Juan Mata comments on Manchester United rivalry with Liverpool

Ahead of the International Champions Cup match between two Premier League rivals, Juan Mata speaks out.

"It’s a massive rivalry and a massive game for us," commented attacking midfielder Juan Mata, 26, on the upcoming pre-season friendly between Manchester United and Liverpool, a final showdown in the International Champions Cup hosted by the Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

United's pre-season Stateside tour has been a success to date having slaughtered LA Galaxy 7-0, ahead of friendly competition results against AS Roma (3-2), Inter Milan (0-0) and Real Madrid (3-1).

This evening's game sees the Old Trafford outfit compete inside unfamiliar surroundings in Florida against familiar opposition in Liverpool.

"Every time we play against Liverpool we know it’s going to be tough because they are a very good team, but it’s important for us we beat them and win this tournament," Mata said.

With victory, United set themselves up well for a final preparatory 90 minutes against Valencia on Monday week, before the start of the Premier League proper, on August 16, against Swansea City.

While 'just a friendly', Mata explained that the bitter rivalry between the Red Devils and the Reds was common knowledge even in his native Spain.

"Even when I was playing in Spain I knew all about this rivalry. It’s the biggest in England and the rivalry has been there for a long time.

"They have a good team and they’re playing well so I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be great for the crowd.

"There are no official points up for grabs but any game between Manchester United and Liverpool is a big game. And not just for the players – it’s going to be a big occasion for the fans who are watching the game."

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch