Sadio Mane insists Liverpool travel to Old Trafford this weekend confident of becoming the first side to beat Manchester United in the Premier League since they were defeated at Anfield back in December.
The Reds recorded a comprehensive 3-1 victory over their rivals when the teams met in the first encounter of the campaign, with Xherdan Shaqiri’s brace adding to Mane’s opener.
However, the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager following that fixture has seen United remain unbeaten in all nine of their subsequent league outings.
Nevertheless, with Liverpool aiming to go three points clear at the summit of the division, Mane is relishing the occasion and the task in hand.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: “Of course, it is a dream of every single player to play in these kind of games – and of course, you want to win them.
“Everybody knows it is a derby and against United it is always tough, but we are confident and think we can do it. We are going to go there and try to do everything to win the game.
“It is different [for United] now. They have made changes, changed the manager and he is doing very well, winning almost every game. They are confident and so are we, so it’ll be a tough game and we will see what happens.
“Every single game now for us is very, very big. We know that, so let’s focus and take it game by game.”
Liverpool currently sit second in the Premier League table heading into the weekend, behind Manchester City on goal difference having played one game fewer.
With Pep Guardiola’s side not in top-flight action this weekend, the Reds have an opportunity to return to the summit outright should they avoid defeat at Old Trafford.
“We always want to be top of the table – and you can only do that by winning games,” Mane continued. “We have another important game and we know if we win it where it will take us [in the table], so we will go there, enjoy it and try to win the game.
“As I always say, putting pressure on ourselves is not going to help us. This game is like all other big games – we respect them, but I think we can also beat any team.
“It will be a tough game, but we can still win because we have already won so many tough games. It won’t be easy, but we will go there to do everything to get a positive result.”
Mane will go into the contest having scored in each of his last four Premier League appearances.
So how would he feel if he were to extend that sequence to five games?
“It would be great and I am hoping I can score for the team to help them win the game,” he replied.
“Of course, you enjoy playing the derbies. I have been very lucky and scored a few goals in them, so it would be great if I could score again.
“We are preparing for the game like we did all other games. It is a big game, so we will try to do what we have been doing in training to try to win.
“I would be very happy [to score], hopefully we’re going to do it.”