Its a circus – Klopp labels combined Man Utd & Liverpool XI with all Reds players a joke

The Reds boss feels his side have been set up for a fall by pundits suggesting the Red Devils are vastly inferior heading into Sunday’s clash

Jurgen Klopp has labelled the pre-match hype surrounding Liverpool‘s trip to Old Trafford as a “circus”, dismissing the notion of a combined XI without a single Manchester United player.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side currently lie down in 12th in the Premier League standings, after picking up a measly nine points from a possible 24.

In stark contrast, Liverpool have enjoyed a perfect start to the season, storming eight points clear of reigning champions Manchester City at the summit.

The Reds can equal City’s record of 18 successive Premier League wins with a victory at the Theatre of Dreams this weekend and push their opponents closer to the relegation zone in the process.

United are only two points clear of 18th-placed Everton and have just two wins to their name from eight outings, with the pressure starting to build on Solskjaer in the hot seat.

Liverpool are hot favourites to hand the Norwegian a fourth defeat of the campaign, with Sky Sports pundit Danny Mills naming a combined XI which didn’t include a single member of the current United squad.

Klopp has dismissed such talk as nonsense, insisting the fixture could end up being a “banana skin” for his team.

“Ignoring this game is so easy. Not the game against United, [but] the game you all play,” the German boss told a press conference on Friday.

‘When on Sky you make a combined line-up and it’s all Liverpool. It’s a joke. Like building a banana skin.

“It’s a circus and we’re in the centre. A couple of people want us to win, a couple want us to lose. I am aware of the strength of the Man Utd. 

“We have to make sure if United want to change their season, they have to wait a week.”

Anthony Martial could be in line to return up front for United, having been out of action with a thigh injury since a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace back in August.

Summer signing Daniel James and Marcus Rashford are also in contention to start against Liverpool, with Klopp wary of the threat posed by a pacey attacking trio.

He added: “[James] He is a really good player, absolutely. But I expect Martial, Rashford and James on the pitch. They have speed and quality all across the pitch.”

Klopp insists the Red Devils will provide Liverpool with a stern test, despite their recent run of form, but concedes the home side are lacking “momentum” at this moment in time.

“You need momentum in a game and a season and at the moment United don’t have it,” he said. 

“We respect them as the best Man Utd we could face and not the Man Utd people are speaking of during the week.

“The next challenge is a really good opponent in a really difficult situation.”

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