In the biggest clash of the Premier League weekend, Manchester United play host to age-old rivals Liverpool. Neck and neck in the table, a win for either sides would, along with bragging rights, give them positional superiority going into the business end of the campaign.
It’s hard to name a favourite for this one as both of teams make a phenomenal case for picking up maximum points on Saturday. United have been the second best home team in the league and have just dropped seven points in front of their own fans. Also, Jose Mourinho teams are extremely hard to beat in their own backyard which has proven to be the case over his two years in charge.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have been in a great run of form and Jurgen Klopp finally seems to have nailed down his best eleven. The January arrival of Virgil van Dijk has helped him sort out his defence while the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have wreaked havoc in the final third.
In his pre-match press conference, Mourinho stated that Marouane Fellaini is back in contention after missing a month of action. It is unlikely that the Belgian will be reinstated in the starting eleven, with Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba are expected to start ahead of him while Scott McTominay could also be considered.
Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Phil Jones are ruled out for the Liverpool game while Anthony Martial could undergo a late fitness test. Eric Bailly could be given his first league start in several months
Andrew Robertson remains a doubt after missing Liverpool’s mid-week Champions League fixture against FC Porto. However, it could have been due fatigue and the Scotsman could return to the playing eleven.
Captain Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Nathaniel Clyne are also minor doubts, but are in contention to start, leaving Klopp with no major injury worries.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Shaw; Matic, Pogba; Mata, Sanchez, Rashford, Lukaku.
Liverpool: Karius; Gomez, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Can, Wijnaldum, Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool
It’s hard to pick a winner in this one and it can be argued that both managers would be happy taking a point. However, one can expect United to shut up shop and make it hard for Liverpool to score and hit them on the counter and the pace in the Liverpool side would see them attack back immediately.