Sunday, 20 October 2019
The highlight of the Premier League’s weekend action pits two teams on opposite extremes of performance as Manchester United host fierce rivals Liverpool.
The Red Devils have had a calamitous start to their campaign, sitting just two points above the drop zone in 12th place. They have racked up only two victories in their opening 8 games so far, needing a penalty in their last win over a month ago
Lacking in quality and creativity, United have their worst attack in a generation. The hosts have struggled for goals, managing just one in their past 3 matches and couldn’t even score against a lowly Newcastle, losing 1-0 in the process.
To further compound their woes, the hosts are already in limbo on the injury front, suffering a double major blow as both Paul Pogba and de Gea have been ruled out.
They will be without first choice keeper David de Gea who picked up a groin injury while on international duty for his native Spain while Pogba faces time on the sidelines with a nagging ankle injury.
Liverpool on the other hand go into the fixture with an unblemished record. Well ahead of the pack in first place by eight points, the Reds will relish the chance to extend their 100% start to the season at the ground of their bitter opponents.
Jurgen Klopp’s men possess all that is lacking in the United side, a sturdy defence that rarely leaks goals, a midfield that does not allow the other team to see the ball with their hard press and an attacking front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino that scored goals for fun on the way to conquering Europe.
However in recent seasons gone by, this is a fixture that has defied logic when they meet.
Old Trafford remains the one big ground that Klopp has failed to win since his arrival in English football four years ago. In all competitions, United have won 13 and lost only two of their last 18 meetings with Liverpoool.
They were unable to beat the home side last season despite United suffering from a myriad of injuries and lacking in confidence, a complete replica of this season’s predicament.
Second in the league for chances created and fresh from entering the Guinness World Records for registering the most assists by a defender in the league last season, Trent Alexander-Arnold is bound to provide attacking returns in the game.
Solksjaer has admitted that he may be forced to call in Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, both not up to 100%, as he tries to rescue a dire situation
De Gea’s absence means Sergio Romero will make a first league start of the season with the Argentinian only featuring in the Europa League and Carabao Cup so far this campaign.
Head to head:
The past 5 meetings between the two sides has seen 3 draws with each team winning once.
Liverpool win with over 2.5 goals