The biggest rivalry in Premier League football between two of the most successful Premier League clubs is set to take place on Sunday with both clubs in desperate need of points to regain their lost identity in Europe.
Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United travel to Anfield to take on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and the Dutchman’s future the biggest talking point of the game.
The last time Van Gaal faced a Klopp team, his future was more or less decided and this clash on Tuesday has some eerie similarities with the visiting manager’s future at the club in dire states.
Van Gaal who was in charge of Bayern took on Dortmund under Klopp which saw Dortmund beat Bayern 3-1 in 2011. This game did not see the end of Van Gaal but it did not take long for him to lose his job at Bayern.
Van Gaal’s side were in trouble of not being able to qualify for the Champions League that season and the defeat at Dortmund spelt the beginning of the end of the Dutchman’s career at the club.
“We are delighted with the work of Van Gaal and we have absolute confidence in him,” said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in May 2010 after a German league and cup double had won Van Gaal Germany’s manager of the year award.
“If he gives us the signal the conversation about his extension will not be an issue. We aim to keep him as coach.”
In March, LVG was told that he will lose his job come the end of the season but a draw against Nuremburg left the Bayern hierarchy with no other option than to let go of the Dutchman who was replaced with Andries Jonker.
Almost 5 years later, the two meet yet again with Van Gaal unsettled at Manchester United. And just like all those years ago, the Manchester United manager is under tremendous pressure and may lose his job even quicker if he is not able to get the better of the German manager.
A loss in this game will see United 5 points adrift of the Champions League spots and level on points with their rivals who were in the bottom half of the table not so long ago.
When Klopp’s Dortmund went to the Allianz Arena in February of 2011, van Gaal was in a similar position and he will surely feel the heat when he faces the energetic German at Anfield on Sunday.
Both managers however have won two games apiece in their previous 4 meetings making this fixture hard to call. But if Untied lose and LVG is sacked, it will surely give Liverpool fans something to boast about in a season that has not given them too much joy.
Should Louis van Gaal be sacked if Manchester United are unable to beat Liverpool on Sunday?