Manchester United legend Mark Hughes believes his old club will be too strong for Liverpool when the fierce rivals meet in the FA Cup this weekend.
The Premier League champions will go to Old Trafford on Sunday with plenty to prove, following a dreadful run of five league games without a win, culminating in their first Anfield defeat in almost four years as they lost to Burnley on Thursday night.
United, meanwhile, are flying high at the top of the table – six points clear of the Reds who now sit fourth – following a run of 13 league games without defeat.
It’s a huge shift in momentum in a rivalry that has been dominated by Liverpool for the best part of the last five years, with United winning just once in their last 11 meetings.
This latest showdown will be another test of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team’s title credentials, having played out a bore 0-0 in the league only a week ago.
But with Liverpool’s attacking ecosystem disrupted by a number of crucial injuries and underperforming stars, Hughes can only see Sunday’s cup tie going one way.
Asked if he thinks United fans will be celebrating on Sunday, the four-time FA Cup winner told talkSPORT host Jim White: “I think they will be.
“They’re just in a better run of form, their confidence is higher than Liverpool’s is at the moment and I just sense that they’re a team going forward.
“Ole has done a good job. There’s a lot of pressure on him this year, but you’ve got to allow people to do their job and give them time to make their mark.
“He’s got to a point now where it’s his team, he’s forming a side that looks more like a Man United side should.
“It seems they’ve got this mentality of being more together, which hasn’t been the case in recent times.
“Now they’re in good confidence, and even if they have setbacks in games they’ve been able to turn things around, and that’s a great trait to have in a top team.
“And you talk about confidence, clearly a number of the elements within Liverpool’s team are not functioning.
“Namely the front three, who have been absolutely magnificent in recent times, and in the full-back areas which is a huge part of Liverpool’s play, maybe that’s not functioning as well.
“So you’re talking about five or six positions there that aren’t at the best of their ability in terms of form, and when that happens, it doesn’t matter if you’re Liverpool or anybody else, it’s going to affect your ability to win games.
“They’ve just got to get more confidence, and the problem for Liverpool this weekend is they’re going up against a United side that looks like they’re building confidence, while Liverpool look low on it.”
The talkSPORT network will have 20 live football commentaries over the next week, including Manchester United vs Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday
LIVE on talkSPORT
There are 20 LIVE commentaries on the talkSPORT network over the next week. Find out what they are, below…
Chorley vs Wolves – 7:45pm – FA Cup – talkSPORT
Stoke vs Watford – 7:45pm – Championship – talkSPORT 2
Southampton vs Arsenal – 12:15pm – FA Cup – talkSPORT
West Ham vs Doncaster – 3pm – FA Cup – talkSPORT 2
Cheltenham vs Manchester City – 5:30pm – FA Cup – talkSPORT
Chelsea vs Luton – 12pm – FA Cup – talkSPORT 2
Brentford vs Leicester – 2:30pm – FA Cup – talkSPORT
Manchester United vs Liverpool – 5pm – FA Cup – talkSPORT
Wycombe vs Tottenham – 7:45pm – FA Cup – talkSPORT
Newcastle vs Leeds – 6pm – Premier League – talkSPORT
Crystal Palace vs West Ham – 6pm – Premier League – talkSPORT 2
Southampton vs Arsenal – 8:15pm – Premier League – talkSPORT
West Brom vs Manchester City – 8:15pm – Premier League – talkSPORT 2
Chelsea vs Wolves – 6pm – Premier League – talkSPORT
Burnley vs Aston Villa – 6pm – Premier League – talkSPORT 2
Brighton vs Fulham – 7:30pm – Premier League – talkSPORT App
Manchester United vs Sheffield United – 8:15pm – Premier League – talkSPORT 2
Everton vs Leicester – 8:15pm – Premier League – talkSPORT
Tottenham vs Liverpool – 8:15pm – Premier League – talkSPORT
Reading vs Bournemouth – 8pm – Championship – talkSPORT 2
Published at Fri, 22 Jan 2021 15:18:54 +0000