Jurgen Klopp has called on his Liverpool side to channel their positive emotions when they meet Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.
Historically, the fixture has been one of the most fiercely contested in Premier League history. Should Liverpool manage to earn a victory against the Red Devils, they will return to the top of the league table at the expense of Manchester City.
Writing in his column for the official matchday programme, Klopp insisted Liverpool cannot forget the gravity of the upcoming fixture. He said: “For both clubs it is the ‘next game’, but I think we would all be kidding ourselves if we tried to suggest it wasn’t an occasion that means a little bit more. I have never been one to shy away from games that really matter to the supporters.
“Yes, three points are three points whoever they are available against, but these sort of matches produce emotions and memories that are so valuable. It makes sense I think to try to embrace it.
“For the players, my staff and I, we absolutely need to keep focused on the job to do and the game that is to be played. We need to recognise that performing well and working hard are essential. We need to not abandon the processes that have served us well until now. We need to do all the things we do for the other 18 home games during a league campaign.
“But it is possible to do all that without ignoring what the fixture means. It’s a matter of take from the moment what helps you. Positive emotion helps – positive energy helps – we saw this on Tuesday night.
“Without question, our players embraced what was at stake and performed with that extra wind in their sails. The element of games like this that make it harder, is that you do not play in isolation.
“Lined up against us today is a squad of 18 world-class players, with equal desire, who are led by one of the most successful managers in the modern game. Their team and squad is packed full of players who are conditioned to perform on the biggest platforms. Anfield is centre stage for the football world today.”