Brendan Rodgers: Man Utd rivalry bigger than Merseyside derby

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Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool's rivalry with Manchester United makes it a bigger game than the Merseyside derby.

The old rivals go head to head at Anfield this weekend with Liverpool seeking their first Premier League win against the Red Devils since 2011.

In recent years it is Liverpool and Everton who have been battling it out for position in the Premier League, with the Toffees finishing on top in the last two seasons.

Despite that Rodgers believes his sides rivalry is more fierce than the one they share with Everton because it is more "intense".

“Liverpool v Manchester United is a massive game. It’s more than a football game, it’s a story of two cities and you’re representing the people of your city and the history of that city,” he said.

“It’s more than a football match. But it’s important that you retain that calmness and belief on the field, to get the result – because, ultimately, that’s what it’s about.

“There’s a different feeling to this one. This is a rivalry that is passionate, fierce and competitive – which is what you want. But there’s also respect between the two clubs as well.

“There’s an intense rivalry there. I’ve experienced both games now as Liverpool manager – United and the Everton game. There’s something a wee bit more intense in this rivalry.

“It’s not just the football clubs – it’s the cities that you’re representing. It’s a game that we were unfortunate not to get something from last year; we lost the game but we’re very confident going into this game.

“It’s a game which should be very close. We’re at home and we’ll look to take the initiative in the game.”

Liverpool will look to strengthen their squad before the close of the transfer window in order to aid their push for a top four spot - but Rodgers remained tight-lipped when asked about potential moves for Tiago Ilori, Andriy Yarmolenko, Shay Given, Mamadou Sakho and Victor Moses.

"You guys keep asking and we as managers have to give the same answers to you," the Liverpool boss said.

"There is nothing to report until you have a player signed and in the building, and obviously because of the nature of the window and, certainly in this country, the nature of the gossip and speculation that goes on, there are so many players linked with the football club that if you answered every single question, you'd be here all day and all night.

"You are better to say nothing until the player is in the building. Until that point it is only ever speculation."

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