England: Manchester United-Liverpool, sulphurous rivalry and opposition of styles

Manchester United v Liverpool: match preview

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The 30 miles between Old Trafford and Anfield is generally a similar separation partitioning Bellshill in North Lanarkshire and Glenbuck in East Ayrshire, the two mining groups that reproduced Sir Matt Busby and Bill Shankly, who utilized the qualities and force they learnt there to establish the cutting edge Manchester United and Liverpool and transfuse those two clubs with their electric moxy and uprightness.

 

Saturday 12.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

Venue Old Trafford

Last season Manchester Utd 1 Liverpool 1

Referee Craig Pawson

This season G18 Y65 R4 3.83 cards/game

Odds H 23-13 A 9-5 D 12-5

 

Manchester United v Liverpool

image credit : the gardian

José Mourinho might not say it but, given Manchester United’s two-point lead over third-placed Liverpool, this is a game he might be content to draw to maintain the status quo with only eight matches left after the final whistle. As Mourinho is likely to set up in classic damage-limitation mode, the test for Jürgen Klopp’s side is whether they can pick apart United without presenting any counterattacking opportunities

TEAM NEWS

Manchester United will have midfielder Marouane Fellaini available for selection again after a knee injury.

Eric Bailly is back to full fitness but unlikely to feature. Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Anthony Martial, Phil Jones and Daley Blind all remain sidelined.

Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson has recovered from a knock which kept him out of the midweek draw with Porto.

Georginio Wijnaldum may be available after recovering from illness.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Steve Wilson: “It may only be the battle for second place, but no problem – Manchester United and Liverpool would happily battle each other if the prize were only the last charred chorizo from Pep Guardiola’s summer barbeque.

“The top flight’s most intense rivalry comes with an edge honed by more than a century of arguments over politics, music, football and a canal. This 200th meeting will be no different.

“At Anfield in October Liverpool’s prodigious attack was tied in knots by the defensive web which Mourinho had spun for them. At Old Trafford United will surely attack more readily, hopefully leading to a better game for the neutral. But when these two meet – who cares about the neutral?

Twitter: @Wilsonfooty

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: “For me, it is just a big match [between] two historical clubs not just in England but the world and in this moment important for top four, important for second, but I still don’t look to some matches as special opponents. It’s just a big match because we are speaking about two big clubs.

“I want to win of course, it’s a big match, big opponent. It’s the team just behind us, it’s a team that is already in the Champions League last eight so of course it’s a big match. But I’m not very good on that rivalry – every opponent is a rival.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “It’s a good moment to go there but still unbelievably difficult. They have quality and it’s an advantage for them to be at home. It’s our job to level that. They’re a very experienced team with a very experienced manager. It’s quite a job to do.

“Two very good football teams will face each other. I hope all my players are involved in our defending. If someone says we have parked the bus I have no problem with that but we want to bring our football on the pitch as well because we know we’re difficult to cope with.

“It will be a big fight but hopefully it ends with a positive result for us.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

I think we are looking at a 1-1 draw and that is a result they would both take too.

Yes, it means that they both drop points and the teams outside the top four can close the gap, but they both have a bit of a cushion between them and Chelsea in fifth place.

Prediction: 1-1

Lawro’s full predictions v Justin Young & Arni Arnason from The Vaccines

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • This will be the 170th meeting in league competition between these sides – Manchester United have won 67 to Liverpool’s 55.
  • The last four games between Liverpool and Manchester United in all competitions have finished as a draw.
  • There have been 16 red cards in Premier League fixtures between these two sides – only the Merseyside derby has seen more, with 21 dismissals.

Manchester United

  • Manchester United have lost only once at home this season in all competitions (W16, D2), with that defeat coming against Manchester City.
  • They are eight points better off than at the same stage last season.
  • Jose Mourinho has won only one of his eight meetings in all competitions with Jurgen Klopp (D4, L3).
  • Romelu Lukaku has scored 99 Premier League goals; if he scores in this game he’ll be the fifth youngest player to reach 100, and the second player to net his milestone goal against Liverpool (after Harry Kane earlier this season).
  • Lukaku has scored four goals in his last four appearances at Old Trafford.

Liverpool

  • Liverpool are the Premier League’s form team with 25 points gained from 10 games.
  • They have lost just once in their last 20 Premier League matches (W14, D5).
  • Liverpool have scored 34 away league goals, a joint-high in the top five European leagues (level with Lyon).
  • The Reds have won their last three away games in a row, scoring 10 unanswered goals.
  • Mohamed Salah has scored in five successive games for Liverpool in the Premier League.
  • Sadio Mane has scored five goals in his last four appearances in all competitions.
  • Jordan Henderson is one short of becoming the 14th player to make 200 Premier League appearances for Liverpool.

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