John Giles' Liverpool vs Man United preview

It's a first big domestic test for United while Liverpool's defensive question marks remain

Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho, Manchester United, Liverpool

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (left) and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (right) exchange words. Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

With the international break over, the Premier League returns with a bang as Liverpool and Manchester United clash in the early kick off on Saturday.

It comes at a key point for both clubs, with Liverpool's defensive woes holding them back thus far and Man United hoping to keep stride with Manchester City at the top, having made a strong start to the season - albeit against some of the top division's mid-table teams and also-rans.

Leeds and Ireland legend John Giles looked ahead to the game as he joined us as always on a Thursday.

Listen in to John's full thoughts on Liverpool vs Man United on the podcast player: 

Both sides are missing players who picked up injuries on international duty, with Liverpool losing Sadio Mane for six weeks and Man United midfielder Marouane Fellaini out for a couple of weeks.

Speaking of Liverpool's defensive frailties, John said: "It's the goals against really that have cost Liverpool dearly and we have to see now at the weekend if [Klopp] has done anything about that. But Mane is a big loss for them, there's no doubt."

Liverpool's Sadio Mane during a training session at Melwood, Liverpool. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/PA Images

In contrast to Jose Mourinho's approach and Liverpool's greatest teams, he feels that starting with a solid defensive base is often the best place to start with a team. 

"I think when a manager takes over, like Mourinho did last year in that first year - and Guardiola and Conte for that matter - it's very, very difficult to get it right immediately. I think you need two windows really to get the players in and get them playing in the manner in which they did," he said.

"I think that's happening this season for Manchester United and for Manchester City as well."    

With Man United facing their biggest domestic test so far this season, it will be interesting to see how much they have developed.

"Again, it's another test along the way. It's a long hard season but there definitely seems to be an improvement in the balance of the team from last year and that's obviously down to the players that Mourinho's brought in to improve the side," said John.