Liverpool host bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield this weekend in a blockbuster clash that is sure to promise drama, heartache and great football. In perhaps the game with the highest stakes of the season for both clubs, with there being much more to play for than points alone.
The two couldn’t be separated last season, with both a 0-0 and 1-1 draw to show for their efforts. With more attacking prowess being added to the arsenals of both, we should expect a more exciting affair.
This pair of giants are the biggest and most successful in English football, so regardless of score, the passion and intensity always delivers.
Injuries are aplenty all round as both teams have several players unable to compete this weekend. The home side will be without key man Sadio Mane, who is reportedly out until late November with a hamstring issue.
Joining him on the sidelines will be fellow forward Adam Lallana, who is still recovering from a thigh injury. Defensive-wise, England international Nathaniel Clyne remains injured, whilst Joel Matip may be a doubt with an unknown problem.
Manchester United too are marred with big-name injuries. Paul Pogba is still out injured with a hamstring problem he picked up in the Red Devils’ opening Champions League encounter.
Recent hero Marouane Fellaini joins him as a midfield casualty, with an injury picked up in the recent international break on duty with Belgium. All isn’t doom and gloom for United’s midfield however, and Jose Mourinho can draft in last year’s ‘Player of the Season’ Ander Herrera as a replacement.
Marcos Rojo remains out until late December with a cruciate ligament problem, and Phil Jones may be a doubt. Neither side has any suspensions so, for the most part, they will be fielding strong starting elevens.
Liverpool XI: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Moreno, Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum, Coutinho, Salah, Firmino
Manchester United XI: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Young, Matic, Herrera, Mkhitaryan, Mata, Rashford, Lukaku
Both managers, sets of players and fans highly anticipate (and sometimes dread) this fixture season in, season out, and its clear to see why; they are the two most decorated clubs, the two most heated rivals, the two biggest English fanbases and perhaps the two most passionate supporters. Its a blockbuster event and its hard to choose a winner.
United enter the game unbeaten in the Premier League, sitting in a promising second place, but it has been said that they haven’t yet played a ‘big’ team. This will undoubtedly be Jose Mourinho’s biggest test thus far.
In their last encounter with a Manchester club, Liverpool suffered a crushing defeat to Manchester City, but will be hoping to bounce back from that, and a recent draw at Newcastle with a win over their heated rivals.
Recent form goes strongly in the favour of United however, as Liverpool have achieved just one victory in their past seven fixtures in all competitions, but of course anything can happen in football, and on the day either of these clubs could emerge victorious.
Based off of previous encounters, and how the two seem to soundly counter each other out in terms of attack and defence, expect a hard-hitting draw.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Man Utd