Manchester United and their arch-rivals, Liverpool will lock horns on Monday in what would have been the most exciting and biggest game of the new Premier League season so far.
But supporters of both giants may not expect so much from teams that have started the season very poorly, especially the Red Devils.
While the pressure is mostly on Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp’s side widely tipped to challenge Manchester City for the title this season, Manchester United, who have fired two managers under one year, were not expected to start the new campaign so helplessly with the coming of Erik ten Hag.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are languishing in the 12th position in the league table, already four points behind fellow title contenders, Manchester City, who have resumed their position in the league’s summit.
A defeat for both Manchester United and Liverpool would be an early confirmation that either of them may rather be fighting to avoid relegation instead of chasing the title. But it is still too early to draw up such conclusions.
As some pundits have stated ahead of this match, people do not go on relegation after just three matches of the season.
However, clubs can begin their battle to avoid relegation from the first blast of a whistle.
Both clubs have been relegated before. So if it happens it wouldn’t be the first time.
In the 1953-54 season, Liverpool was relegated and waited until the 1962-63 season to return to the First Division guided by manager Bill Shankly.
The same goes for Manchester United who suffered relegation from Division One most recently and that was in the 1973/74 season just six years after winning the European Cup in emphatic fashion.
And for this reason, a former Manchester United star, Willie Morgan, who captained the Red Devils when they were relegated, has sounded a note of warning, saying nothing stops Erik ten Hag’s side from going down if they fail to put their house in order.
He compares Erik ten Hag’s team to the side he skippered, stating that ‘they are not “as good as we were.
Speaking to The Sun, Morgan said: “They say no one’s too good to go down and that old adage certainly applies to the current bunch of players.
“The alarm bells have got to be ringing around Old Trafford because we went down and we were a better team than this lot now.
“We had better players, a togetherness that bonded us and a real camaraderie but still came a cropper.
“The current lot really are pathetic — they aren’t as good as we were so they’ll be praying that Lady Luck doesn’t turn against them.”
For Manchester United and Liverpool, a defeat at Old Trafford on Monday would mean further loss of confidence and an unsettled dressing room which could further translate to a very bad season.
Liverpool is currently 12th in the Premier League table having drawn two out of their first matches against newcomers, Fulham and Crystal Palace respectively while Manchester United are comfortably sitting at the bottom of the table with zero points from two matches and a minus five goal difference.
The Red Devils were battered four goals to nothing by lowly rated Brentford in their last outing a week after they opened the season with a 2-1 defeat to Brentford.
Manchester United lead in the head-to-head record between the two teams, with 81 wins to Liverpool’s 70; the remaining 58 matches have finished as draws
But the last time the two giants met in the Premier League on the 19th of April 2022, Jurgen Klopp’s men thrashed the then Ralf Rangnick’s Manchester United 4-0 at Anfield.