Liverpool are once again proving they’re a real juggernaut on both the European and domestic scene, as after securing top-spot in their UEFA Europa League group, they return to Premier League (PL) action sitting top of the table. They lead the pack thanks to a stoppage time goal at Crystal Palace to win 2-1 in the last round, their 43rd 90 minute winner in the PL, more than any other team!
The Reds return to their fortress that is Anfield, where 48 of their last 49 visitors have failed to beat them (W38, D10). Usually, the form guide is thrown out the window whenever their rivalry with bitter enemies Manchester United is renewed, but this has been a pretty one-sided affair lately with Liverpool going unbeaten in the last eight home H2Hs (W5, D3) while conceding only once in that time – a run that includes last season’s famous 7-0 victory.
United’s current form highlights the disparity between English football’s two most successful clubs, with the visitors already losing as many matches this campaign (12) as they did in the whole of last season. The most recent was a 1-0 loss to Bayern Munich which saw them finish bottom of their UEFA Champions League group for only the second time in their history, and that followed a humiliating 3-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth in the PL last weekend.
The pressure has been mounting on manager Erik ten Hag, with the rumour mill reporting that Graham Potter is in line for his job should INEOS’ impending bid for a 25% stake in the club come to fruition. The Dutchman’s life isn’t made easier with an array of injuries hampering his squad, further exacerbated by the suspension of the talismanic Bruno Fernandes, leaving as many as 11 first-team players unavailable for the trip to Merseyside.
Players to watch: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah recently joined the Reds’ 200 club, with his last eight games against United producing no less than 12 goals. The visitors will hope Scott McTominay can help in keeping the Egyptian quiet while bombing forward himself, since he’s only ever lost once in 28 games when scoring for club and country (W22, D5).
Hot stat: United are winless in their last 13 PL away games against sides starting the day in the top-eight (D3, L10).