Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has criticised Manchester United ahead of Saturday's meeting between the two sides at Old Trafford, goading their rivals' defensive tactics under manager Jose Mourinho.
United have encountered scrutiny during the Portuguese's reign for playing deep, notably in the goalless draw at Anfield in October, leading the Croatia international to critique their approach, per the Mirror's David Maddock:
“Last time here, they defend really deep. So let's see what happens now.
“For them it will be maybe a point good but for us, we never play for a point. We are there, we will give our best. We will play like we play every day—attacking football. Let's enjoy."
Lovren was also asked whether he thought United would employ the same tactics they used at Anfield five months ago, to which he replied: "I think so. They need the points, definitely."
The Red Devils sit second as Liverpool make their way to Old Trafford, with the Merseysiders only one place and two points behind them in the Premier League standings.
TalkSport pundit Ally McCoist appeared on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show and said such an approach won't be accepted by United's supporters given the importance of the fixture:
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp may be seen by many as the antithesis of Mourinho in the Premier League, ever ready to encourage attacking football, as evidenced by the 67 goals the Reds have scored in 29 league games, which is second only to leaders Manchester City (83).
However, football writer Tom McDermott remarked upon the apparent hypocrisy in opinion, using Juventus' recent UEFA Champions League win over Tottenham Hotspur to push a point regarding a coach's tactics:
Lovren went through a shaky patch last season but appears to be Klopp's preferred centre-back partner for Virgil van Dijk since the Dutchman's arrival at the start of 2018.
Former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise praised the Croat's recent comments and his return to form at Anfield this term:
There will be no ambiguity over Liverpool's motives in Saturday's early kick-off, and Klopp was able to rest some of his key assets in Tuesday's Champions League last-16 meeting with FC Porto, when they eased into the quarter-finals with a goalless draw and a 5-0 aggregate win.
They would undoubtedly like to see United come out of their shell in an effort to expose any holes left behind, but Lovren expects the narrow margins dividing the two rivals to ensure another defensive display from the Red Devils.