Steve McMahon: Liverpool have to up their game

The Kop legend believes Liverpool will have to take the game to Manchester United and urges Suarez and Evra to move beyond the handshake issue First and foremost, are you looking forward to the match?

Macca: Absolutely! I look forward to this game with sheer excitement because physically, I will be there live, present at the ground. I just want immerse myself in the amazing atmosphere; to be able to experience the entire atmosphere of the game. Truly, the reflection you get through TV screens of innumerable fans in the stadium does not do justice to the real excitement of being in the stadium yourself. Do not get me wrong, I have actually attended this game countless times, but it is something beautiful to be back there again. Do you think last week’s Hillsborough revelation will have an effect towards the game, especially for the home side?

Macca: The Hillsborough report has truly mortified many people. However, the way forward for Liverpool is to control their emotions and ease their tension. If that is done right, then they will be able to move forward. The handshake between Suarez and Evra is set to dominate the news before kick-off, so what’s your opinion on it?

Macca: Instead of focusing on the handshake, they should just get beyond the issue and channel their utmost concentration in playing the game properly. The most important outcome is to deliver for their respective teams. Moving on to the footballing side, how do you reckon both teams would set-up?

Macca: Liverpool will not change their formation, it will definitely be a 4-3-3 setup. On the other hand, Manchester United will play a 4-5-1 formation, with Robbie van Persie being the lone striker. What do you think would be the best way for Liverpool to beat Manchester United?

Macca: They certainly cannot sit back and relax. Manchester United has been doing well in the season so far and Liverpool have to up their game to counter Manchester United’s attacking threat. Manchester United have not come away with much from Anfield in recent seasons and considering Liverpool’s start to the season, could this be the best time for them to get a result there?

Macca: Liverpool’s going to be eyeing their goal in the first 20 minutes or so, but they can easily get anxious if they lose their cool in this game. I believe the result can go in either direction, either Liverpool or Manchester United can claim victory. What’s your view on the goalkeeping situation for Manchester United?

Macca: I personally rate it at 50:50, both teams possess capable goalkeepers. Anders Lindegaard is undeniably a good goalkeeper. For him to succeed and advance in the game, he just needs to realize his mistakes and play better. If you were the manager for the day, what would you do?

Macca: (As Liverpool Manager) I will go for the goals! I will attack Manchester United! (As Manchester United Manager) On the other side, I would try and focus on defence. Who do you pick to decide the outcome of the match?

Macca: Luis Suarez, he will have the chance of scoring some goals for Liverpool. As for the opposing team, it will be Robbie van Persie as I believe he will have a couple of chances to score as well. And finally, the score prediction please.

Macca: Currently, looking at both teams, it will most probably be a 1 – 1 draw.

Former Liverpool and England International Steve McMahon is a football expert with ESPN. Catch him on The Verdict at 8pm and on ESPN’s coverage of the Barclays Premier League