Manchester United travel to Anfield on Saturday afternoon to take on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in what will undoubtedly be a fiery showdown.
Liverpool go into the game off the back of an awful September, and have won just one of their last seven games in all competitions. United on the other hand are enjoying some brilliant form, sitting joint top of the table as they continue their unbeaten run in all competitions.
However, as history will tell, form means nothing when it comes to big games such as this. Klopp has had the better of Mourinho in recent times, and the German managers record against ‘top 6’ sides is the best in the league. Mourinho has often been criticised for fielding a defensive minded team against the Merseyside club, but with Liverpool’s well noted poor defence so far this season it would surely be criminal to not attack the Red’s and give Lukaku the best chance possible of exploiting Liverpool’s weaknesses at the back.
United are facing a mini injury crisis at the moment, with Marouane Fellaini out with a knee injury and Paul Pogba still sidelined with a hamstring problem. Michael Carrick will also miss out, as well as long-term absentees Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Mourinho has spoken out saying he believes his side can cope with their injury woes, but the news is certainly a big blow nonetheless.
As for Liverpool, the hosts, Adam Lallana is still unavailable with a thigh strain, whilst compatriot Nathaniel Clyne is still facing a lengthy period on the sidelines with a back problem. Dejan Lovren was a doubt for the game, but could be in contention. Sadio Mane has a hamstring injury, and will face at least 6 weeks out of action – a bitter blow for the hosts.
Liverpool are winless in six Premier League games against Manchester United (D2 L4), and United have won three of their last five Premier League visits to Anfield (W3 D1 L1) – keeping two clean sheets in their last two games at Anfield.
Jose has certainly solidified United’s defence since his arrival. The Red Devils have kept 17 clean sheets in the Premier League in 2017, three more than any other side. They have conceded just 2 goals in the league this season, both of which coming against Stoke.
Liverpool have 12 points from seven games this season, and a loss against United would see them have the same number of points they did from eight games in 2015/16 which saw Brendan Rodgers sacked as manager. However, Jurgen Klopp has lost just one of his seven competitive meetings with Jose Mourinho as a manager.
On the other hand, if United win, it’ll be their best ever points tally after eight games of a Premier League season with 22 points.
Romelu Lukaku is only the second player to score seven goals in his first seven Premier League
appearances for United after Andy Cole. No player has ever scored eight goals in their first eight Premier League appearances for the club. But the Belgian striker has only netted once in his last seven against Liverpool, failing to land a shot on target in five of those seven games.
Valencia – Jones – Bailly – Young
Matic – Herrera
Mata – Mkhitaryan – Rashford
Predicted score: 1-2