Competition: Premier League – Liverpool FC vs. Manchester United FC
Venue: Anfield – Monday, October 17 – 20:00 BST (15:00 ET)
Match Odds: Liverpool 23/20 – Draw 5/2 – Man Utd 5/2
The Reds are in great form, having won each of their last four league games and Jurgen Klopp will be hoping for another stellar performance here.
Liverpool came from behind to win 2-1 at Swansea before the International break and they look like genuine title contenders at this early stage, so a win on Monday would only reaffirm that.
The worry is that they’ve struggled to overcome their old enemies in recent seasons, losing each of their last four league games against United. They did beat them in last season’s Europa League Round of 16 though.
For Manchester United, this is a pivotal fixture. They are sitting in seventh place coming into the game, three points behind Liverpool and are in danger of falling six points outside the top four with a defeat here.
Jose Mourinho’s men were left frustrated with a 1-1 draw at home to Stoke last time out, despite dominating that game, and so they will need to be much more clinical here if they are to take anything away from Anfield.
United’s last away game ended in a 3-1 defeat at Watford so there is undoubtedly a lot of pressure riding on the shoulders of this talented squad ahead of such an enormous fixture.
The most recent league meeting between these two sides saw United win 1-0 at Anfield thanks to a Wayne Rooney goal. Only Steven Gerrard (8) has scored more goals in this fixture than the United captain (6).
Liverpool are likely to be without key midfielders Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum, who are both struggling with knocks. Sheyi Ojo, Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez are definitely out, while Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne are listed as doubts. Emre Can looks set to start in midfield, with Daniel Sturridge likely to start the game on the bench as Roberto Firmino continues to lead the attack.
Jose Mourinho’s biggest decision for United will be whether he starts Wayne Rooney or not. The attacker is likely to start the game on the bench once again, with Marcus Rashford hoping to keep his place out wide. Phil Jones and Bastian Schweinsteiger are both out, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Luke Shaw are lacking match fitness and may not be risked.
Liverpool’s last five: D/W/W/W/W
Man United’s last five: W/L/L/W/D
Key Stat: Liverpool have lost more Premier League games against Manchester United (27) than against any other opponent and have lost each of their last four meetings against their rivals.
Key Player: Juan Mata – The United playmaker scored a superb bicycle kick in this fixture two seasons ago and has now scored three and assisted two goals in his last four games against the Reds, so he will be hoping to cause the hosts more problems here.
Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United – It’s an enormous fixture at any time, but Monday night’s clash feels like a must-win for both sides, even if we are only in October. Liverpool are in great form and look too good going forward not to score here, so the big question will be how United cope with the threat provided. Mourinho’s men have looked vulnerable at times this season and could find themselves dropping three more points if they’re not on top of their game here. Home win.