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Preview: Liverpool fans are bitter and will blame anyone but their beloved club. Come on United, beat the dippers

Manchester United -v- Liverpool

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Thursday 13 May 2021, KO 20:15 BST

Referee: Martin Atkinson Assistants: Dan Cook, Constantine Hatzidakis

Fourth Official: Craig Pawson 

VAR: Graham Scott Assistant VAR: Nick Hopton

Manchester United face Liverpool in the match that was rescheduled because of the protest against the Glazers which stopped the team leaving the Lowry Hotel in Manchester and also saw supporters enter the Theatre of Dreams when ended up with the match being postponed on safety grounds. Old Trafford now resembles a battle ground with barriers and fences erected to stop the same thing from happening on Thursday evening. United confirmed their place in next seasons UEFA Champions League on Sunday after their 3-1 victory over Aston Villa and will complete their three Premier League matches in five days with this match.

United were beaten 2-1 by Leicester City and if it was not for Caglar Soyuncu’s header in the 66th minute of the match, the club would have struggled to beat United. After the match, Liverpool supporters were moaning about match fixing, despite United using players from their squad list (25 players), which can also include as many U21 players as the manager chooses. You would think that United cost Liverpool UEFA Champions League football next season, when in actual fact, it was Liverpool that did that by becoming one hit wonders and having a very poor season as the Premier League champions, which is now a distant memory.

Manchester United: LWLWDW

Leicester City 2-1 L, Aston Villa 3-1 W, AS Roma 3-2 L, AS Roma 6-2 W, Leeds United 0-0 D, Burnley 3-1 W

Liverpool: WDDDWL

Southampton 2-0 W, Newcastle United 1-1 D, Leeds United 1-1 D, Real Madrid 0-0 D, Aston Villa 2-1 W, Real Madrid 3-1 L

Top Scorers: A few more goals for Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood would be a good end to the season for Manchester United.

Manchester United Goals: 27 – Bruno Fernandes, 20 – Marcus Rashford, 15 – Edinson Cavani, 12 – Mason Greenwood, 7 – Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay, 6 – Paul Pogba, 5 – Own Goal, Daniel James, 2 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 1 – Amad Diallo, Fred, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Donny van de Beek

United have had a largely positive season, no matter what the agenda-driven so-called supporters on social media suggest. They are so drunk on their agendas that they cannot see what has been happening but will still claim that United are lucky to be in the position they are in, when being second for the majority of the season is nothing to do with luck. United have lost five times in the league this season – three of those came in the first six matches of the season. The Europa League final is now where the concentration should be directed this season, at least after this match – beating the dippers is what we all want to see.

Liverpool Goals: 29 – Mohamed Salah, 14 – Sadio Mané, 12 – Diogo Jota, 6 – Roberto Firmino, 4 – Curtis Jones, Takumi Minamino, 3 – Georginio Wijnaldum, 2 – Trent Alexander-Arnold, 1 – Thiago Alcántara, Marko Grujic, Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip, Divock Origi, Andrew Robertson, Xherdan Shaqiri, Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool have been poor this season. The fans will blame their season on an injury to Virgil van Dijk but when that excuse was used at various points in history by other club, the Scouse fans say that one man does not make a team. However, in this case, it would be right. Without Van Dijk, Liverpool have been toothless in their pursuit of retaining their league title. It has been funny to watch and with all the pundits that stated Liverpool were the best Premier League team ever last season, to see that they don’t want to talk about their attention seeking today is even funnier. Watching Liverpool choke has been even better though. Injuries, boo hoo.

Team News: Four players in the sidelines due to injury for United with Liverpool likely to miss up to ten players in total for the clash with United at Old Trafford on Thursday evening.

Phil Jones (knee), Anthony Martial (knee), Daniel James (other) and Harry Maguire (ankle) have all been ruled out of action through injury. Maguire has suffered ankle ligament damage and could make the UEFA Europa League final in a fortnight’s time. United rested a number of players against Leicester City on Tuesday evening with Dean Henderson, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay all sitting out the match. Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes had cameo appearances in the defeat. United should be back to fuller strength against Liverpool, whose fans seem upset at this time.

Virgil van Dijk (knee), Divock Origi (muscular), Caoimhin Kelleher (abdominal tear), Joe Gomez (knee), Joel Matip (ankle/foot), Jordan Henderson (groin/hip/pelvis), Ben Davies (muscular), Naby Keita (knock), James Milner (knock) and Ozan Kabak (muscular) all seem to be ruled out of the rescheduled clash with United at Old Trafford, which will give Jurgen Klopp limited options ahead of the match. Do I feel sorry for them though, no way – the club has never felt sorry for United when they have amassed loads of injuries at any stage of the season. Hopefully United will beat them again this season – they deserve that too.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani to lead the line against Liverpool with Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford in support.

Solskjaer will probably make another ten changes in his starting XI against Liverpool in the rescheduled fixture on Thursday evening. Ten changes were made in the 2-1 defeat to Leicester City on Tuesday evening which has resulted in Liverpool unlikely to play Champions League football next season. I think, as Cavani came off the bench against both Aston Villa and Leicester City, he will start against Liverpool as after this match, there will be four full days of rest (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday) before the next match, which is against Fulham at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening. Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford should be back too.

Match Prediction: 58 matches played between United and Liverpool in the Premier League. United have won 28 times, drawn 15 and lost 15. Who will be the victors on Thursday?

United and Liverpool have played 58 times in the history of the Premier League and have a rivalled history. United have won 28 times, drawing 15 and losing 15. The Red Devils have scored a total of 77 goals with Liverpool scoring 63. United have been awarded five penalties, scoring three of them with Liverpool being awarded six and scoring five of them. United have kept 18 clean sheets with Liverpool keeping 15. In terms of discipline, United players have been shown 104 yellow cards with nine red cards whereas Liverpool have been shown 90 yellow cards and seven red cards. More fierce rivalry to be expected this weekend?

Earlier this season, United ground out a fraught 0-0 draw with Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League, knowing that they would face the club just a week later in the Emirates FA Cup at Old Trafford. In that match, United won 3-2 with Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes scoring the goals for United and Mohamed Salah scoring a brace for Liverpool. Last season at Anfield, United lost 2-0 but drew 0-0 at Old Trafford. This weekend, United will be seeking to defeat Liverpool, which might even dent their chances of a top four place this season, with them, at the time of writing, in sixth and four points adrift of Chelsea.

Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool

Written by John Walker

Review & Ratings: Fred, and Williams did well in Liverpool defeat; United need investment with Rashford injured…

Manchester United were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Virgil van Dijk opened the scoring in the eighth minute of the match with Roberto Firmino scoring a second in the 25th minute of the match which was ruled out by VAR. United did has a chance to get back in the game, putting pressure on Liverpool late in the game but the speed of Mohamed Salah was too much for United as his doubled the lead at the death of the game.

Liverpool took the lead in the eighth minute of the match after United gave away a corner. Trent Alexander-Arnold took the corner and a virtually unmarked Virgil van Dijk jumped to meet the ball, sending it straight towards to goal beating David De Gea for the home side to take the lead in the game. In the 25th minute, Liverpool doubles their lead through Roberto Firmino but the goal was ruled out by VAR because of a foul. De Gea was booked for descent before the goal was ruled out.

United came close in the second half with Anthony Martial having the best chance of the game, shooting from an angle and missing the target completely. However, Liverpool were putting United inter severe pressure, hitting the woodwork and just missing the target with De Gea making a good save to deny them from doubling their lead in this game. United might have ben 1-0 down but there was some fight in the game to keep it that way. An equaliser would see a fair result in the game.

Late in the game, United were piling the pressure on Liverpool but not actually pressing for an equaliser. In the dying seconds of the game, Alisson kicked the ball out of the box and Mohamed Salah used his pace to collect it with Daniel James trying to catch him, matching his pace but not able to stop him from scoring the second goal of the game for the Anfield club, winning the game and putting them 30 points clear of United. It is not the end of the world, United will be back – eventually.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Unfortunate to concede a goal in the opening eight minutes of the match but he was not going to stop van Dijk from scoring. The second goal was ruled out by VAR but resulted in De Gea being booked for descent. He conceded a second at the death through Salah.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back did well at times and lacks a final ball when playing it into the box. He looks like he needs a rest, which could come this week against Burnley.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The swede seemed to be the liability at times, but at others, he was doing his job. Bailly should be given a chance to form a partnership with Maguire this week.

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5 Harry Maguire

The England defender should have perhaps been marking van Dijk in the opening stages of the game but wasn't. He led United well at times and did the best he could. This team is lacking strength and now that Rashford is out, investment is needed more than ever.

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23 Luke Shaw

Some say he did well, other will say he didn't. He looked rusty, having come back from an illness and was definitely lacking match fitness. He struggled late in the game and was replaced by Dalot.

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17 Fred

The midfielder was probably the best player on the pitch for United. He was everywhere as certain points in the game. Those who continue to criticise him either have too high expectations or they don't actually watch him. It is good United have him right now otherwise they would be further up the creek with no sign of a paddle.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The veteran is a good player to have at this stage of the season with United lacking everything in midfield. If the hierarchy fail to get something down this month, United will be screwed this season.

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Review & Ratings: Fred, and Williams did well in Liverpool defeat; United need investment with Rashford injured…

The Welsh winger seems tired and in need of a rest. Many are speaking out against him on social media as his delivery of crosses/passes has not been great - they talk like they are/have been professional footballers themselves but have only played FIFA.

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15 Andreas Pereira

I don't think this lad is good enough for United, not as a regular starter anyway. His technical ability is not good enough - he has the fitness but a professional footballer needs more. His passing is not thorough enough and he wastes any time he has to play a positive pass.

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33 Brandon Williams

The defender played well against Liverpool and did what he needed to do, keeping his head held high. He could not stop van Dijk from scoring in the eighth minute of the match but he should not have been marking him. Head held high.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman had the best chance to level in the game, sending his effort off target. He seemed to be aware but had little creativity behind him. Something needs to give with United screaming out for investment. There is a player out there that would be a good signing but United are messing about with penny-pinching tactics that result mainly in failure.

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Substitutes

8 Juan Mata

Replaced Pereira 74'. Came on late in the game and tried to give something the team was missing. However, it did not work all that well with United conceding at the death of the game.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Williams 74'. The youngster was involved in the game since his introduction and pressured the Liverpool defence, beating van Dijk to a header, however, failing to get a chance on goal with it.

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20 Diogo Dalot

Replaced Shaw 87'. Came on three minutes from time. Not enough time for him to get all that involved in the game.

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Goals: Virgil van Dijk 14′, Mohamed Salah 90+3′

Assists: Trent Alexander-Arnold 14′, Alisson 90+3′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw (Dalot 87′); Matic, Fred; James, Pereira (Mata 74′), Williams (Greenwood 74′); Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Bailly, Jones; Lingard

Bookings: Mohamed Salah 90+4′; Nemanja Matic 8′, David De Gea 25′, Luke Shaw 72′

Confirmed Starting XI: Martial leads the line against Liverpool; Rashford misses out; Bailly on the bench

Manchester United will face Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League this 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.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Matic, Fred;

James, Pereira, Williams;

Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Bailly, Jones, Dalot; Mata, Lingard; Greenwood

Liverpool:

Alisson;

Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson;

Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Wijnaldum;

Salah, Firmino, Mane

Substitutes:

Adrian; Matip; Fabinho, Minamino, Lallana, Jones; Origi

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.

How Manchester United could look against unbeaten Liverpool; Rashford, Martial, James, and Mata to lead the attack; Williams keeps his place?

Manchester United will travel to Anfield to take on Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday afternoon. It will be the second match in the league between the two teams this season. Back in October at Old Trafford, United earned a 1-1 draw and still to this day are the only team in the league to take points off Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s side are unbeaten in the league in their last 38 matches, winning 33 and drawing just five.

United should be motivated for this match. Granted, with injuries, they will not have their best team on the pitch but the best one they can field at this time. Winning the last two matches will be good motivation for the squad but playing at Anfield should motivate them more, especially after the 3-1 defeat in their last match there. Also, the fact that Liverpool could win the league should set something off in their guts, driving them to get a result at any cost on Sunday. This is the United that I want to see emerge from the Anfield tunnel.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Liverpool in the Premier League at Anfield on Sunday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish number one kept a clean sheet in his last game which will give him confidence ahead of the biggest match of 2020. United being the only team to take points off Liverpool in the Premier League will also be a boost for this match. United will need to be on top of their game in order to get a result at Anfield but if they look back to their last visit, which ended in a 3-1 defeat losing Jose Mourinho his job, they should find enough to motivate them for this match. The fact they are leading in the league by as many points as they are should be motivation alone.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams

The defence this season is the best defence, statistically, in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era with them conceding just ten shots on goal, on average per match. Harry Maguire, the new club captain is part of this with his assured presence in the centre of defence being a defining factor. If you compare his individual stats to those of Virgil van Dijk, you will also see just how much for former Sheffield United and Leicester City defender has done. Aaron Wan-Bissaka will keep his place as what he has offered this season has been great, considering the dire times endured and Brandon Williams will play on the other flank. Victor Lindelof may start this game but the return of Eric Bailly could happen in this match.

Midfield: Fred, Nemanja Matic

The midfield is at barebones still with Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay on the sidelines through injury. Fred has raised his game this season which has come with an extended period in the starting XI due to injuries. Some will criticise him, others will praise him – he just cannot win. He might not be of the ilk of Paul Scholes, Roy Keane of Bryan Robson but he’s what United have right now and have to accept. Nemanja Matic has been a regular starter in the past six matches, starting five of them. He did well against Wolves on Wednesday evening and may have to be on top form to keep Liverpool at bay. United have nobody else to rely on right now, although Tim Fosu-Mensah could be close to a return.

Attacking Midfielders: Daniel James, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford came off the bench against Wolves on Wednesday evening and had to come off 16 minutes later through injury. It looked like a bad one and despite Solskjaer suggesting that he does not know if he will play, I reckon he will start in this game and probably sit out for a period of time through injury, which will be problematic for the club. Daniel James will probably start on the right despite his poor stats in recent matches with his crosses going astray and his miss against Wolves. Juan Mata may be trusted in the middle of the three behind the striker based on his last two performances where he scored one goal and assist two – definitely a better fit than Jesse Lingard in this position.

Striker: Anthony Martial

The Frenchman will lead the line against Liverpool, the team he came back from injury again back in October. He had an off game against Wolves this week and will need to be on top form to offer anything for his club against the Premier League leaders. 11 goals and three assists for him this season is a good rate of goals and assists but he needs to be doing so much better. In the summer, if not in January, he may face a battle for this position as United will be seeking to bring in another striker to set the pace in the team. Martial should put the work in early and show that he’s the man to build around.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Victor Lindelof, Diogo Dalot; Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Tim Fosu-Mensah; Mason Greenwood

United will need something on the bench to keep their fight against Liverpool going. Sergio Romero will return to the bench after keeping a clean sheet against Wolves. I think Victor Lindelof and Diogo Dalot will be the defensive options from the bench with Tim Fosu-Mensah, who play as a defensive midfielder for the U23s last week being another option in both areas. Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira could be the midfield options with Mason Greenwood the attacking option from the bench, perhaps using his pace and ability late in the game, if he comes on early enough to get up to speed with the game.

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

Confirmed Starting XI: De Gea, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka, James and Rashford start against Liverpool; Martial on the bench

Manchester United come up against Premier League leaders Liverpool at Old Trafford this afternoon. United faltered against Newcastle United just before the international break in what was a pathetic match against the side beaten 5-0 in the match previous to that one. United made them look like Barcelona, failing to take advantage.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has now seen the pressure on his job increase, despite match going supporters not yet booing him or calling for him to be sacked. The pressure only seems to be coming from social media, with factions of these so-called supporters always moaning about something, no matter how small. Solskjaer needs to improve his team massively.

However, it is something that requires patience, not constant moaning just because you feel embarrassed that the club you apparently support is not as good as it once was. This is what happens in football. Dominance is never there for the long haul. It will take time for United to recover and it will get worse before it gets better.

Matches like this should put fire in the bellies of all United players. Over the past six years, feelings like this have started to remove themselves from matches such as this, which was once bigger than the Manchester derby with Liverpool and United being the most successful teams in England. These players need to find it in themselves to perform.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young;

McTominay, Tuanzebe, Fred;

Pereira, Rashford, James;

Substitutes:

Romero; Rojo, Williams; Mata, Garner; Martial, Greenwood

Liverpool:

Alisson;

Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson;

Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum;

Mane, Firminho, Origi

Substitutes:

Adrian; Lovren, Gomez; Milner, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana

United and Liverpool have played 230 times in the history of both clubs. United has won 88 times, drawn 66 times and lost 76 times. The last defeat came in the reverse fixture last season, a 3-1 defeat which saw Jose Mourinho sacked by the club. In the Old Trafford match last season, United drew 0-0. It might be different this season. Stay positive.

Key Players and Battles: Maguire, McTominay and Martial to battle with Salah, Fabinho and Van Dijk in Old Trafford clash?

Manchester United will clash with Liverpool in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, the biggest match of the season so far for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It is fair to say that United have capitulated more times than they should have recently with the Norwegian having a poor record at the club so far, putting him under pressure.

United have scored more than one goal in a match once this season, the opening league match against Chelsea which saw United win 4-0. United have scored seven goals since that match, playing ten matches which is not good enough. However, United have suffered many injuries, some of which could be over with them ready for fight for the club.

Liverpool will not be a push over at all and they will be seeking to keep their place at the top of the Premier League table, which is assured as they are currently eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City. The bigger the lead, the better their chances of winning the league. However, they have lost big leads before.

United will be reliant on a number of players who could help them gain something from this match. United have played two big matches already this season, beating Chelsea 4-0 and drawing 1-1 with Arsenal. Liverpool have also failed to beat United at Old Trafford in the last five attempts in the league. A record which may be kept or broken. Come on United.

Key Players: United and Liverpool have many players that will be considered key despite the fact Liverpool have the better form and record this season. These players will all stand up.

Manchester United: Sergio Romero, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford, Daniel James, Anthony Martial

Liverpool: Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Fabinho, James Milner, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane

Key Battles: Harry Maguire, Scott Mctominay and Anthony Martial lead the key battles against Liverpool with Mohamed Salah, Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk also involved.

Key Battle One: Harry Maguire versus Mohamed Salah

Harry Maguire is a key player for United this season in the fact that he was brought in to help solve the leaky defence. That has not happened so far this season but could have been due to the injuries the club has endured. Eight goals have been conceded in the Premier League. Maguire has a 75% tackle success has made nine interceptions and 31 clearances – 21 of those headed. The 26-year-old averages 68 passes per match.

One Liverpool player that Maguire will need to keep quiet is Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian has four goals in eight appearances this season and despite the fact he’s not scored against United whilst playing for Liverpool, he will be out to change that on Sunday. Maguire and his defence partner, Victor Lindelof, will need to be on top of their game to stop United from capitulating once again this season.

Key Battle Two: Scott McTominay versus Fabinho

Scott Mctominay scored United’s last goal which came against Arsenal, two matches ago. He has looked like one of the best options of creativity, desire and determination in the squad recently. Having him at the top of his game will be important. He will be boosted with his two assists for Scotland against San Marino. McTominay has had 13 shots on goal this season, two of them on target. He averages 52 passes per match.

One player that will be a problem for McTominay, both on the offensive and defensively will be Fabinho. The Brazilian is successful in 60% of his tackles this season, winning 39 duels, losing 38, having nine interceptions and seven clearances, one of them headed. Fabinho also has three shots on goal this season, one of them on target. Liverpool are full of confidence, which will only be a bad thing for United.

Key Battle Three: Anthony Martial versus Virgil van Dijk

Anthony Martial has missed the last eight matches in all competitions due to injury. Returning to training this week will be a blessing as United have really missed the Frenchman, who will need to be on top of his game in his first match back, if he starts against Liverpool. Martial has scored two goals this season and has a 38% shooting accuracy, which will need to improve. He’s averaged 22 passes per match, only playing three.

Virgil van Dijk will be the main problem for Martial and United’s other attacking players. The Dutch international has scored one goal this season, so will be a threat for United’s defenders, albeit mostly from set-pieces. Van Dijk has a 67% tackle success, has made 11 interceptions and 42 clearances, 19 of those being headed. His long balls into advanced areas could be problematic too.

How Manchester United could look against Liverpool in a 4-2-3-1 formation? Martial, Lingard, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, and Shaw to return?

Manchester United face a challenging clash at Old Trafford with Liverpool coming to town on Sunday afternoon. This season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has been lacking a lot of things – ever since that 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea in the opening match of the season, the ability to score goals and win matches has seemingly disappeared.

Liverpool are the current Premier League leaders and it will be a massive challenge to take points off them, even considering the fact that United are unbeaten in the last five home fixtures against Jurgen Klopp’s side. The good thing is that Solskjaer could have some players back from injury, which will go a long way in making this team better.

The one thing that has been lacking though is fight. There does not seem to be much of this in the team and answers will need to be found, otherwise, there will be more players ensuring that they will be exiting the club either in the January transfer window, or next summer. Matches like this should get the team fired up. If not, what is the point?

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

David De Gea suffered an injury whilst playing for Spain on Tuesday evening, which could see him miss the Liverpool match, so in this case, Sergio Romero should face the Premier League leaders. The Argentinian has played well most of the time when called upon, however, with the squads confidence in the gutter, this could be problematic.

Romero is a decent number two goalkeeper for any club and he can be a safe pair of hands when needed. Liverpool, however, could be up for the challenge of facing United without De Gea in goal, which could see them take advantage, of both United without De Gea and the club being in the state it is currently in, which might be a tough day at Old Trafford.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

The defence has struggled recently with the illness of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the injury to Luke Shaw, both should hopefully be over as United bid to get ready for the visit of Liverpool. With both players in the team on either side of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, the defence has been good this season. United have conceded nine goals though, in 11 matches.

This match could well be one that gets fire in the bellies of all of the players, who in recent weeks have all let the team down. If this is going to be another lacklustre match for United, it will be hard for them to come back from a defeat against the league leaders and it will reduce the level of confidence amongst the squad, which they are all responsible for.

Midfield: Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay

The midfield needs to change. Paul Pogba, when fit, is not being played to his strengths. Granted, United need better midfielders, but the club made a decision not to replace Marouane Fellaini or Ander Herrera, so that is how it will remain until at least January. Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay could be partnered here, which might aid the team.

Pogba should be playing further forward as United get better creativity when he plays in an advanced position. The defensive aspect should be dealt with by both Matic and McTominay with the Serbian shielding the back four and McTominay being the link between defence and attack. Back to basics might be better for Solskjaer, which might actually work.

Attacking Midfield: Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford scored a stunning goal for England against Bulgaria on Monday, playing from the left-wing. Rashford has not been cutting it as the lead striker this season, his best performances have come from the flanks. Daniel James might have to move to the right flank to accommodate Rashford, seeing what can be attained from this game.

Pogba has been ruled out of this match, which is a major blow with the same United, other than Wan-Bissaka, Martial and possible Shaw. Jesse Lingard will probably start, although he does not deserve to. He has become a problem player in this squad who has not done enough to warrant his immaturity on social media. He’s 27 in two months!

Striker: Anthony Martial

The French forward has been missing for the last eight matches and it has been a big blow for United, who have been toothless in attack, scoring just five goals since the Crystal Palace defeat, which was the same game Anthony Martial was injured in. Marcus Rashford has not been good enough in front of goal to carry United forward.

Not replacing both Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez could well be costly for United this season and it will cost them a lot of money when a striker has been identified. It is clear that Martial, Rashford and Greenwood is not enough to keep the goals coming – although it does not mean they are all bad players. This squad is stretched this season.

Substitutes: Lee Grant; Ashley Young, Axel Tuanzebe; Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Fred; Mason Greenwood

Having players capable of carrying United forward on the bench is going to be important for Solskjaer. With De Gea’s expected absence, Lee Grant will have a position on the bench. Axel Tuanzebe has done well in recent weeks and there are suggestions that he could rival Lindelof to partner Maguire in the centre of defence, which will be good for him.

Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira and Fred could also find themselves on the bench – none of them have done much to warrant starts, if players are coming back from injury. They all need to be doing so much better. With no other attacking players and if he is fit, Mason Greenwood could he on the bench also. If he’s not fit, Tahith Chong could be selected.

Preview: Liverpool are the benchmark and United are not even close this season. Can they stand up and be counted?

Manchester United -v- Liverpool

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday 20 October 2019, KO 16:30 BST

Referee: Martin Atkinson Assistants: Lee Betts; Constantine Hatzidakis Fourth Official: Jonathan Moss

VAR: David Coote Assistant VAR: Marc Perry

Manchester United will come up against Premier League leaders Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. United faltered against Newcastle United just before the international break in what was a pathetic match against the side beaten 5-0 in the match previous to that one. United made them look like Barcelona, failing to take advantage.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has now seen the pressure on his job increase, despite match going supporters not yet booing him or calling for him to be sacked. The pressure only seems to be coming from social media, with factions of these so-called supporters always moaning about something, no matter how small. Solskjaer needs to improve his team massively.

However, it is something that requires patience, not constant moaning just because you feel embarrassed that the club you apparently support is not as good as it once was. This is what happens in football. Dominance is never there for the long haul. It will take time for United to recover and it will get worse before it gets better.

Matches like this should put fire in the bellies of all United players. Over the past six years, feelings like this have started to remove themselves from matches such as this, which was once bigger than the Manchester derby with Liverpool and United being the most successful teams in England. These players need to find it in themselves to perform.

Form: Liverpool in much better form ahead of Premier League encounter. United have lost confidence, misplaced desire, and have no fight about them. Will it change?

Manchester United: LDDWLW

Newcastle United 1-0 L, AZ Alkmaar 0-0 D, Arsenal 1-1 D, Rochdale 1-1 (5-3 pens) W, West Ham United 2-0 L, Astana 1-0 W

Liverpool: WWWWWL

Leicester City 2-1 W, Red Bull Salzburg 4-3 W, Sheffield United 1-0 W, MK Dons 2-0 W, Chelsea 2-1 W, Napoli 2-0 L

Top Scorers: Liverpool have been scoring goals for fun this season, whereas United seem to have absorbed the fun from football so far.

Manchester United: 11 goals scored this season leave United in a position to find answers against the best team in the league this season.

Goals: 3 – Daniel James, Marcus Rashford, 2 – Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, 1 – Scott McTominay

United have been poor from the second match of the season onwards. However, injuries seem to have hit the club hard in what was already a thin squad with lots of inexperience in the team. It is a gamble that has so far not paid off for Solskjaer and his players. More is needed from each of them to get to January, where reinforcements could be made.

Liverpool: 25 goals scored this season so far leave Liverpool the in-form team heading to the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday.

Goals: 6 – Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, 3 – Roberto Firmino, 2 – James Milner, Joel Matip, 1 – Andrew Robertson, Divock Origi, Georginio Wijnaldum, Ki-Jana Hoever, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool are the leaders of the Premier League because they play exciting, expensive football which has an end product – scoring goals with the aim of winning matches. United seem to have lost their direction. Many will be expecting a massive defeat on Sunday, however, things could be different if United were to get players returning from injury.

Team News: David De Gea injury blow but United could be boosted with the return of players who have been missing for some time.

Solskjaer could see his side boosted with the return from injury of Anthony Martial, who has returned to training, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka. However, David De Gea and Paul Pogba have both been ruled out of this match due to injury with the Spanish goalkeeper suffering a muscle unjust whilst playing for Spain and Pogba having an ankle injury.

United have been struggling with injuries since the defeat to Crystal Palace in August which saw Shaw and Martial out of action. Wan-Bissaka has missed the last three matches with Pogba missing the last two. If De Gea is out for any period of time, Sergio Romero will get the chance to show what he can do as the first team goalkeeper.

Liverpool will be without Nathaniel Clyne, a player that does not seem to have a future at the club. Alisson Becker, Joel Matip, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Mohamed Salah could all be back to face United in a match that will be high-pressured for the Egyptian, who has not scored or assisted in any of the four matches played against United during his time at Liverpool.

Predicted Starting XI: United to see the return of Wan-Bissaka, Shaw, Pogba and Martial against Liverpool? I really do hope so.

I have worked on the assumption that Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof (as he played for Sweden on Tuesday), Luke Shaw, and Anthony Martial will all be fit to face Liverpool at Old Trafford. Paul Pogba and David De Gea have both been ruled out by Solskjaer, which is going to be a blow but at least some players should be returning, which is a positive.

Match Prediction: United remain unbeaten in their last five home matches against Liverpool. Can that record continue or will Liverpool be too much for United to handle?

United and Liverpool have played 230 times in the history of both clubs. United has won 88 times, drawn 66 times and lost 76 times. The last defeat came in the reverse fixture last season, a 3-1 defeat which saw Jose Mourinho sacked by the club. In the Old Trafford match last season, United drew 0-0. It might be different this season. Stay positive.

Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool

copyright: JW