LIVERPOOL host Manchester United in the opening game of the Premier League weekend… and it’s set to be a cracker.
After a pair of draws in last year’s fixtures Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho will continue their long-running battle for supremacy at Anfield.
The managerial giants are no stranger to an on-field battle either.
Klopp and Mourinho have locked horns during stints at Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Chelsea… as well as Liverpool and United.
Having both taken charge of some of Europe biggest sides – with some of football’s biggest rivalries – the pair know just what to expect.
Liverpool and United have their own local derby… but both sets of supporters know this one is THE derby.
Ahead of Saturday lunch-time’s eagerly-anticipated kick-off, check out who has the better head-to-head record between Klopp and Mourinho…
Borussia Dortmund 2 Real Madrid 1
Champions League Group D, October 2012
KLOPP and Mourinho first met on the football field five years ago, almost to the day.
The German’s Dortmund hosted the “Special One” and his Real Madrid side in the Champions League group stages.
That day, Klopp came out on top thanks to goals from Robert Lewandowski and Marcel Schmelzer.
Cristiano Ronaldo netted for Madrid, but it was the Bundesliga side taking bragging rights on the night.
Real Madrid 2 Borussia Dortmund 2
Champions League Group D, November 2012
IN the second encounter in the 2012-13 Champions League group stage, the duo played out a goal-filled draw at the Bernabeu.
It seemed destined to be another 2-1 for Klopp after Marco Reus and an Alvaro Arbeloa own-goal saw Dortmund go into half-time in the lead, despite a Pepe strike for the hosts.
But an 89th-minute free-kick from Mesut Ozil ensured Madrid didn’t leave completely empty-handed.
On the thriller, Klopp claimed: “I’m sure we will still remember this game in ten years’ time.”
Borussia Dortmund 4 Real Madrid 1
Champions League semi-final, April 2013
LATER that season, Klopp and Mourinho were paired together once more in the semi-final of Europe’s elite competition.
A place in the all-important final at Wembley awaited, as the Germans stormed to an incredible 4-1 lead in the first-leg at the Westfalenstadion.
Lewandowski was once again the thorn in Real’s side as he produced a masterclass in scoring all FOUR goals.
In rather bitter fashion, Mourinho said after the game: “My team is so naive that Lewandowski scores four goals and we don’t foul him once.”
Real Madrid 2 Borussia Dortmund 0
Champions League semi-final, April 2013
MOURINHO had it all to do in the return leg, knowing they needed to win at least 3-0 to reach the final.
The Poruguese chief finally got his first win over Klopp, but Real didn’t find the back of the net until Karim Benzema gave them hope in the 82nd-minute.
Sergio Ramos scored their second moments later to set Dortmund nerves jangling, but it was not to be for the Special One as Klopp reached the big game at Wembley.
Chelsea 1 Liverpool 3
Premier League, October 2015
FAST-FORWARD two-and-a-half years until the pair met… this time in the Premier League.
Mourinho, then in charge of Chelsea, hosted his old rival Klopp at Stamford Bridge… with the German once again coming up trumps.
After taking an early lead through Ramires, the Blues threw it away as Philippe Coutinho scored twice and Christian Benteke also got on the scoresheet for a 3-1 win.
On keeping up his Mourinho form, Klopp claimed: “I feel for him of course, but it’s work.”
Liverpool 0 Man United 0
Premier League, October 2016
MOURINHO didn’t last long at Chelsea after that game, but a year later, he found himself in charge of Man United.
Liverpool had been in terrific form, racking up the goals in a series of big wins.
Old Trafford boss Mourinho set up the team to avoid getting beaten, earning just 35 per cent of possession in a game the Reds dominated.
However, despite a couple of great chances, Liverpool couldn’t get past David De Gea in a goalless draw.
Man United 1 Liverpool 1
Premier League, January 2017
AGAIN Mourinho can count himself lucky to come out of this one with anything…
Liverpool took the lead in the first-half thanks to a James Milner penalty.
It took a late Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal to salvage a point for the hosts at Old Trafford.
After the game, Klopp was evidently unhappy at Mourinho’s tactics, saying: “It is so intense.
“They play long balls, it was a wild game. There was a lot of action in the last few minutes.
“We were here to win the game, which is why we we are not 100 per cent satisfied.”
Jurgen Klopp vs Jose Mourinho: Head-to-head
Played – 7
Klopp wins – 3
Mourinho wins – 1
Draws – 3
KLOPP clearly boasts the better head-to-head record against Mourinho.
Having won three and draw three of their seven games, losing only in what was all but a dead-rubber, the German has the upper-hand.
However, with Man United in red-hot form and Liverpool very inconsistent this season, anything could happen at Anfield on Saturday.