So far this season, Liverpool have played a total of 21 Premier League games, winning 20 of those encounters thus far. Their only blemish has come at Old Trafford where Manchester United managed to hold the runaway EPL leaders to a 1-1 draw back in October when Marcus Rashford’s controversial opening goal was allowed by VAR, despite a foul on Liverpool striker Divock Origi in the build up.
Adam Lallana came on from the bench to net a late leveller for the Reds in that game, a game which the leaders had dominated without creating too many clear-cut chances against the home side. That single draw remains the only time Liverpool have not picked up three points this season and the Reds have now gone 38 league games unbeaten since losing 2-1 at Manchester City in January 2019, picking up a record 104 points from those games.
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The Reds now have their chance to put the record straight against their north-west rivals on Sunday as Manchester United travel to Anfield for the 4.30pm kick off game. The Reds have not conceded a goal in the league in their last six games, their last coming at home to Everton back at the start of December, and you can bet their fans will be itching to grab three points against one of their most bitter rivals.
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Let’s now preview the big game on Sunday by taking a look at the key stats for both teams.
Liverpool v Man Utd – Tale of the Tape
|Sadio Mane (11)||Top Scorer||Marcus Rashford (14)|
|Jurgen Klopp||Manager||Ole Gunnar Solskjaer|
Current Form (last 5 EPL Games)
- V Watford (H) – W 2-0 (Salah 2)
- V Leicester (A) – W 4-0 (Firmino 2, Milner, Alexander-Arnold)
- V Wolves (H) – W 1-0 (Mane)
- V Sheff Utd (H) – W 2-0 (Salah, Mane)
- V Tottenham (A) – W 1-0 (Firmino)
Jurgen Klopp won’t likely make too many changes to the team that beat Spurs last weekend with his team having a week to rest and prepare for this game. As such, I’d expect the same eleven that started that game, to begin here against Manchester United.
There could be a real temptation though to start Shaqiri as the Swiss midfielder has been a real thorn against United for Liverpool, scoring an overhead kick in a friendly win and then scoring twice in Liverpool’s 3-1 win at Anfield last season. However, I believe Shaqiri will start from the bench initially.
There’s no doubt Gomez and van Dijk’s partnership has tightened things up defensively for the Reds who have now landed six clean sheets in a row in the EPL. Their attack though has been a little wasteful in front of goal but Reds fans will be hoping that they have saved those goals for this game in particular against their most fierce rivals.
With Milner and Keita still out injured, I feel Oxlade Chamberlain will continue in midfield and of course, the brilliant attacking trio of Salah, Mane and Firmino will spearhead the attack, ably assisted by the flying fullback pairing of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Probable Liverpool Team – (4-3-3) – Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, van Dijk, Gomez, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Firmino, Salah
- V Watford (A) – L 0-2
- V Newcastle (H) – W 4-1 (Martial 2, Rashford, Greenwood)
- V Burnley (A) – W 2-0 (Martial, Rashford)
- V Arsenal (A) – L 0-2
- V Norwich C (H) – W 4-0 (Rashford 2, Martial, Greenwood)
It has been something of a stop-start season for United with a number of false dawns for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men. However, three wins from their last four has moved them into the Europa League qualifying places at least, although things are very tight around them in the table for those key qualification spots.
I can see United making one change to the team that beat Norwich with Dan James likely to come in to utilise his pace on the counter as United did so effectively against Man City away from home. That would mean Juan Mata most likely dropping to the bench to facilitate this.
Marcus Rashford has been a thorn in the side for Liverpool over the years, but he has mostly scored his goals against the Reds at Old Trafford and hasn’t been as dangerous at Anfield. United’s pacy attack can give the Reds back line a few problems, if they are not tracking back the full backs too far leaving the sole striker isolated in attack.
The problem I see for United here is while these tactics worked against a very fragile City defence, Liverpool’s back line is much stronger and in much better form, plus I can’t see United playing with three high as it would leave Liverpool’s full backs far too much space to expose them down the flanks.
Probable Man Utd Team – (4-2-3-1) – de Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Williams, Maguire, Lindelof, Matic, Fred, Pereira, James, Rashford, Martial
Liverpool v Man Utd Tips
- Full Time Result – Liverpool to win – 2/5
- Correct Score – Liverpool to win 3-1 – 12/1
- Anytime Goalscorer – Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – 21/20
Given the form of the two teams, it is impossible to back against Liverpool here. Having a partisan home support behind them will be crucial here and I would expect it to inspire Liverpool to a very strong performance against their fierce rivals.
I can see United perhaps grabbing a goal on the counter attack here but I would expect Liverpool to be able to get more at United at home and as such, with United’s defence looking so wobbly at times on the road this season, I feel a 3-1 scoreline is a likely result, a mirror image of last season’s score in this fixture.
I’d also back Sadio Mane to be amongst the scorers with the Liverpool and Senegal man being in superb form for the Reds over the past 12 months.