Reds v Red Devils: Fiery showdown in store
Anfield clash has makings of a classic, with Liverpool and Man United expected to go for the jugular
LIVERPOOL v MAN UNITED
(Tuesday, 3am, Singtel TV Ch 103 & StarHub TV Ch 228 - Eleven Plus)
With a combined total of 82 major trophies, including 38 league titles, it's not surprising that the footballing world comes to a standstill for 90 minutes when old adversaries Liverpool and Manchester United lock horns on Tuesday morning (Singapore time).
Not since May 1990 have Liverpool tasted title success, while United's decline since Sir Alex Ferguson hung up his hairdryer three years ago has been acute.
However, despite the two clubs' relative lack of success in recent times, this is a fixture like no other - two powerhouses of the north west of England who have also dominated on the European stage.
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Eleven Sports Network will be showcasing the next instalment of this fierce rivalry.
It's six years since we've seen a truly great Premier League clash between the two teams, but the up-coming Anfield showdown has all the makings of a modern-day classic.
Liverpool under Juergen Klopp can contemplate only one way of playing - all-out attack. And if that doesn't work, then attack some more.
When the German took over from Brendan Rodgers, he promised heavy-metal football, but what he's served up in the last year is far better than that.
Let's be honest, heavy-metal music is truly dire. By contrast, the metaphorical sound that this Liverpool team make when in full flow is mesmeric. Euphoric, even.
Klopp's counterpart, Jose Mourinho, is the ultimate specialist in killing games.
Think back to his Inter Milan days when the Nerazzurri somehow pulled off a two-legged triumph over a Barcelona side at the very height of their powers.
On April 27, 2014, Liverpool looked set to claim that elusive first Premier League title, until Mourinho's Chelsea stifled the Reds and marched away from Anfield with a humbling 2-0 win.
However, since taking over at Old Trafford, Mourinho has acknowledged that this way of approaching games is unacceptable for Red Devils' followers.
Man United. PHOTO: REUTERS
United, before the turgid two years under Louis van Gaal, have always played with an attacking flair and panache, and it's a formula that served them exceptionally well for 20-odd years under Ferguson.
The Special One knows that he has to embrace United's trademark style, which is why I'm certain we're in for an extraordinary showdown at Anfield.
For me, the most exhilarating Premier League clash between the two protagonists was the six-goal thriller in January 1994.
Eight months earlier, United had been crowned champions of England for the first time in 26 years, while Graeme Souness' Reds had been enduring a slow decline since the halcyon days under Kenny Dalglish and were determined to reclaim bragging rights against their greatest rivals.
United raced into a 3-0 lead after just 23 minutes thanks to goals from Steve Bruce, Ryan Giggs and Denis Irwin.
However, a remarkable Liverpool comeback saw Nigel Clough bag a brace before Neil "Razor" Ruddock secured a stunning 3-3 draw with just 11 minutes remaining.
Upon taking over as United boss in November 1986, Ferguson famously pronounced that he would knock Liverpool off their perch (swear words deleted).
Hence, one could imagine the Scot's anger to have seen his fiercest enemies nick a point from a position of utter desperation.
The following day, Ferguson called Peter Schmeichel into his office and promptly sacked him - blaming the future great Dane for hitting his goal-kicks straight at Ruddock.
Thankfully for United supporters, the two men reconciled and went on to share English football's finest hour five years later when United completed a remarkable Treble. In Fergie time, of course.
But the fact that Ferguson would even contemplate sacking one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time for the heinous crime of misplaced goal-kicks, demonstrates exactly what this fixture means to the football world.
- Richard Lenton is the lead presenter at ELEVEN SPORTS NETWORK. Join Richard and his studio guests for ELEVEN's live coverage of the Premier League, which includes the clash between Liverpool and Manchester United from 2.30am on Tuesday morning (Singapore time), as well as tomorrow's showdown between Manchester City and Everton (9.30pm), and the Sunday match-up between Southampton and Burnley (10.30pm). For more details, visit www.elevensports.sg