Fabinho: I had huge Man Utd rivalry in mind when joining Liverpool

The Reds can return to the top of the league if they beat Jose Mourinho’s side at Anfield, and already beat Everton 1-0 in the Merseyside derby

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho says he had games like Sunday’s clash with Manchester United on his mind when he agreed to move to Anfield.

Fabinho signed from Monaco last summer for £39 million ($52m), but has endured a quiet start to his career in England having only made seven Premier League appearances so far.

Injury troubles kept him out of the team at the beginning of the campaign, and the Brazilian admitted last month that he has struggled to adapt to the way Reds boss Jurgen Klopp wants him to play.

But the 25-year-old is fully motivated for the encounter with United, and told Liverpool’s official website: “I’m definitely looking forward to it. When you sign for Liverpool you have these types of games in mind. With the passion of the fans, their support, we go on the field to give our best to put on a show for them.

“I’m not really an expert on the history of this rivalry, but I believe it is the biggest rivalry in English football.

“They’re the two most successful teams in England, so history shows that there’s a huge rivalry. I think the geographical closeness, with Manchester being just down the road, adds even more to it.

“We’re going to approach this game like all the other games and I hope it’s a night to remember, like the Everton game.

“Against Everton the fans left very happy with the victory and the way in which we won, and I hope against Manchester United we can put on a similar spectacle: representing the Liverpool shirt and playing with a lot of desire. I hope we’ll get the three points.”

Liverpool beat Everton 1-0 on December 2 thanks to a last minute Divock Origi goal after Toffees keeper Jordan Pickford palmed the ball into the Belgian’s path.

Klopp’s men then moved top last weekend with a 4-0 thrashing of Bournemouth as Manchester City slipped up at Chelsea, and enjoyed more success last Tuesday when they beat Napoli 1-0 to secure a place in the Champions League last 16.

City have now knocked Liverpool off of top spot however, having beaten Everton 3-1 on Saturday, so the Reds will need a victory against their rivals in order to leapfrog the champions once again. 

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