and created many chances that went down the drain as the team's forwards failed to convert them into goals.

The Red Devils did everything to put the ball in the net, but couldn't take advantage of their opportunities. Nevertheless, they were threatening on every side of the pitch and there was again, as there has been in recent games, a clear improvement in the performance.

The international break separates a very tough challenge for United, who will meet Liverpool in what could be a breathtaking 90 minutes of football at Anfield on Monday October 17.

Jürgen Klopp's team have been amongst the best in the league so far this season, beating Chelsea, Arsenal and Leicester City to go into the two-week break in fourth place, just two points off top. This derby will surely be the best in years.

The thoughts of big games after the break immediately give flashbacks to Mourinho's first ever Manchester derby, which saw table-toppers Manchester City triumph at Old Trafford due to a combination of Pep Guardiola's brilliance and Mourinho's mistakes.

Mourinho cannot afford derby mistakes

This defeat turned United's early days around, as the club went on to lose their following two games after going the first five games of the season unbeaten.

Liverpool boss Klopp admitted that the international break came on "the wrong time", perhaps fearing a stagnation in the club's astonishing form, and that's what United will hope for on Merseyside.

This game is the right opportunity for United to truly rekindle their winning form, having won three of their previous four prior to Stoke. On the other hand, defeat would rub salt into the wounds and would possibly nudge the red side of Manchester out of the title race.

Mourinho must avoid making the same mistakes and excluding players who have fitness issues from the starting line up, as selecting Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the first eleven against City cost United the game.

Securing a top-four finish will be an unsurprisingly difficult task this season, with as many six teams battling out for the four Champions League spots. A win versus Liverpool would turn United's season around before it's too late after recent slip-ups.