Van Gaal relishing Anfield trip

United go into the game two points ahead of Liverpool, who sit just outside the Champions League places in fifth but are on a fine run of form, certainly better than when van Gaal celebrated a 3-0 win at Old Trafford in December.

But he was buoyed by the manner of United’s 3-0 win over Tottenham last weekend and hopes to take that momentum to Merseyside.

Speaking to MUTV about the big-match occasion, he said:?????Yes, when you win, I enjoy it but, when you lose, you don???t enjoy it and, especially now, it is very crucial.

“We are in a very crucial stage. We cannot lose otherwise Liverpool will come above us and that would not be good. Therefore, it is very crucial.”

Van Gaal admits he loves games involving intense rivalry, but he has been keen to tell his players all week that they have to avoid getting wound up by the emotion of the game, as keeping 11 men on the park could be key.

???I shall always warn my players about red cards because it is always sharp. The referee can be also, in circumstances where the environment is sharp for him.

“But also the players ??? when there is a wrong decision, they have to control their emotions and that is not so easy.

???I talked about emotion also in our preparation before the Arsenal match, for example. It was still a red card (Angel Di Maria was sent off) and I have to say Arsenal also deserved a red card but the referee was saving that player. You need also a little bit of luck.”