Jurgen Klopp Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Liverpool Man Utd 2020-21Getty Images

Matic confident Man Utd ready for 'biggest derby' against Liverpool after going top of Premier League

Nemanja Matic is confident Manchester United are ready to challenge for the Premier League title and wants his side to prove it against Liverpool on Sunday.

United moved to the top of the table with a 1-0 victory over Burnley on Tuesday thanks to Paul Pogba’s deflected second-half volley.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men next head to Anfield at the weekend to take on their biggest rivals and Matic is relishing the opportunity to face the reigning champions.

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What's been said

“I think this kind of win shows that we are ready to compete for the title,” Matic told MUTV.  

“I’m happy for the team performance and spirit and let’s see Sunday against Liverpool. It’s the biggest derby in England and we go there to compete with them and see where we are against one of the best teams in the league. I think we are ready.

“We played 17 games [and] we are top of the table. That shows something. We didn’t play five or six games and you can say maybe it’s lucky. But, after 17 games, definitely it is not lucky, definitely there is quality.

“But we cannot relax, we need to be concentrated until the end – to go game by game. In football, the next one is always important; the next one is the biggest final, and we will see.”

Why does it matter & what's the bigger picture?

  • United have not won on their last four visits to Anfield and have only beaten Jurgen Klopp’s side once in their previous 10
  • Victory on Sunday would send United six points clear of Liverpool at the top of the table and put down a serious marker
  • The latest trip to Merseyside will be almost a year to the day since United’s last visit when they were beaten 2-0
  • Back then, United were 27 points behind Liverpool but are now top of the table, three clear of their rivals
  • The last time they were top after New Year's Day was in 2013, when United won their 13th Premier League title under Sir Alex Ferguson
Paul Pogba Manchester United 2021Getty

The Goal view

Charlotte Duncker | Man Utd correspondent

If United are to attain a positive result, the resurgent Paul Pogba will again be key. Like Solskjaer, he has been constantly questioned and ridiculed by pundits and fans but the 27-year-old oozes class both on and off the ball, and his performances in recent weeks have shown glimpses of the level of excellence that we all know he is capable of producing.

His movement, range of passing and, perhaps most importantly, vision set him apart from every other player on the pitch at Turf Moor.

Whether the critics like it or not, United, Solskjaer and their much-maligned midfielder are very much in the Premier League title race.

A win against Liverpool on Sunday would send them six points clear of the reigning champions and, on current form, you wouldn’t bet against them.

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