Paul Pogba is the only Manchester United player who would get into the current Liverpool team according to former Reds midfielder Jason McAteer.
Speaking ahead of the north-west rivals’ huge clash at Old Trafford, McAteer, who played 139 times for the Anfield club between 1995 and 1999, says the gulf in class between the two sides is the biggest it’s been in the Premier League era.
“The only one of their players I think could make it into the Liverpool team is Paul Pogba,” McAteer told the Racing Post. “The Reds are European champions, have won every league game this season and the mentality of the squad collectively is brilliant.
“The club is in a very good place. You might argue Marcus Rashford could get into the Liverpool team but you would have to shoehorn him into a team playing a different system - I wouldn't remove any of Liverpool's front three.”
Asked to pick his combined XI with players from both sides ahead of the game, McAteer only had room for United’s French World Cup winner in side dominated by Jurgen Klopp’s men.
As if to rub salt in their wounds, United face the runaway Premier League leaders without Pogba who, alongside goalkeeper David de Gea, is ruled out with injury.
Liverpool travel to Manchester top of the table with a 100% record while United go into the match winless in their last three league games.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have taken just nine points from their opening eight matches leaving them a hefty fifteen points behind their rivals and enduring their worst start to a campaign since 1989.
With the club set to kick off in 14th place and unthinkably, a single point above the relegation zone, McAteer believes his former side have stolen a march on the 13-time Premier League champions but is wary of writing them off when the two sides meet.
“The gulf in class between Liverpool and Manchester United is the biggest it has been in the Premier League era without a shadow of a doubt. United have issues at board level and on the pitch.”
“Despite the gap, Liverpool still have to treat the weekend's game at Old Trafford with the utmost respect and I am sure they will.
“United have only nine points from eight games but it can be dangerous to go into this fixture in relaxed mood.
“It is a tough place to go with the crowd and bragging rights on the line.”
Jurgen Klopp’s European champions are eying a record-equaling 18 Premier League wins in a row as they continue their quest to become champions of England for the first time since 1990.
However, with no wins in their last six trips to Old Trafford, McAteer believes Liverpool need to maintain their attacking philosophy to exploit United’s defence if they are to come away with the three points.
“If Jurgen Klopp is looking at weaknesses in the United team they are at the back,” The ex-Irish International added. “Liverpool are so strong up front and United are poor defensively.”
“Sergio Romero is likely to be in goal so they will need to test him early, put the defence under pressure and just be clinical.
“Liverpool have done exactly that since the start of the campaign.”
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