Manchester United and Liverpool fans will have already marked October 17 in their diaries.
It’s the date the two fierce rivals meet for the first time this season and, as ever, it won’t be one to be missed.
There are plenty of exciting subplots to look ahead to, not least the clinical attacking groups that will be on display. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Philippe Coutinho, Wayne Rooney and Roberto Firmino on the field, the game promises goals.
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One lesser-known storyline to look forward to is how Paul Pogba plays. Not because he’s the most expensive player on the planet, but because the midfielder has history when it comes to playing at Anfield.
Pogba was a key part of United’s youth team before he left the club in 2012 and one of the most memorable matches of his time in Manchester was an FA Youth Cup game against Liverpool.
In was in 2011 when the sides met in a quarter-final tie that was marred by travelling United supporters who chanted songs about the Hillsborough and Heysel disasters.
The behaviour on the pitch was also ugly. Both sides finished with nine men, with Pogba being one of the United players shown his marching orders.
However, unlike Liverpool’s Conor Coady, who was shown a straight red for scrapping with United’s Tyler Blackett, Pogba wasn’t sent off for any aggressive actions. He didn’t even make a horrendous tackle.
The Frenchman received a second yellow card after faking his penalty kick in order to make Liverpool’s goalkeeper move. Referee David Coote thought Pogba’s actions were unsporting and sent the £89 million man off.
Pogba's red card
United won the game 3-2 - they would go on to win the FA Youth Cup that year with a 4-1 win over Sheffield United in the final - but the game was ruined by behaviour off the pitch.
Three fans were arrested for drunkenness and six United supporters were ejected from Anfield.
Liverpool hero John Aldridge attended the game and voiced his dismay at the “disgusting” atmosphere.
“I have never seen anything like that before at a youth game and I never want to see anything like it again,” he said, per the Daily Mail. “It was disgusting.
“You get used to banter from United fans when they come to Anfield but to hear those songs about Heysel and Hillsborough was just horrible. The level of abuse was absolutely sickening.
“There was evidently a group who had just come to cause problems and I felt sorry for the families in the Manchester United end who just wanted to watch a game of football.”
Hopefully the fans, and Pogba, behave on October 17.
Who will finish higher this season, Liverpool or Manchester United? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!
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