Jurgen Klopp faces a resurgent Manchester United in what promises to be a fascinating encounter between two old rivals. The Liverpool manager has had a mixed record against his arch-nemesis Jose Mourinho, but he is relishing the challenge of facing the Portuguese tactician once again.

Klopp and Mourinho have a long history of sparring, dating back to their time in the Bundesliga when Klopp was in charge of Borussia Dortmund and Mourinho was at Real Madrid. In 2013, the two managers clashed in the Champions League semi-finals, with Klopp’s Dortmund coming out on top over Mourinho’s Madrid.

Their rivalry continued in the Premier League, with Klopp taking over at Liverpool in 2015 and Mourinho becoming United manager the following year. The two teams have been locked in a fierce battle for supremacy ever since, with both managers taking potshots at each other in the press.

However, there is now a new chapter in this old rivalry as United begin to show signs of a resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian has transformed the Red Devils’ fortunes since taking over from Mourinho in December 2018, winning 19 out of his first 28 games in charge.

United now find themselves just three points behind Liverpool in the Premier League table, and Klopp admits that he is relishing the prospect of facing a United side that is starting to find its feet again.

“This is a special game for us,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference. “It’s a big moment in the season and we know that we’re facing a resurgent United side. It’s a challenge that we’re relishing and we’re looking forward to the game.”

Liverpool come into the game as favourites, having won 20 out of their first 21 games in the Premier League this season. The Reds are currently on a 39-game unbeaten run in the league and are looking to win their first top-flight title in 30 years.

However, United have shown that they are more than capable of springing a surprise, with wins over Tottenham and Manchester City in recent weeks. Solskjaer’s side will be looking to add another scalp to their collection when they take on Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

Klopp will be well aware of the danger that United pose, having seen his side knocked out of the FA Cup by the Red Devils last season. United won 3-1 at the Emirates in what was a comprehensive victory over Arsenal.

Klopp has urged his players to be on their guard against a United side that is capable of causing an upset.

“They’re a good team,” Klopp said. “They’ve shown that in recent weeks with some big wins against top teams. We know that we have to be at our best to get a result against them. We need to be focused and we need to be fully prepared. It’s going to be a tough game, but we’re ready for the challenge.”

The Liverpool boss has also played down the significance of the rivalry between the two sides, insisting that his main focus is on getting the three points.

“I don’t think about it as a rivalry,” Klopp said. “For us, every game is important. We don’t prioritise one game over another. We just focus on the task at hand and try to do our best. We know that United will be a tough opponent, but we’re ready to give our all.”

Despite Klopp’s words, there is no doubt that this is a special game for both Liverpool and United. The two sides have a long and storied history, and the rivalry between them is one of the most intense in world football.

This game promises to be a fascinating encounter, with both sides looking to take the bragging rights in what is sure to be an electric atmosphere at Anfield. Klopp and Solskjaer will be doing everything in their power to ensure that their sides come out on top, and the result could have significant implications for the remainder of the season.