Louis van Gaal has ordered his Manchester United players to keep their cool against arch rivals Liverpool, unlike Anfield legend Steven Gerrard.

The Dutch manager has actually won each of his previous three meetings with Liverpool since becoming Old Trafford boss in summer 2014, and will again look to maintain his impressive record at Anfield on Sunday.

The last meeting between these two teams at Anfield, a 2-1 victory for the Red Devils, heralded the last for Steven Gerrard, with the Liverpool skipper, sent off within 30 seconds of coming out as a second-half substitute.

Van Gaal has now warned his players against following the footsteps of the former Reds midfielder, who is currently playing for LA Galaxy, in a typically ill-tempered clash.

When asked whether this fixture was still the biggest match in the Premier League, Van Gaal answered: “It is how the fans see it. I feel it also already four times.

“We have played each other four times – in the USA and the league. You can see it in the faces of the players. Last season, for example, Gerrard is on and sent off within 30 seconds.

“That is not happening so much. We need to be aggressive, but also under control in this kind of matches.

“But that is always difficult, because the passion to play these kind of games is always high.”

After he has been backed by managerial rival Jurgen Klopp yesterday, van Gaal spoke highly of the German tactician.

“You can see his hand and that is very important when he is the manager,” Van Gaal said. “You can see a very aggressive and pressing kind of play in Liverpool’s game

“Of course, he has to learn also the Premier League, the rhythm of the Premier League, and I think he knows already the difference between the Premier League and German League.

“But he is very capable of being a manager in the Premier League because he has always played this kind of football and I think the fans shall love it.”

Louis van Gaal’s boys will be desperate to guide their campaign back on track following back-to-back wins against Swansea and Sheffield United, but a 3-3 draw against Newcastle has once again made it clear that they are, right now, a shadow of a team they used to be under Alex Ferguson. The under-fire Dutchman knows very well that a defeat at Anfield could mark the end of his tenure at Old Trafford, and is under tremendous pressure as he prepares for big EPL weekend. However, he can draw some confidence from the fact that Wayne Rooney is slowly getting back to form.


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