Cleverley Eyes Anfield Test

Cleverley eyes Anfield test

Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley speaks exclusively to ahead of the Barclays Premier League fixture against Liverpool on Sunday…

Games don’t come much bigger than Sunday’s clash against Liverpool. You must be itching to be involved?
Yeah, it’s fair to say this would be the biggest game I’ve played in for United if I’m involved. But it’s not just a big game for me, it’s a big game for the club and of course there’s a lot of focus on this particular match. Liverpool haven’t started so well so I’m sure this will be like a cup final. Meanwhile, we’ve won our last three games so we’re hoping to build on that. It’s important we maintain that momentum. It’s a massive game for the team.

Liverpool finished 37 points behind United last season and are yet to win in the league this term…
I think form goes out of the window in these fixtures. It’s more like a one-off game. They’re great occasions. Growing up as a United fan, I’ve watched about 20 or 30 of these games, so I know exactly what this fixture means to everybody associated with the club. I just hope we can get the right result.

What were games against Liverpool like in the United youth teams?
It was still a crunch match. You always looked forward to the Liverpool and Manchester City games. There was something extra about those games and winning those games always felt better, especially away from home. There was always a lot of satisfaction when you beat Liverpool on their own turf so it would be nice to feel that again. Hopefully I’ll be having that feeling again on Sunday night.

It won’t be your first time at Anfield. What do you remember of going there with Wigan in 2010?
It was good. We managed to get a 1-1 draw there. It’s always enjoyable to play at these historic stadiums, although I’m fully aware it will be something else going there with United.

After conceding goals in the first few games, the team have kept two clean sheets in a row. How important is it to maintain that solidity at the back?
It’s great to have a strong defensive foundation from which to attack from. We know that 99 times out of 100 if we keep a clean sheet we’ll win the game. The defence have done really well in the last few games and hopefully that continues.


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