Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata thinks a third straight Premier League victory at Anfield would prove his side mean business as they attempt to challenge for the title.
Despite losing out to Jurgen Klopp’s side over two legs in the Europa League last 16 last season, United won Premier League meetings on Merseyside in March 2015 and January 2016.
Mata scored twice in the first of those meetings and is relishing what he believes will be an impressive spectacle, one which gives Jose Mourinho’s team a chance to highlight their progress.
“This has been a different week due to the international break, but it’s now over and we are already focused on the Premier League, where we have one of the biggest games of the year: our visit to Anfield Road,” he wrote in his personal blog.
“As you know, this is a special game for the Manchester United fans and, in general, one of the greatest clashes of the season in European football. I have been lucky to enjoy it in the past and I can assure you that this is a game like no other.
“This time, with both teams in a good moment, I hope we see a spectacular football match.
“We are really looking forward to show what we are capable of, to play well and be competitive.
After our last draw, the team wants to play as soon as possible to get the three points, as we did the last two times we played in Anfield in the Premier League, and to confirm that we are on the right track. I really hope so.”
Mata was not selected for Spain’s squad to play Italy and Albania in their World Cup qualification double-header, but made full use of his time off during the international break to relax back in his homeland.
He added: “This time, the international break allowed me to spend a few days at home, in Asturias. Meeting my grandparents, my parents and my sister, uncles and aunts, friends – and charging batteries with Asturias food – is priceless! I love going back home.
“I was also able to see a game of Real Oviedo. The team is fighting in the Second division in Spain, a difficult competition. They had a good game against Rayo Vallecano and the win keeps a good streak, but this league is very long and you have to be patient.
“Overall, I have had a few fantastic days, but from now on I’m only thinking about training well this week to be at our best in the next game.”