Ince: Individual battles key in Anfield clash

Notts County boss Paul Ince believes individual battles will be important in determining who will win the clash between his former clubs Liverpool and Manchester United.

Ince spent six trophy-laden years at Old Trafford early on in his career before returning from Inter Milan to become captain of United’s arch rivals Liverpool.

And the former midfielder predicts a highly competitive game when the two sides meet at Anfield on Sunday, and thinks the side who can win the majority of the one-on-one battles will be the team who triumphs.

“On the day when you play those games, first of all, it’s about winning your personal battles. You have to visualise who you are up against and know what type of player he is. You have to make sure you win your battles on the day,” Ince told Yahoo!

“In those games if you have seven or eight players winning those one-on-one battles, nine times out of 10 you win the game. Obviously whoever wins the game their fans get the bragging rights in the next encounter. There is a lot to play for.”

Liverpool and United have won 18 league titles apiece and Sir Alex Ferguson will be aiming for all three points against Kenny Dalglish’s men to help keep his side on course for a record 19th crown.

Ince believes the history between Liverpool and United and the rivalry between their fans will make the clash even more special.

“I think it’s just a rivalry between the fans. It’s the history. Liverpool probably conquered the eighties winning title after title and European Cups. Then Manchester United came along in the nineties winning the Premiership and now it’s 18 titles apiece. The last thing Liverpool want is Manchester United to win the title.

“The games are fantastic occasions, they really are, the football, tackles that are flying in makes it a great game to be involved in.

“It means so much to both teams and so much to the city. I think sometimes you know meeting up with Arsenal and Chelsea is big but the biggest one is meeting up with Liverpool. That just shows what a big a game it is.”

Ince also revealed he still has great memories of playing for both Liverpool and United and praised fans of both clubs as 'fantastic'.

“I scored against Liverpool for Manchester United at Old Trafford with a header and I scored at the Kop end for Liverpool against Manchester United to make it 2-2.

"I’ve had some great moments and great times, they’re both fantastic clubs with fantastic fans."

Visit the Dugout for new interviews every week with England’s top football managers.

By Vaishali Bhardwaj