Erik ten Hag has told Liverpool fans that his Manchester United players won’t be fazed by the hostile atmosphere at Anfield on Sunday.
United head to Liverpool looking for their first away win against their fierce rivals for more than seven years. The home supporters will attempt to create a hostile atmosphere for Ten Hag’s team but the Dutchman said his players will enjoy it.
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“I’m looking forward to it, the ambience, the atmosphere,” Ten Hag said. “It will be great, it will be hostile against us, but we like that.
“For me it’s no different. The pitch is the same size everywhere, there are three referees, there’s a fourth [official], the ball is round, there is air in the ball, huh?
“So we have to play and to make it our game, and of course we know the ambience will not be supporting us and you have to deal with that. But, as I said, our players, they like it. They like to play in such atmospheres.”
United have enjoyed some crucial wins at Old Trafford this season including victories over Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City and Barcelona.
But Ten Hag is still waiting for his first win away from home at a traditional “Big Six” rival — there have been defeats at City and Arsenal and a draw at Chelsea — although victory at Anfield would further cement their credentials as possible title challengers.
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“It is, of course, a test, but we’re facing Liverpool, we’re really looking forward to it and I know these players, my squad, my team, will be prepared to go there and fight and to go there with confidence,” Ten Hag said.
“We know it’s going to be difficult, we know we will have to suffer and we will have to sacrifice to get a good result.”
Ten Hag made a number of changes to his team for the 3-1 win over West Ham in the FA Cup on Wednesday and the likes of Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro and Marcus Rashford are set to return to the starting lineup at Anfield.
Luke Shaw and Jadon Sancho both missed the game but there is hope both will be available against Liverpool.
“Sancho was ill and we’ll have to wait for how that develops but yeah, I think [he will be back],” Ten Hag added.
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