With Premier League action back in full swing this week, here’s our team report for Manchester United vs Liverpool this Sunday. With Marcus Rashford back to fitness, Jesse Lingard also starting to improve, United have a good opportunity to put together a winning run, against a Liverpool side that looks all at sea at the moment.
Gareth Bale is one to watch in this match, his lack of involvement in Wales during the international break, had observers wondering if he would be fit to play this weekend. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he will be on the pitch though, as Wales sit level on points with Serbia after the victory in Belgrade on Friday. In addition, the loss to Wales was their third in a row, and Fabio Fazio’s decision to join Tottenham could come back to haunt the Welshmen; they will need him to be at his best.
Louis van Gaal enjoyed the luxury of resting a number of his star players in his opening fixture of the season against Liverpool back in August, where United beat Jurgen Klopp’s side 4-1. A good draw for United, though they had very little to show for it, as they fell to defeat to Liverpool at home the following weekend.
In the place of Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay, Marcus Rashford proved to be a very useful addition up front, scoring two goals to follow his bang up against Yeovil. Jesse Lingard has caught the eye lately, and also scored in the victory over Yeovil, but is still being missed up front, and Juan Mata could join him as a sub. Paul Pogba has been a real player for United in recent weeks though, even putting in a man of the match performance against Wolves on Wednesday night.
As for Liverpool, they had a good end to the week with a convincing 5-1 win over Stoke City. Victor Moses was back for the game though, but had to withdraw from Nigeria’s squad due to injury. Divock Origi scored for Liverpool as well, but other than that is pretty much in danger of dropping out of the first team, with Daniel Sturridge also starting to make a little more of an impact.
Key match stats
Paul Pogba has made more tackles (54) and interceptions (35) than any other Premier League player this season, which is simply sensational.
The Reds are likely to pick up a yellow card, as the number of dismissals in the last 10 minutes this season has averaged out to 0.7.
Liverpool has the superior home record this season, with six wins and one draw.
Jesse Lingard has more shots (34) and shots on target (9) than any other player in the Premier League this season.
Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet is unbeaten in his last 11 matches, but only has one clean sheet in that time.
If Romelu Lukaku starts in the United starting eleven, he will become only the second player in Premier League history to hit 20 goals in five successive seasons (the other being Alan Shearer).
Jesse Lingard has scored more headed goals in 2017/18 (2) than any other player in the Premier League this season.
Manchester United have won five successive home matches against Liverpool, and nine consecutive games against Liverpool in all competitions.
The winning streak is unlikely to last much longer though, with Liverpool having an excellent record at Anfield in recent years, with a 15-4-6 record since the start of the 2013/14 season.
With experience within their ranks, and the added boost of home advantage, United will be too strong for a Liverpool side struggling for goals at the moment. United will be looking to add a bit more zest to their attack, and get a result which could set them on the road to title glory. At home, in such a familiar setting with this particular group of players, it could feel like it was meant to be.
Manchester United will win 3-1
Follow Daniel Elliott on Twitter: @danelliott75