Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder makes a bold prediction about his team's Premier League hopes

Chris Wilder insisted Sheffield United could leave Liverpool with their heads held high, describing their latest performance at Anfield as “much better” than the one they produced away from home against the Premier League and world club champions last season.

Although United will enter Saturday’s meeting with Manchester City still without a win this season after losing 2-1 on Merseyside, Wilder’s players posed Jurgen Klopp’s side a series of questions - creating several chances following Sander Berge’s first-half penalty before Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota scored for the hosts.

Despite being seven points shy of their total at the same stage of the 2019/20 campaign, which saw them finish ninth in the Premier League table, United’s manager told his team they will soon begin climbing the rankings if they replicate their display on Merseyside.

Comparing yesterday’s visit to Liverpool with January’s 2-0 defeat in the North-West, Wilder said: “That was a better performance than when we came here last time. It’s difficult to take, because we’re coming in with one (point) and they have world class players, but I thought the boys did really, really well.

“We could have done better with their goals and we could have done better with some of the positions we got into. But I can take that performance, that fantastic attitude, all day long.”

Although Firmino profited from a slice of good fortune when, after Aaron Ramsdale had produced a fine save to deny Sadio Mane, the ball fell kindly for him in front of goal, Wilder attributed Jota’s effort to the disruption Jack O’Connell’s injury has caused to United’s defence.

But he added: “Possession wise, yes they had more than us. You would probably expect that. But the longer the game went on, the more we stayed in it. The boys are disappointed, we all are, but they can take a lot from what they did.

"They were in the game, I thought the way they went about things was fantastic like I say. We recognised the quality they (Liverpool) have but we didn’t just turn up and let them have it all their own way. We had a go and showed the desire to do that.”

Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp shakes hands with Sheffield United's Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder shakes hands with Jordan Henderson at the end of Sheffield United's visit to Anfield: Michael Steele/Getty Images