Match Preview: Liverpool vs. Manchester United

Sam Patterson

The Reds face Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday looking to maintain their imperious form and substantial 14-point cushion at the top the Premier League table.

Liverpool have accumulated an extraordinary 61 points – dropping just two points all season – with seventeen games still to play.

United meanwhile are fifth and five points adrift of the top four. The club – fans and players alike – would give anything for a win over their biggest rivals which would incidentally end a record-breaking unbeaten run.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be hoping for a similar performance to the one which earned his team a 1-1 draw against the Redmen back in October.

Team news

The big team news is that marksman Marcus Rashford is a doubt. The Englishman picked up a back injury in United’s 1-0 FA Cup victory over Wolves in mid-week.

It’s better news for Liverpool, however, as Fabinho and Joel Matip returned to first-team training on Wednesday. Nevertheless, neither are expected to be risked this weekend.

Fabinho’s return is a huge boost given the number matches the seemingly indefatigable midfield duo Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum played during the festive period. The former, for example, appeared in nine out of Liverpool’s ten league games in December. 

Indeed, if there was one criticism of Liverpool’s performance in the 1-0 win against Spurs last Saturday, it was the space between midfield and defence.

Two lackadaisical moments, a heavy touch by Henderson in the first half, and another by Wijnaldum in the second lead to Tottenham efforts at goal and highlighted the lack of screening in front of the back four.

Predictions

The Red Devils proved a lot of people wrong away at the Etihad in December, so Klopp will be wary. City weren’t at their free-flowing best but United were deadly on the counter.

But if form says one thing, it is Liverpool are overwhelming favourites. The Reds are still yet to lose a single home game in the league since April 2017.

If Klopp’s men score a goal early and Anfield’s a cacophony of heated passion and noice, then you feel United could be overrun.

The thing is the Reds are so hard to deal with and can punish any team in world football. They have the ‘know-how’ of serial winners and are relentless till the end, especially at Anfield.

Ask Barcelona.

Sam’s (@sam0007ster) predicted line-up: (4-3-3) Alisson; Trent A-A, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robbo; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Chamberlain; Mane, Firmino, Salah

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