(Reuters) - Liverpool forward Sadio Mane believes the Merseyside club have the ability to defeat any team in the world, including bitter rivals and Saturday’s Premier League opponents Manchester United.
The two clubs are battling to finish as the best of the rest behind runaway league leaders Manchester City with United second in the table, two points ahead of third-placed Liverpool with nine games remaining in the campaign.
Liverpool have won four of their last five league games and booked a Champions League quarter-final berth on Tuesday as a 0-0 draw in the second leg of their last 16 tie with Porto helped Juergen Klopp’s side record a 5-0 aggregate win.
“It will not be easy but I’ve always said we can beat any team in the world,” Mane told British media. “Honestly they (Manchester United) are one of the best teams in England, of course in the world also, but we are as well.
“It’s the dream for every single player to play this kind of game so everyone is looking forward to it.”
United have won three of their last five league games, including consecutive wins over Chelsea and Crystal Palace, and the home side will be confident ahead of Saturday’s match as City are the only visitors to win a league game at Old Trafford this season.
Liverpool last won at Old Trafford in 2014 but goalkeeper Lorius Karius is confident that the Merseyside club can get a crucial win as they aim to seal Champions League football for next season.
“It’s a very big game for us, for the club, for the fans,” Karius said. “With the situation being this tight together on the table also, we can’t really ask for more.
“Of course they have a good squad and we have respect for them, but we don’t fear anyone. We’re really confident, looking at ourselves and our own abilities, we know we can beat them.
“We want to go directly into the Champions League again, there’s not many places for it and second (place) would be ideal obviously.”
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge