>Liverpool come into the game in superb form, having won five straight Premier League games, and secured a tense midweek 1-0 victory over Napoli, which saw them squeeze through to the knockout stages of the Champions League. When they face United, Liverpool might be top or in second-place, depending on what has happened in the Man City v Everton game on Saturday.
Pick your combined Liverpool/Manchester United XI. Tin hat time as I pick mine. Nine Liverpool players plus De Gea & I admit a very generous inclusion for Pogba on basis he would be a class act in a different environment. Too generous to Pogba & Man Utd?. https://t.co/AwktohifHi
— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) December 13, 2018
United beat Fulham 4-1 at Old Trafford last weekend to record their first Premier League win since a 2-1 victory at Bournemouth at the beginning of November. In amongst those victories, they lost 3-1 at Man City, were held at home by Crystal Palace and Arsenal, and drew at Southampton.
They have also qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League, but suffered at 2-1 defeat in Valencia in midweek, which prevented them from winning their group.
United currently sit eight points of fifth-placed Arsenal, and 16 points behind their opponents on Sunday, Liverpool.
Team news – Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp’s team came through their midweek success against Napoli unscathed on the injury front. However, they will be without Joe Gomez, who broke his leg in their 3-1 win at Burnley, as well as Dominic Solanke and Nathaniel Clyne, who are long term absentees.
Virgil Van Dijk is having a great season, and will look to contain United’s threat alongside Joel Matip, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson at the back. Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum will play an important part in the midfield battle, whilst Manchester United must stop Mo Salah, who has scored four goals in his last two games, including a hat-trick at Bournemouth last week.
Team news – Manchester United
Jose Mourinho has a few player’s ruled out to injury for the trip to Anfield, including the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, and Victor Lindelof.
We expect to see United set up fairly defensively to cope with the pace that Liverpool can break with. Nemanja Matic could be joined by Marouane Fellaini in midfield to try to stifle the home sides threat, but they will also look to Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard for some creativity going forward. Marcus Rashford will also provide an attacking threat, alongside Romelu Lukaku, if Mourinho decides to play with so many attacking players.
Liverpool v Man Utd: Paul Merson gives verdict on if Man United can beat Liverpool at Anfield pic.twitter.com/rj90wpF69T
— Bluemax Sports (@SportsBluemax) December 13, 2018
Head to head
Sunday’s game will be the 229th meeting between the two clubs, including when Manchester United played as Newton Heath. The first Liverpool v Newton Heath game took place as a Test Match, which Liverpool won 7-0 in April 1894, seven years before the first meeting between the clubs as Liverpool and Manchester United, which United won 2-1 at home in an FA Cup game in 1903.
As two of England’s most successful clubs, and a short distance between these two North West giants, a fierce rivalry has built up between them. Although Liverpool dominated much of the 1970’s and 1980’s, United proved to be a constant thorn in their side, with Liverpool rarely beating them during their glory days.
The tables would turn success wise in the 1990’s and 2000’s, as United became the dominant force in English football, but Liverpool enjoyed a five game winning streak against United between 2000 and 2002.
The clubs first Premier League meeting was in October 1992, a game which finished 2-2 at Old Trafford. In fact it would be March 1995 when Liverpool enjoyed their first win against their old rivals in the Premier League. The teams most recent meeting was in March this year, when United won 2-1 at home.
The overall record stands at 75 wins for Liverpool, 88 wins for Manchester United, and 65 draws.
Prediction and betting tips
Liverpool will be favourites to beat Man United with the current form they are in, especially at Anfield. The Reds remain the only team in the Premier League with an unbeaten record, and United will be desperate to spoil that.
United are likely to ‘park the bus’, but Liverpool look so good going forward it is hard not seeing them score, which could see an early change of tactics. United have been a threat from set-pieces recently, and this could be their best way of scoring.
We see a Liverpool win and Mo Salah getting on the score sheet.
Liverpool to win 2-0 is 13/2
Get Liverpool win and over 2.5 goals @5/4
Mo Salah first goal is 10/3