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Liverpool vs Man Utd preview, team news, head-to-head and prediction

Liverpool and Manchester United reignite their longstanding rivalry once again as Erik Ten Hag’s team travel to Anfield on Sunday afternoon.  

mohamed salah liverpool 2022

Liverpool and Manchester United reignite their longstanding rivalry once again as Erik Ten Hag’s team travel to Anfield on Sunday afternoon.  

After the 1-0 loss to Bayern Munich at Old Trafford, The Red Devils were eliminated from the Champions League and European competition entirely after finishing fourth in group A, extending their streak to 12 losses in 24 games across all competitions this season.

Struggling offensively, defensively porous, and plagued by a growing injury list, the team lack evident positives as they approach Sunday’s match. Despite their struggles, United currently hold the sixth position in the Premier League, trailing Tottenham by three points and Manchester City by six in fourth place.

The past week has been particularly tough for United, enduring a 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth at home and a 1-0 loss to Bayern, leading to their Champions League exit.

Although they maintain a sixth-place standing in the Premier League, sitting just 10 points behind Liverpool, the results have overshadowed concerning performances throughout the season.

Given their recent record against Liverpool, with four losses in the last five meetings and a tally of 21 conceded goals, United face a daunting challenge at Anfield, especially following last season’s 7-0 defeat at the hand of Liverpool. Another significant setback could intensify the pressure on Ten Hag’s managerial position.

After falling out of the Champions League, Ten Hag emphasizes the importance of securing a top-four finish for Champions League qualification next season.

However, a potential nine-point gap from fourth place could jeopardize their standing. In contrast, Liverpool, under Jurgen Klopp’s leadership, epitomizes qualities United currently lack—clinical finishing, unwavering self-belief, and a never-say-die attitude, earning 18 points from losing positions in the current season.

Liverpool lead the Premier League table with 11 wins in 16 matches, showcasing their resilience with a recent comeback victory against Crystal Palace. Klopp acknowledges that Liverpool hasn’t consistently performed at its best this season, yet their ability to secure results, losing just once, highlights the team’s potential. Mohamed Salah’s remarkable achievement of scoring 200 goals for Liverpool further adds to the Reds’ strength, particularly against rivals like United.

Match details 

Date: Sunday, December 17, 2023

Location: Liverpool, England

Venue: Anfield Stadium

Kick-off time: 11:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. PT. 4:30 pm GMT

Referee: Michael Oliver

Assistant referees: Stuart Burt and Dan Cook

Fourth official: Anthony Taylor

VAR: John Brooks, Simon Long

How to watch: The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports. Supporters can also buy Liverpool vs Man Utd tickets at reputable resellers such as seatsnet.

Match stats and head-to-head 

  • Liverpool have won four of the last five Premier League meetings with Man Utd, suffering one loss.
  • In six of their last seven Premier League home games, Liverpool scored at least three goals.
  • Man Utd failed to score in two of their last three Premier League matches.
  • Liverpool kept four clean sheets in their previous five Premier League home matches.
  • Man Utd lost nine of their last 10 away games against sides that finished in last season’s Premier League top nine.
  • Mohamed Salah has scored nine of his 10 Premier League goals against Man Utd in his last five appearances against them.
  • Salah’s 12 goals against United are the most he has scored against any opponent and the most by any Liverpool player in history against them.
  • United face Salah, who recently scored his 200th Liverpool goal and is on a run of 16 consecutive home games with either a goal or assist, aiming to make it the second-longest in Premier League history.
  • The 7-0 defeat at Anfield was United’s joint-heaviest ever competitive defeat, their biggest since December 1931.
  • United have not scored in their last four trips to Anfield, marking their joint-longest run without an away league goal against any opponent since the 1970s.
  • Bruno Fernandes has crafted an impressive 47 chances, more than any other player in the Premier League. His impact extends beyond mere chance creation, as Fernandes has been instrumental in generating open-play shot-ending situations for United this season. Unfortunately United will be without their influential captain in the upcoming clash against Liverpool, with Fernandes serving a suspension.

Team News

Alexis Mac Allister is anticipated to make a return for Liverpool in their upcoming game. However, the team will be without Joel Matip, Thiago Alcantara, Andrew Robertson, Diogo Jota, and Stefan Bajcetic.

Jurgen Klopp strategically rested key players such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah, and Alisson Becker during the recent Europa League defeat to Union Saint-Gilloise, reserving them for the critical encounter with Manchester United.

The backbone of the Liverpool team against United is expected to feature Alexander-Arnold, Alisson, and Ibrahima Konate partnering Van Dijk in defense.

Klopp has effectively utilized substitutes like Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Joe Gomez, and Cody Gakpo, with Elliott notably scoring a superb winner in stoppage time against Crystal Palace.

Klopp’s ability to vary the team’s attacking dynamics, including moving Alexander-Arnold to midfield, adds an element of unpredictability that makes it challenging for opponents to prepare against Liverpool.

Erik ten Hag faces significant challenges as United could be without as many as 11 players for the crucial match against Liverpool. While Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez continue their recoveries from hamstring and foot injuries, they are ruled out for the upcoming game.

Tyrell Malacia is still recuperating from a knee operation, and Christian Eriksen has not fully recovered from a knee injury sustained in November. Captain Bruno Fernandes is suspended, Amad Diallo and Jadon Sancho are not yet match-ready, and Victor Lindelof remains doubtful due to an ongoing problem.

Fresh injuries against Bayern sideline Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw, while Raphael Varane is expected to start after returning to the side. Fit-again Jonny Evans could also play a role, and the return of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford is anticipated, though Mason Mount and Victor Lindelof are closest to making the matchday squad.

Prediction

Liverpool enter this highly anticipated clash in top form, securing a crucial win that propelled them to the summit of the table, capitalizing on Arsenal’s stumble against Aston Villa. In contrast, Manchester United suffered a significant setback, enduring a 0-3 defeat to Bournemouth, intensifying the pressure on manager Erik ten Hag. With speculation surrounding Ten Hag’s job security and a board growing impatient, the upcoming clash against Liverpool becomes pivotal for United’s revival.

The Reds, currently at the league’s pinnacle, aim to maintain their position and extend their impressive run. In contrast, a struggling Manchester United desperately seeks redemption. Given Liverpool’s superior form and squad strength, they emerge as clear favorites in this encounter. Klopp’s team is poised for success, while United faces a critical challenge to reverse their fortunes and salvage their season, making victory for Liverpool appear highly likely.

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