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Preview: United seeking to become the first Premier League team to beat Liverpool ending their unbeaten record?

Liverpool -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Anfield, Liverpool

Sunday 19 January 2020, KO 16:30 GMT

Referee: Craig Pawson Assistants: Richard West; Scott Ledger Fourth Official: Jonathan Moss 

VAR: Paul Tierney Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday

Manchester United will face Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon; the second match between the two teams this season. Back in October, despite scoring first, United ended up drawing 1-1 with Liverpool, being the only team in the Premier League to take points off the club this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be desperate to carry United’s recent good form into the match, leaving Merseyside with all three points, however unlikely it may seem at the minute.

Liverpool have gone a full year without a defeat in the Premier League; the last being the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad on the 3 January 2019. In the 38 matches played since that match, Liverpool have won 33 and drawn five times. The Merseyside club has drawn one match this season; against United at Old Trafford in October. There are positives to take from that game and possibly take to Anfield aiming for victory.

Form: Liverpool are the team to beat this season as in the league, no team has beaten them. United are the only team to take points off them in the league this season.

Manchester United: WWLDLW

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Norwich City 4-0 W, Manchester City 3-1 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 D, Arsenal 2-0 L, Burnley 2-0 W

Liverpool: WWWWWW

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 W, Everton 1-0 W, Sheffield United 2-0 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Leicester City 4-0 W, Flamengo 1-0 W

Top Scorers: Marcus Rashford is the top scorer for United, scoring five more goals (in all competitions) than Mohamed Salah.

Manchester United Goals: 19 – Marcus Rashford, 11 – Anthony Martial, 9 – Mason Greenwood, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 2 – Own Goal, Juan Mata, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United’s forward three of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Mason Greenwood have outscored Liverpool’s forward three this season which takes the club in the right direction. However, lacking creativity in midfield and leaking goals against better teams sees United in a problematic position. The recent boost of winning their last two matches will give them belief heading to Anfield to take on the Premier League leaders but this team will need to dig deep to get a result.

Liverpool Goals: 14 – Mohamed Salah, 13 – Sadio Mané, 9 – Roberto Firmino, 5 – Divock Origi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 4 – James Milner, 3 – Naby Keita, Virgil van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum, 2 – Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Andrew Robertson, 1 – Jordan Henderson, Ki-Jana Hoever, Curtis Jones, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Xherdan Shaqiri, Fabinho

Liverpool are literally the team to beat this season. In the Premier League they have won every match other than one; the match against United at Old Trafford in October. The only other matches they have lost this season is the FA Community Shield, 5-4 on penalties to Manchester City, the first group stage match in the UEFA Champions League, a 2-0 defeat to Napoli and a 5-0 defeat to Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup, fielding a youth team with the first team playing in the FIFA Club World Cup.

Team News: United could be boosted with the return of Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah but Marcus Rashford is a doubt for this game; Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay still on the sidelines through injury.

United will be without Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Marcos Rojo, Axel Tuanzebe and Luke Shaw for the visit to Anfield. Solskjaer also confirmed that Marcus Rashford will be a doubt after the injury he suffered in the victory over Wolves in the FA Cup on Wednesday evening. Both Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah-Mensah are both lacking match fitness but could be in line to return for the first team this weekend.

Liverpool look set to be without James Milner, Nathaniel Clyne, and Naby Keita, whereas Fabio Tavares, Dejan Lovren, and Joel Matip could be doubts for the game. Jurgen Klopp will be happy to see Fabinho back in training this week, although he will not feature against United this weekend. It is set to be a good game and one which could see United become the first team to beat Liverpool in the league this season, if they have it in them.

Predicted Starting XI: Rashford to start against Liverpool? Greenwood on the bench to add something late in the game? Matic and Fred to continue in midfield?

Solskjaer may not be able to make too many changes in this game, the most important match of 2020 so far. I think Rashford will start on the left with Anthony Martial as the lead striker. Daniel James on the right with Juan Mata in the middle. The midfield will consist of Fred and Nemanja Matic, although Tim Fosu-Mensah could be close to returning. The back four could consist of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Harry Maguire, and Brandon Williams with David De Gea back in goal.

Match Prediction: Liverpool are the team to beat this season having a 38 match unbeaten run in the Premier League so there is a lot for them to lose if United decide to use the rivalry between the two sides to get a win on the road.

United and Liverpool have played a total of 231 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1894. United have won 88 times, drawn 67 times and lost 76 times. The last defeat to Liverpool came in the Premier League back in December 2018, a 3-1 defeat at the Anfield with Sadio Mané opening the scoring, Jesse Lingard equalising with followed with a brace from Xherdan Shaqiri to win the game. Former manager Jose Mourinho was sacked after this defeat.

Liverpool are the team to beat this season – literally no team in the Premier League has beaten them and the only team to take points from that this season was United on the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in October. The last time United beat Liverpool was in March 2018 a 2-1 victory in the Premier League with Rashford scoring a brace in the opening 24 minutes of the match and Bailly scoring a 33rd minute own goal to put Liverpool back into the game.

Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United

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