John Aldridge has called on Liverpool defenders Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel to prove themselves against Manchester United in the next round of Premier League fixtures, with the side looking to recover from a thrashing at the hands of West Ham.
The Reds, who have ambitions to re-enter contention for Champions League football this season, have had a mixed start so far, but their 3-0 loss to West Ham left the side looking further from their goal than they would have hoped.
But Aldrige believes that Lovren and Skrtel hold the key to getting Liverpool's season back on track, and all they need to do is keep a clean sheet when the side face their fiercest rivals.
"There is only one way to put that performance to bed, and that's the game at Old Trafford," he told the Liverpool Echo. "Lovren and Skrtel have to prove the first three games of the season, conceding no goals, wasn't a fluke and that West Ham was a one-off.
"They can do that by going to Manchester United and keeping a clean sheet. United have only scored three goals and, going forward, they're not the major threat they used to be."
Having failed to sign an established striker on deadline day, United may be blunted at the front after letting Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez go over the summer. But Aldridge believes that the pressure against the Red Devils will push Lovren to perform at his best
"Does [Brendan Rodgers] think the West Ham game was just a one-off?" he asked. "Lovren has put himself back under pressure now, so it's a tough one for the manager. Liverpool went into the game expecting to win it, and now they have to regroup and kick on."