Match Previews

Match Preview: Liverpool vs Manchester United

Not many fixtures in the world are so iconic that they can attract millions of fans from across the globe to watch on every single occasion; as Anfield is once again the stage for the big one.

Contrasting fortunes in the Champions League midweek for Jürgen Klopp and José Mourinho will mean that the two respective camps will be in considerably different moods going into the clash.

Merseyside has been source of good memories for United in recent years, but Liverpool are hoping for a change that would sign-post their undeniable progression.

Kick-off: 16:00 [GMT]
Venue: Anfield
Referee: Martin Atkinson

The Reds

Position: 1st

Form: WWWWL

Top scorer: Mohamed Salah [10]

Most assists: Mohamed Salah [4]

One to watch: Sadio Mané

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Joe Gomez – leg (five weeks)
  • Jöel Matip – collarbone (three weeks)
  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – cruciate ligament (next season)

Expected lineup

(4-3-3) Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané.

Key quote

I’ve never been interested in the points of Manchester United. I’ve been aware of the criticism but when we analyse and switch off the sound there is a lot of quality, technique, strength, De Gea in the goal, Paul Pogba is a world class player and that’s all I can say. We should prepare for him as well.” – Jürgen Klopp

Next match: Wolverhampton Wanderers [A] 21/12/18

The Red Devils

Talking points

An abject performance midweek in Valencia meant United missed out of gaining top spot of their Champions League group, which means they are now likely to face a difficult draw in the round of 16 on Monday.

Mourinho claimed he learned “nothing” from the game, a worrying remark considering plenty of fringe players were involved.

There is no debate that United have been able to thwart Liverpool head-to-head most of the time as of late, with the post-Sir Alex Ferguson Premier League record standing at five wins, three draws and two defeats – but this time has the feeling of a different affair with the contrast in form.

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Diogo Dalot – knock (unknown)
  • Matteo Darmian – knock (unknown)
  • Victor Lindelöf – hamstring (four weeks)
  • Anthony Martial – thigh (late fitness test)
  • Marcos Rojo – knock (day to day)
  • Alexis Sánchez – hamstring (six weeks)
  • Chris Smalling – foot (unknown)

Expected lineup

(4-3-3) De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Young; Herrera, Matić, Pogba; Lingard, Lukaku, Rashford.

Key quote

“We know we are going to play against a team on a high, but we have our own qualities. We are going to have a team capable of going there and fighting for the victory.” – José Mourinho

Next match: Cardiff City [A] 22/12/18

Potential key battles

Ashley Young vs Mohammed Salah

Paul Pogba vs James Milner

Marcus Rashford vs Virgil van Dijk

Match facts [credit: FotMob]

  • This will be the 201st meeting between the sides in all competitions; United have won 80 of those, whereas Liverpool have only claimed victory 65 times – with 55 draws
  • United are looking to win back-to-back league games against Liverpool for the first time since January 2016
  • Liverpool have not gone longer than eight winless games in league competition against United since April 1988 (12 games)

Enjoy the match!

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