This weekend’s Premier League action kicks off with a marquee clash as Manchester United welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford.
United currently occupy the runner up spot but Jurgen Klopp’s side are two points behind, and a win will lift the Merseysiders above their rivals.
Manchester United striker, Anthony Martial faces a late fitness test after sitting out Monday’s trip to Selhurst Park with an unknown injury.
Andre Herrera is reportedly on track with his recovery but might not be risked here.
Daley Blind (malleolar) and Marouane Fellaini (knee) remain out.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be in line for a spot on the bench, after featuring in training this week.
Liverpool hope to have captain, Jordan Henderson available despite suffering a dead leg in midweek.
Georgino Wijnaldum could be in the squad following his recovery from illness.
Manchester United enter this clash off the back of a comeback win at Crystal Palace to extend their unbeaten run to four in all competitions.
Since a shock defeat at Newcastle last month, United have won three and drawn once, scoring seven and conceding three goals.
The draw did come away at Sevilla who United host on Tuesday in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
Jose Mourinho has lost just twice at Old Trafford with their defeats coming against cross town rivals, Manchester City.
Romelu Lukaku has scored in his last four appearances at home for United in all competitions.
Only one of those four goals came before half time though.
Liverpool are currently on a seven match unbeaten run in all competitions, winning five and drawing two.
Despite drawing 0-0 with Porto in midweek, Liverpool have scored in previous six with 13 of their 18 goals coming in the league.
Mohamed Salah is currently their best player after scoring seven goals in six of those games.
- The last four meetings in all competitions ended as a draw with pattern of 1-1 0-0 1-1 0-0.
- Both 1-1 draws came at Old Trafford, meaning that only twice this decade has one side failed to score here in the league.
- Prior to current draw pattern, United lost 2-0 at Anfield in 2015-16 Europa League last 16 first leg after winning the previous four clashes before hand.
- Jose Mourinho has won just once against Jurgen Klopp, giving him a (W1 D4 L2) record against the German.
Where game will be won and lost?
|Per Game Average||Manchester United (home)||Liverpool (away)|
|Shots on Target||5.57||5.64|
|Goals per First Half %||35.5||52.9|
|Goals per Second Half %||64.5||47.1|
Clinical finishing looks like it will be key here as to how the result plays out.
Both teams rate similarly for shots and on target averages but Liverpool has a bigger gap advantage in goal average by 0.22 goals, compared to the two shots averages.
United tend to grow into the match as well, giving Liverpool the perfect opportunity to try and get the job done before half time, although they tend to score fairly similar number after the break too.
Corners will definitely be the Red Devils’ best hope of taking something but clinical finishing will be vital though if going to get something here.
Their fouls average is something that we would expect away but not at home, making their defensive moves key otherwise could see a lot of yellows dished out to Mourinho’s men.
Ultimately, both teams look like they are evenly matched and therefore it should be a tight but competitive match.
Given the rivalry, recent form and numbers, I can see another score draw here.
Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool
Jake predicts: Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool
Result: Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool
Here at Sport Grill, me and Middlesbrough FC writer, Jake Self are going head to head predicting this season’s Premier League games.
This is how things stand after the previous round of games along with the rules.
Correct score – 3 points
Correct result – 1 point
Incorrect result – 0 points