Liverpool play host to Manchester United tonight in one of the biggest Premier League fixtures so far this season. The game sees Jürgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho go head-to-head for the sixth time, the German hoping to add to his 3 wins over his opposite number.
This encounter provides a good opportunity for either side to gain ground on the top 3, with Man City and Tottenham dropping points on Saturday. Liverpool have been in the better form of the two sides, but form can often prove meaningless in a game with such a deep rivalry. However, you do get the sense that Manchester United must put in a stunning performance if they’re going to snatch all 3 points at Anfield. The visitors will attempt to do so with more or less a fully fit squad; Phil Jones is the only absentee after Luke Shaw and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were passed fit.
Liverpool on the other hand will be without the injured Adam Lallana (groin) and Georginio Wijnaldum (hip), the former in particular has impressed so far this season, the reds could miss his creativity in midfield. Wijnaldum’s injury sparked minor controversy last week as it was rumoured that Netherlands manager Danny Blind, father of Daley, refused to substitute the Liverpool man though it was clear he was struggling.
It will be interesting to see how United go about this game, some of this seasons debutants may be phased by the occasion; it could be wise to put an experienced head like Carrick or the out-of-sorts Rooney in midfield. Liverpool’s approach won’t change. The high-pressing nature of their defensive work has seen them suffocate teams and with the pace and flair of the likes of Coutinho, Firmino, Sturridge and Mane it could potentially be a torrid night for the United back line.
These two historical enemies locked horns four times last season, United did the double in the league winning 3-1 at home and 1-0 away but Liverpool got the better of them over two legs in the Europa League.
Despite the two teams having changed considerable in terms of personnel in the last few years, the rivalry is still as fierce as ever and both managers know just how much their respective fans want it. It should be a thriller under the lights at the recently-improved Anfield and you can expect goals galore in one of the key dates on the Premier League calendar.