Anfield legend expects the Special One’s trademark caution on Saturday as it is his first Big Six showdown of the season
Jose Mourinho has beaten Liverpool more times than any other club — but Kenny Dalglish fears he won’t just park the bus at Anfield on Saturday .
Kop legend Dalglish expects Mourinho to blockade Merseyside with every double decker from the depot and bring one of English football’s most bitter rivalries to spoiling point again.
For all the renewed swagger at Old Trafford, King Kenny has warned Mourinho that Manchester United have not been tested against any of their likely top-six rivals yet.
And the Scot reckons free-scoring United’s licence to thrill will be revoked — from cavaliers’ permits to trembling hermits — this weekend, despite the blessed Jose’s team scoring four times in six of their 11 matches so far this season.
Some Liverpool fans will never forgive Mourinho for executing the arch-spoiler’s blueprint when Chelsea’s 2-0 win at Anfield denied Brendan Rodgers’ side the title in 2014.
The rest were bored witless when United’s tactics put the ‘zz’ into muzzling on their last visit 12 months ago, but in a results business Mourinho boasts 11 wins and eight draws from his 25 meetings with Liverpool.
Dalglish told Mirror Sport: “Three years ago, Jose brought Chelsea up to do a job and they did it really well, so for me there’s no blame apportioned to him because Liverpool missed out on the title. He was very professional, utterly clinical, and you cannot criticise him for that.
“He came back to Anfield with Manchester United last year with a similar philosophy, but there are no rules which say you can’t play defensively and they almost snatched it at the end when Zlatan Ibrahimovic had that chance.
“And when he comes back for this game, I’m sure he will be cautious again because this is United’s first game against one of the so-called top six.
“With respect to other Premier League teams, these are the games that might decide who lifts the trophy in May.
“Mourinho has a knack of knowing how to win games, and if he thinks his best chance is to shut up shop, he’s entitled to do that – but for us, Jurgen Klopp will be the complete opposite. He’s not interested in a draw, he only wants a victory.
“That suits everyone at Liverpool – players, fans, himself – because that’s why he was asked to take on the job in the first place.
“I’m sure the fans are more than happy with what he’s done and they will want him to continue with the same attacking intent.”
Two years into his reign on Merseyside, Klopp is still searching for the perfect balance between enterprise and defensive stability.
Some critics have likened the current Liverpool team to a Ferrari under the bonnet but a milk float in the boot – but Dalglish, who won the Double as player-manager at Anfield in 1986, is not inclined to be over-critical of his German successor’s approach.
He said: “Would I swap Jurgen’s front three for United’s strikers or any other set of forwards in the Premier League? For me, it’s not a question of who’s best or matters of opinion.
“Going forward, Liverpool have been flying this year, while for United the boy Rashford looks a top talent and Romelu Lukaku has settled in remarkably well. Both teams have got something positive going for them up front, but I don’t go along with some comments about the keeper or back four.
“I think Simon Mignolet has been much maligned and harshly criticised for what he’s done at Liverpool.
“You can point to certain incidents and argue maybe be could have done better, but why does nobody go back to the penalty he saved at Arsenal on the first day of last season?
“He made the difference between one point and three — which ultimately got us in the Champions League.
“Nobody is flawless, but whether he is going to be at the club for the long term or short term, I would not be uncomfortable with him as my keeper.
“If you are committed to attack, attack, attack, it’s the guys at the back who will invariably suffer.
“Jurgen was appointed because of what he’d done at Dortmund, and the way he wants to play suited Liverpool’s DNA.
“Why does that change all of a sudden? If you play a more open, expansive game than anybody else, it’s going to put your defenders under pressure but it’s more entertaining and enjoyable to watch.
“If Jurgen would rather win games 3-2 than 1-0, I don’t have a problem with that, although it’s no good for your ticker so you wonder what it does to him!”
Kenny Dalglish has made the Big Call with online betting site BetStars.
He is backing Liverpool to beat Manchester United, 2-1.
#CallIt at www.betstars.uk
Source The Mirror