Preview: Liverpool vs Manchester United
Struggling Liverpool host title favourites Manchester United in tasty Premier League clash
Form goes out the window when perennial nemeses Liverpool and Manchester United lock horns with each other, and it won’t be any different on October 14, when the latter drop by at Anfield.
As losing points even at this stage of the season would prove costly, United, despite the injuries, will look to secure their third league win at Anfield in four seasons – having defeated Liverpool there 0-1 and 1-2 before drawing 0-0 – as failing to do so will result in their falling behind Manchester City, who play Stoke City on the same day. The Saturday’s clash also marks their first real test as they’ve only faced less-than-stellar opponents so far, so they now need to prove they haven’t been lucky to be where they are.
Liverpool, on the other hand, will hope to repeat their last season’s Europa League performance against United that saw them emerge 2-0 winners, courtesy of goals from Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge. Winning a solitary game – a hard-fought 3-2 win against Leicester City – since their win against Arsenal doesn’t seem to give the Liverpool fans a lot of hope, though. Additionally, their performances against the top sides – barring Arsenal, of course – this season has been underwhelming, as they haven’t only drawn with Sevilla and Spartak Moscow besides losing to quite embarrassingly to Pep Guardiola’s men.
United, in fact, have been enjoying the success many touted Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to enjoy, as they now sit second, level on points with league leaders and local rivals the Citizens. With summer arrival Romelu Lukaku taking no time to adapt to Jose Mourinho’s style and scoring seven in seven games, they’ve looked a completely different animal from last season, scoring three goals per game.
Going up against Liverpool’s defence, who have the worst record among the top 14 sides, one expects United to shoot from left, right and center. On the other hand, their defence will likely hold their own having only conceded twice in 630 league minutes, especially with Sadio Mane sidelined for six weeks after sustaining a hamstring injury during the international break.
The Senegalese, however, isn’t the only absentee, with the Reds facing a minor injury crisis heading into the Saturday’s clash. Midfielder Adam Lallana and right-back Nathaniel Clyne are still unavailable, while centre-back Dejan Lovren is a doubt. United themselves facing a bigger injury crisis at the moment as Marouane Fellaini joined a long list of injured players when he injured his knee during a practice session with Belgium, with Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rojo still nursing their injuries. Potentially joining them on the sidelines are Phil Jones and Michael Carrick, whose are major doubts.
Liverpool’s losing will extend the gap between them and the league leaders to 10 points and, at any stage of the season, that doesn’t look good. United, on the other hand, will definitely receive a psychological boost as a win at Anfield will take them to the top of the table.