Match Previews

Preview: Manchester United vs. Liverpool

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

It’s the 200th competitive meeting between the red sides of Manchester & Merseyside and despite this clash not having the highest stakes, it’s certainly a possible season-changing game for themselves and the rest of the division.

With nothing to separate them in their previous three encounters, both José Mourinho and Jürgen Klopp have a point to prove against their counterpart.

No other fixture in English football is yet to challenge the intensity of this one.

Kick-off: 12:30 (GMT)

Referee: Craig Pawson

Venue: Old Trafford

The Redmen


Position: 3rd

Current run: WWWWD

Top scorer: Mohamed Salah [24]

Most assists: Mohamed Salah [8]

One to watch: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Adam Bogdan; cruciate ligament (back in training)
  • Nathaniel Clyne; back (day to day)
  • Jordan Henderson; dead leg (late fitness test)

Team news

Much-improved Loris Karius has proved himself as of late and has nailed down a starting place over the past few weeks.

Full back Andrew Robertson is another player who has been able to do the same and his crosses are a danger from the left.

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Work-horse James Milner received praise from Klopp midweek and has beaten United on numerous occasions by being industrious in midfield.

Consistent play-maker Georginio Wijnaldum faces a late fitness test for the game.

Egyptian icon Salah was awarded Premier League player of the month on Friday and was described by Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard as the “probably” the best African player to play in the top flight ever.

Style of play

The now more seasoned Gegenpress has now evolved into more off a pace and power orientated system.

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In-form front trio of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané are able to create chances through covering huge amount of areas on the pitch as they defend from the front and middle.

Despite speculation of a summer move away, Emre Can keeps composure in midfield alongside the busy Milner and either the finally adjusted Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or even Wijnaldum to shield the again much-improved pairing of Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip in the back line.

What the manager said:

“I don’t think this game needs any extra reasons to be a big game – it’s as big a game as I can imagine. We need to be 100%, if not a bit more.”

Last version of fixture: 1-1 (Ibrahimović) (Milner)

The Red Devils

Talking points

A relieving comeback in midweek (one of United’s recent best) means squad morale may well be high but the level of performance needs upping ten-fold if the same outcome is to come in this one.

With any encounter between these two sides there’s huge implications but with Liverpool being able to leapfrog United into 2nd place with a win, it’s basically a must not lose for Mourinho.

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Daley Blind; ankle (day to day)
  • Ander Herrera; hamstring (4 weeks)
  • Phil Jones; knock (back in training)
  • Anthony Martial; unknown (day to day)
  • Marcos Rojo; knock (back in training)

Team news

Following numerous months on the sidelines, Mourinho confirmed that Eric Bailly is now fully fit and is in contention to partner Chris Smalling or/and Victor Lindelöf at the back.

In addition, Marouane Fellaini was also confirmed to be available and with both Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba under pressure, he may sneak into the starting line-up.

The absence of Martial has come as a shock but players like Jesse Lingard (who is arguably United’s best big-game player at the moment) and Marcus Rashford are equipped to replace him next to Alexis Sánchez and possibly Juan Mata.

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It’s time for Lukaku to once again fire against a ‘big six’ opponent, and with a disappointing outing at Anfield; he should be eager to silence his former Merseyside rivals.

What the manager said:

“For me, it’s just a big match – two historical clubs, not just in England, but in the world. And in this moment, important points for the top four, important points for second position, which is better than third or the fourth.”

Reverse fixture: 0-0

Match facts

  • United have won 10 of their last 13 Premier League home games against Liverpool (D1 L2)
  • Liverpool have lost more league games against their rivals from down the river than against any other side (67)
  • United have won three of their seven games against fellow ‘big six’ sides in the Premier League this season (W3 D1 L3) compared to last seasons overall tally (W2 D4 L4)
  • Liverpool have won just 1 point from 9 available on the road in ‘big six’ games this season (W0 D1 L2), conceding 12 goals – they were unbeaten in the 10 prior
  • Only Manchester City and Chelsea (6 each) have won more Premier League games away at Old Trafford against United than Liverpool (5)
  • Lukaku could be the 5th youngest player to reach 100 Premier League goals if he gets 1 in this encounter , and the second player to score his century goal against Liverpool (Harry Kane in 2017)
  • Salah has scored in each of his last five Premier League games; only Daniel Sturridge (8 i2014) and Michael Owen (6 in 2003) have scored in more consecutively for Liverpool in the top flight division

UK television channel: Sky Sports Main Event/Premier League

Enjoy the match!

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