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Man United ties can help Liverpool find their identity again

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Manchester United versus Liverpool is different though.

Oh to have been a fly on the wall in Jürgen Klopp’s living room when that FA Cup draw dropped on Monday evening.

A season which seems to break new ground on an almost weekly basis in throwing up challenges and problems for the Liverpool manager to deal with surpassed itself, again, in handing the Reds a fourth round trip to Old Trafford, to be played the weekend after this Sunday’s Premier League clash with the new leaders at Anfield.

Oh, and have you seen when the return Premier League fixture at Old Trafford is?

Having relinquished the league leadership they fought so hard to win back before Christmas and with key league fixtures against Tottenham, Manchester City and Leicester to come before February’s mid-point - as well as the resumption of the Champions League not long after that - the Reds boss would have been entitled to think the footballing fates were due to cut his side a break after the third round trip to Aston Villa, the 16th time in 25 domestic cup draws Liverpool had been paired with a fellow Premier League side.

Klopp’s approach to the world’s oldest cup competition during his time so far as Liverpool manager is well documented and needs no further analysis here.

Amid all the questions we’ve all asked ourselves about the nature of the season and - particularly at present given this nightmarish third wave of the pandemic - whether football should even be taking place, Liverpool versus Manchester United remains as visceral it gets.
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