In the weekends standout fixture, Jurgen Klopp’s host a side lead by Jose Mourinho who have only dropped two points all season (against Stoke City away) thus far. Liverpool, in contrast, haven’t won since beating Leicester City in the second last week of September.
Last season/’s fixture between the sides at Anfield was billed as “Red Monday” and we all know how that turned out… (I’m hopeful of an interesting game, and not a repeat of mast seasons “bore draw”). Having won six out of seven this season, this match will really test the strength of Manchester United, having mostly faced bottom half sides.
The home side will be missing Sadio Mane through injury after the winger suffered a hamstring injury whilst on international duty with Senegal (darn it)! On the plus side, however, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Fermino are a dead cert to be available despite a rather long journey to Chile.
On the Manchester United front, it’s not looking good for them either as Marouane Fellaini is ruled out after suffering a knee ligament injury during the week. Michael Carrick is 50/50 with a calf injury but Phil Jones is expected to recover from an issue with his knee.
Jose Mourinho implies that he takes each game as it comes and will view each match with the same importance and isn’t really too bothered with form.
He also faced questions about the atmosphere and responded by saying that atmosphere isn’t a problem for him. I like his versatile mentality on that.
Jurgen Klopp voiced that the Premier League should allow more preparation – something I agree with as following the international break, getting back into league with players travelling back to their clubs is difficult, especially those coming from South America. I’ll add that Klopp had asked the coach of Croatia if Dejan Lovren could sit out the first game in order to avoid tiredness.
Klopp also spoke about the fixture being the most popular in the world (wouldn’t disagree with that), and wanting a result.
Thoughts ahead of the game
Whilst the 20-time league winners are high-flying in joint first (goal difference separates them, and Manchester City), the 18-time league winners find themselves outside of the top four in seventh and a win here will elevate them into the top four (if other results go their way). For Manchester United, they can tighten their lead at joint-top with a win.
I expect this to be a close fought match with Manchester United coming out on top. I’m just hoping this isn’t a repeat of the tiresome “Red Monday” match from last season.