It’s back to it on Sunday with the visit of Liverpool, otherwise known as the ‘Matteo derby’ in our house.
My love of Liverpool is no secret. It’s where I grew up, it was my first professional club, they gave me the opportunity, I loved every minute I was there, and I still follow them closely now.
When I made the move to Leeds, the games against Liverpool were the first I looked for, and there was always something special about them. The first time I played against Liverpool for Leeds is a game everyone remembers and is right up there in the most memorable matches ever played at Elland Road. It was, of course, that 4-3 victory when we kept coming from behind and big Mark Viduka scored all four goals. It was a mad game to play in, and you probably only realised the magnitude of it afterwards. We also won at Anfield later that same season.
Leeds v Liverpool is what you call a proper Premier League fixture and in my mind there’s no better game to come back to after the international break.
As daft as it sounds, Liverpool seem to have gone a bit under the radar so far this season. All the talk has been about the two Manchester clubs challenging for the title, but don’t be fooled by that. Liverpool are a bloody good side and having won the title two seasons ago for the first time since I was a young kid, they will expect to be right up there again this time around.
They are unbeaten, of course, and the only points dropped came from a 0-0 draw against Chelsea last time out. We’re going into the game looking to build on the draws against Everton and Burnley and, dare I say, Marcelo will be looking for more from his side than he has seen so far.
It’s an exciting prospect to say we could see Dan James on one wing and Jack Harrison on the other, and I don’t think our ability as an attacking threat can be dismissed. Liverpool will only be too aware of the dangers they possess and of Patrick Bamford’s movement in and around the box.
It’ll be without the ball, though, where Leeds will have to be really at it and we can only hope that Kalvin Phillips has come back from international duty unscathed and fit and ready to go. He was England’s best player in Poland in midweek, and he will be key again for Leeds on Sunday if we are to get a result against Liverpool.