The history of two of England's most successful clubs are often intertwined, the burning desire to
Although United struggled to grab a stranglehold on the game through the Reds' period of dominance, their success soon came at the demise of their rivals as 39 pieces of silverware flooded into Old Trafford between 1992 and 2017 - due to the brilliance of Sir Alex Ferguson.
What epitomised these two respective periods of success was an ingrained playing style and identity; the Reds embodied passion and teamwork and United aggressive and resilient, but both laregly intent on entertaining the masses with attacking football.
Yet, ahead of another tantalising clash between the two clubs, one sides' identity is prospering whilst the other remains a questionable work in progress.
The emerging style and philosophy under Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho could not be more opposite, the former is forging ahead with an attacking prowess, with teamwork and fearlessness at the fore. Whilst the latter prefers a pragmatic approach which calculates risk and dampens the freedom of their plethora of attacking talent.
United has no identity and no attacking intent. Watching Liverpool now, they scored with a three attackers against two defenders situation. They also press high and fast. We don't stretch teams and we don't press fast or move the ball quick enough. Has to change!!!!— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) February 11, 2018
Although the short-term battle is a fight for second place in the league - and a bid to outdo one another in the Champions League - a look at the bigger picture could spell trouble for United.
Liverpool are forging ahead with an unwavering identity. Klopp has his chargers reading off the same script with intensity, pressure, fluid movement, unity and attacking football at the fore. The German's vision for the Merseysiders has been a steady progression but from day one it was evident that a greater plan and vision was already in motion.
The Reds may not have the ability to match United in the transfer market pound for pound but they have a manager who knows how to extract every last ounce of talent and effort from a player to get the desired result.
Now, whilst United are currently second in the table and have a host of star names who are arguably man for man deemed better than Liverpool's, they are a side desperately calling out for a clear direction.
It came as no surprise or secret as to the style of play Mourinho would bring to Old Trafford, although it felt as though the club were willing to sacrifice their ingrained style of attacking play for short-term success.
Mourinho is a winner, there is no doubt about it. He has proven it time and time again. But his defensive and negative approach to football is everything United isn't. The relentlessness, lack of fear and attacking intent under
Klopp clearly has Liverpool moving in the right direction as one of the few managers/head coaches in the top six with a clear plan and philosophy how to get the best out of their resources. Whatever happens this season, the club is entering an interesting phase.— Chükwüdi Dozie (@chuckdozie) March 2, 2018