Liverpool facing difficult build-up to crunch Man Utd clash

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Liverpool assistant coach Steve Clarke insists the Reds will approach their grudge match with Manchester United as if it were any other game – despite several of their players being absent this week.

Both Luis Suarez and Lucas Leiva are away on international duty in South America until Thursday, leaving the Reds just a couple of days with a full squad to prepare for their Saturday lunchtime game against United at Anfield.

Speaking to the Liverpool official website, Clarke said: “The preparations will be exactly the same.

“We don’t get the full group to work with until the day before the game, which is disappointing but you just have to deal with it.

“The boys that are left behind do their work as normal – we work them hard in training, give them pointers towards the game and if we can give them something that will make the game easier for them on Saturday then that’s good.

“It’s not ideal because it comes on the back of an international break and we’ve only had five or six players left behind here at Melwood.

“We don’t get the group back in its entirety until Thursday afternoon when the boys come back from South America, so you don’t get a lot of time to work with the team.”

However, Liverpool will be consoled by their recent excellent home record against United.

The Reds have won their previous three encounters at home against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side and can be backed at 9/5 to come away with all three points on Saturday.

Despite their poor recent results there, United still head into the game as 5/4 favourites to get the win.

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