Former Manchester United and Liverpool midfielder Paul Ince claims Jurgen Klopp is massively underachieving at Anfield.
Klopp’s side head into Saturday’s game against United seven points behind their big rivals after just seven games and with plenty of question marks hanging over his head.
Ince told Paddy Power that he expects Liverpool to come out firing against United, but he has questioned whether Klopp is up to the job of managing the Reds.
“This game is Manchester United’s first acid test,” he said.
“They’ve been demolishing teams and, no disrespect to the others, but this is a big step up.
“To go to Anfield is different gravy, this is where they’ll truly be tested for the first time this season.
“I know how important these games are to both sets of fans. I think United have to prove they really are title contenders, but I actually think Jurgen Klopp has more to prove than Jose Mourinho.
“At the minute, I can’t see it anyway. They’re way behind United and City and if they drop three more points here, they’re not going to make that gap up – no chance. It’s a huge game for Liverpool.”
Klopp’s failure to sort out his team’s defensive problems has left Liverpool looking vulnerable at the back.
Only Crystal Palace and West Ham have conceded more goals than Klopp’s side this season and Ince believes the German has had enough time to sort things out.
“If you look at the two sides at the minute, everything considered, you have to say United are way ahead of Liverpool,” he added.
“There’s been a lot of unrest in Klopp’s side, with (Philippe) Coutinho, and United seem to know what they’re doing – that shows in the way that they’re playing.
“Klopp hasn’t found the right formula for his team yet and, after this length of time at the club, with the players he has, he really should have.”
While the likes of Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish have come out in support of Klopp, it’s refreshing to hear Ince give a more truthful version of Liverpool’s current status.
Many pundits claim Klopp has improved Liverpool, but their defence is still an accident waiting to happen and they lack a quality centre forward.
A United victory would see them open a 10 point gap over Liverpool and it would be hard for anyone to say Klopp has his team heading in the right direction if that is the case come Saturday afternoon.