The Reds boss is looking forward to Sunday’s game at Anfield and admits the nature of the derby has changed with the times
United travel to Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday, with the chance to move within two points of the top four after Chelsea lost late on at Newcastle .
With Liverpool winning 20 and drawing one of their 21 games to date this season, the odds are against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side – but Klopp doesn’t want to underestimate them.
“United have a really good football team, talented and experienced,” he told reporters.“There is a lot of good potential on the pitch.
“I think they will probably qualify for the Champions League this season.
“So, of course they can beat us. But they can only play as good as we let them play.
“If we are at our best it’s difficult for every team. It’s our stadium so we have to make sure everybody knows that.”
Liverpool against Manchester United is, of course, arguably the biggest rivalry in English football – and certainly one of the biggest in the world.
Now in his fifth season at the helm, Klopp understands the rivalry well enough, while Solskjaer played in his fair share during his 11 years at Old Trafford as a player.
But the German coach believes the derby has moved on from those days, and hopes there will be far more to Sunday’s game than blood and thunder.
“In the good old times you saw that it was a special game because everyone flew at each other and kicked each other off the pitch. But I don’t want to see that,” added Klopp.
“If anyone asks us for that, no chance. We want to win the game; we don’t want to win one little battle.
“We accept being aggressive in a completely different way to our grandfathers.
“If we hurt someone it hurts ourselves and not the other one. You need a clear mindset and an outstanding atmosphere.”
Liverpool’s only dropped points of the league season so far came in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford , with Marcus Rashford’s goal cancelled out late on by Adam Lallana in a 1-1 draw.
Such are the high standards being set at Anfield at the moment, midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has said Liverpool feel they have a score to settle after being held to a draw away from home.