Mohamed Salah believes under-fire Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is “a top coach”, while the Liverpool forward acknowledges there is already “a little bit of pressure” on Liverpool heading into Monday’s clash with their old rivals.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds make the trip to Old Trafford this weekend seeking a first win of the new Premier League campaign, having so far been held to draws by Fulham and Crystal Palace.
Liverpool are still in a better position than United, though, with new manager Ten Hag suffering consecutive defeats to Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford.
United’s only goal under Ten Hag to date was a Brighton own goal, while their defensive failings have been ruthlessly exploited.
Despite those issues, Salah still believes United present a formidable proposition for Liverpool, shutting down suggestions their encounter could be an easy one for the visitors while pointing to Ten Hag’s pedigree.
“I don’t look at this game like that, because they’re still a top team with top players,” the attacker told Sky Sports. “They’ve not had a great start, but they want to win against us.
“So from my side, I have too much respect for them, and I’m sure they want to fight with all they can to win that game as well. It’s not going to be easy, and I’m not thinking I’m going to score one, two or three goals.
“I know it’s going to be a really tough game. They have top players, they have a top coach, so it’s not going to be easy at all.”
Liverpool could be seven points behind champions Manchester City by the time they play on Monday, with Pep Guardiola’s men visiting Newcastle United on Sunday in pursuit of a third straight win.
And even at this early stage, Salah acknowledges that would be a significant gap, even if he backs the Reds to recover.
“It could be a little bit of pressure if we’re seven points behind City, but I think it’s too early to think about that,” Salah said.
“Last season, we were behind by about 10 or 11 points, and we came back. So, it’s too early to think about that.”