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Preview: Liverpool -v- Manchester United – Premier League – A top of the table clash shows drive, determination and improvement for United

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Liverpool -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Anfield, Liverpool

Sunday 17 January 2021, KO 16:30 GMT

Referee: Paul Tierney  Assistants: Lee Betts, Constantine Hatzidakis

Fourth Official: Craig Pawson

VAR: Stuart Attwell Assistant VAR: Stuart Burt

Manchester United will travel to Anfield on Sunday afternoon to take on Liverpool in the Premier League. After beating Burnley earlier in the week, United move to the top of the Premier League table, three points clear of Liverpool ahead of this clash. A victory would see United extend their lead to six points over the current champions with a draw meaning they stay three points clear and a defeat will see United slip back into second-place on goal difference. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have done well this season to recover from their poor form at the very start of the season.

The ABU’s continue to mock United being at the top of the Premier League table at this moment in time, despite their own team’s failure and those so-called United supporters who do not value Solskjaer seem to suggest that United are only top in spite of, not because of Solskjaer, which is incredulous to say the least. United will be seeking to maintain the pressure on Liverpool this season which could become a title race providing that United continue to win their matches. United have not beaten Liverpool since the 10 March 2018 with the club unbeaten at Anfield since 2017.

Manchester United: WWLWWD

Burnley 1-0 W, Watford 1-0 W, Manchester City 2-0 L, Aston Villa 2-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Leicester City 2-2 D

Liverpool: WLDDWW

Aston Villa 4-1 W, Southampton 1-0 L, Newcastle United 0-0 D, West Bromwich Albion 1-1 D, Crystal Palace 7-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 W

Top Scorers: Mohamed Salah has scored 17 goals this season for Liverpool with Bruno Fernandes scoring 15 goals for United this season.

Manchester United Goals: 15 – Bruno Fernandes, 14 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Anthony Martial, 4 – Edinson Cavani, Scott McTominay, 3 – Mason Greenwood, Paul Pogba, 2 – Daniel James, Juan Mata, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Own Goal, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

United have shown some improvement over the last few months, despite starting the month poorly (September, October, November and December) they have ended in fine form. January started well for United as they beat Aston Villa, then were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Manchester City, then beating Watford in the Emirates FA Cup and getting a victory over Burnley to top the Premier League ahead of the clash with Liverpool. United will face Fulham after this match, then Liverpool again in the FA Cup before facing Sheffield United and Arsenal to end another busy month for the club.

Liverpool Goals: 17 – Mohamed Salah, 9 – Diogo Jota, Sadio Mané, 5 – Roberto Firmino, 4 – Takumi Minamino, 3 – Curtis Jones, 2 – Georginio Wijnaldum, 1 – Marko Grujic, Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip, Divock Origi, Andrew Robertson, Xherdan Shaqiri, Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool have not done as well as they did last season. Injuries have cost them this season, but it is something that can be looked back for any club, especially United over the past ten years or so. There has always been a costly injury at United from Sir Alex Ferguson to David Moyes, to Louis van Gaal, onto Jose Mourinho and now with Solskjaer. However, United seemed to have turned a corner with a solid plan and decent young players coming to the club in order to succeed. Liverpool are hungry to achieve things this season, retaining the Premier League will be an achievement but United and other clubs look hungry too.

Team News: United has four players ruled out with Liverpool having five ruled out. One player is a doubt for Liverpool with United having three doubts.

Phil Jones (knee), Brandon Williams (knock), Facundo Pellistri (coronavirus) and Marcos Rojo (calf) have all been ruled out of the visit to Anfield to face Liverpool on Sunday afternoon. Nemanja Matic (groin), Anthony Martial (thigh) and Victor Lindelof (lower back) all have 50% chances of recovering in time to face Liverpool in the top of the table clash in the Premier League. United do have strength in depth this season and will still be able to field a side capable of beating Liverpool is each of the three players with a chance of making the squad are left out of the clash.

Virgil van Dijk (knee), Joe Gomez (knee), Naby Keita (other), Diogo Jota (knee) and Konstantinos Tsimikas (knee) have all been ruled out of the top of the table clash with United on Sunday. Joel Matip (groin/hip/pelvis) has a 50% chance of being available for the clash but will be the subject of a late fitness test. Jurgen Klopp may not have a full squad to take on United, but his side will be determined to continue their form against United and fight their way back to the top of the Premier League once again this season. Injuries have ben costly to Liverpool this season, but every other club has seen them ride their luck for a while now.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood to take on Liverpool and push for glory?

Solskjaer will need to have good tactics against Liverpool as despite their lack of strength at the back at this current time, they are an attacking team and will commit players forward when they can. United will need to be at the best to tackle the problems that Liverpool will look to pile on them. Bruno Fernandes will need to be at the best of his game to take on the reigning champions of the Premier League. Edinson Cavani should lead the line with Anthony Martial coming off the bench if he is indeed passed fit for the match. Cavani should be flanked with Marcus Rashford on the left and Mason Greenwood on the right with Fernandes in behind him. A midfield two of Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay could work with a back four of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Alex Telles ahead of David De Gea in goal.

Match Prediction: 57 matches between United and Liverpool in the Premier League. United have won 28 times, drawing 14 and losing 15 of them.

United and Liverpool have played 57 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 28 of the meetings, drawing 14 and losing 15. United have scored a total of 77 goals, winning five penalties and scoring three of them. Liverpool have scored 63 goals, winning six penalties and scoring five of them. United have kept 17 cleans sheets with Liverpool keeping 14. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 103 yellow cards with nine red cards being shown. Liverpool have been shown 88 yellow cards with seven red cards. This is an important match for United – a win will see them six points clear of the reigning champions.

In this match at Anfield last season, which was played on the 19 January 2020, it was a 2-0 victory for Liverpool with Virgil van Dijk opening the scoring in the 14 minute of the match, assisted by Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah sealing the win three minutes into added time, assisted by Alisson. In the fixture at Old Trafford, which was played on the 20 October 2019, it was a 1-1 draw with Marcus Rashford opening the scoring in the 36th minute of the match, assisted by Daniel James and Adam Lallana equalising in the 85th minute of the match, assisted by Andrew Robertson.

Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW

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