Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes that the Reds will beat Manchester United in the Premier League title race this season.
Both clubs’ fierce rivalry remains unquestioned amid their illustrious histories. However, it has been a while since the pair have looked set to fight for the English top-flight title.
Indeed, the 2008/09 season has proved to be the last time the pair showed title credentials together.
But after 16 games of the current campaign, Liverpool and United sit joint-top with 33 points. Jurgen Klopp‘s defending champions have dropped off from last season and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side have climbed the table.
In fact, United have a game in hand on Liverpool and the teams have yet to face off.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Murphy insisted that seeing the two giants going head-to-head is “good for the game”.
“My natural instinct isn’t to wish Manchester United well but I have to appreciate that seeing them in the title mix, currently joint-top with Liverpool, is good for the game,” he said.
“The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester City has been enthralling in recent years but nothing can compare with seeing the biggest two clubs in the country — Liverpool and United — going toe to toe.
“United’s revival under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is an example that patience can be the best policy towards a manager.
“There have been many times when Solskjaer has been written off or needed a result to secure his job and he’s always found a way.
“That is a credit to him and perhaps a lesson to trigger-happy chairmen that you sometimes have to give managers a proper chance, particularly when they are trying to instigate long-term change.”
United travel to Anfield for the first meeting between the sides on January 17.
Liverpool then go to Old Trafford in May which could yet prove to be a mouth-watering encounter.
But Murphy said that the Reds and City still look the strongest teams in the division.
Murphy backs Liverpool title tilt
“I think Solskjaer has conducted himself remarkably well over the past couple of years,” he added. “He is hard to dislike. I think they will fall just short this season, over 38 games Liverpool and City are still stronger, but he’s made United competitive again.
“If the worst happens and United end up champions, Solskjaer is the one person you wouldn’t mind winning because he would remain humble and take it the right way, as Jurgen Klopp did at Liverpool.
“If Jose Mourinho had won the league with United, it would have been something different!”
Both sides turn their attentions to cup action in their next games, however. United face City in the Carabao Cup semi-finals on Wednesday before Liverpool face Aston Villa in the FA Cup on Friday.
READ MORE: Man Utd title tilt shocks Ed Woodward into new plan as Sancho hunt cooled