Arne Slot's first Liverpool grudge match date set after 'not top' comment

Arne Slot and Erik ten Hag
-Credit: (Image: ANP via Getty Images)

Arne Slot will be busy looking ahead to his first season as Liverpool's new head coach.

Slot will take charge of pre-season training later this month at the AXA Training Centre. That will be followed by a trip to the United States ahead of the Reds' return to Premier League action in August.

Liverpool will begin their top-flight campaign with an away trip to Ipswich Town on the opening day. That will be followed by Slot's first home fixture at Anfield against Brentford a week later.

Arguably one of the biggest fixtures of the season will see Liverpool face Manchester United in the third match of the campaign. This will see Slot have to prepare for one of the fiercest rivalries in world football in the early days of his reign.

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This will also see Slot go head-to-head with compatriot and Man United boss Erik ten Hag. The Old Trafford club announced on Wednesday that Ten Hag had signed a new long-term contract which runs until the summer of 2026.

This summer has seen speculation that Ten Hag's future as Man United manager was in serious doubt. Now, though, the Dutchman has committed his long-term future with the Red Devils and will be in the home dugout when Liverpool travel to Old Trafford in the third match of the Premier League season.

Slot and Ten Hag have previously gone head-to-head during their time in the Eredivisie. Slot spent three years at Feyenoord before being appointed Liverpool head coach this summer, while Ten Hag managed Ajax before joining Man United in 2022.

"I am very pleased to have reached an agreement with the club to continue working together," Ten Hag told Man United's club website. "Looking back at the past two years, we can reflect with pride on two trophies and many examples of progression from where we were when I joined.

"However, we must also be clear that there is still lots of hard work ahead to reach the levels expected of Manchester United, which means challenging for English and European titles.

"In my discussions with the club, we have found complete unity in our vision for reaching those goals, and we are all strongly committed to making that journey together."

It comes after the United boss aimed a dig at Arne Slot following his switch to Liverpool.

"People have been going overly lyrical about Feyenoord," Ten Hag moaned, as the 2023/24 season drew to a close. "Feyenoord were steady this year, but not top.

"PSV Eindhoven were two classes better in all areas," he continued, speaking to Voetbal International (via the Mirror). "In terms of dominating the ball, in terms of putting pressure, in terms of intensity, you name it.

"[Peter] Bosz and his staff did that top notch, but the rest of the club is also well put together. PSV Eindhoven were better than the rest by such a long distance, even so much better than Feyenoord."

Liverpool face United in pre-season before they meet competitively for the first time this campaign on August 31 at Old Trafford and there will now be increased interest in how the two managers approach the Premier League encounter.