In 2002, Sir Alex Ferguson stated his greatest achievement was knocking Liverpool off their perch. Seventeen years later, the Reds are once again top of Europe and challenging to be called the best in England.
Eight games into the season and Liverpool are top of the table with not a single point dropped to date. An eight-point gap separates them from second-placed Manchester City.
Manchester United currently sit 12th in the Premier League, just two points above the relegation zone.Embed from Getty Images
In his pre-match press conference, Jürgen Klopp commented that United was, “…a really good football team in a situation they don’t like, so they want to change it. We have to make sure if they want to change it, they have to start a week later.”
England’s two most successful clubs have lined up against one another more than 200 times in their storied histories.
With only 30 miles separating Liverpool and Manchester, this rivalry is more than just a dislike between two clubs. It’s a dislike between two cities.Embed from Getty Images
Recent years have seen the Reds become a force both domestically and abroad; however, United are undefeated in the last five derbies played at Old Trafford.
Liverpool’s globetrotting squad racked up some serious miles during international duty. Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, and Sadio Mané all traveled over 13,000 miles for a friendly match in Singapore, while the majority of the Reds’ first-team squad also saw international involvement.
Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mohamed Salah and Alisson all stayed behind at Melwood during the break, with Klopp having a potential embarrassment of riches should all of them pass healthy.
Alisson is expected to make his long-awaited return to action after a two-month injury spell dating back to the opening day of the Premier League season.
Joel Matip is another player set to return to the fold after missing the last two games. The Cameroonian has been a rock next to Virgil Van Dijk this season and was rewarded with a new long-term contract on Friday.Embed from Getty Images
Remaining absentees include Xherdan Shaqiri, who is still recovering from a training injury, and Nathanial Clyne, who is out indefinitely with a knee injury.
Predicted XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Mané, Firmino, Salah
The big news out of Manchester is that Red Devils will be without two of their biggest names, as David de Gea and Paul Pogba have been ruled out due to injury.
De Gea has lost just once to Klopp’s Liverpool in 10 appearances in all competitions, while Pogba, despite questions about his work ethic, has proven he can be one of the world’s best on his day.
United will also be without Eric Bailly and Diogo Dalot, while Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka will likely be game time decisions.
Predicted XI: Romero, Shaw, Lindelof, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka, Fred, McTominay, Pereira, James, Martial, Rashford
Kick-Off: Sunday 16:30 UK Time