There’s still nothing quite like the rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool. Whilst both Manchester City and Everton are their nearest neighbours, with both the Manchester and Merseyside derbies tight, well-contested and important affairs, they still don’t quite match the intensity of meetings between these two clubs. The two most successful sides in English football, with 38 Premier League titles and 8 European Cups between them, have a deep, long-standing dislike of each other, and it’s fair to say that there are few games that either set of fans enjoys winning more during the course of a season than these.
United have had the rub of the green over the last few years; they’ve won all four of the Premier League meetings between the two clubs in the last two seasons, but Liverpool gained a measure of revenge by knocking United out of the Europa League 3-1 on aggregate last season. The two sides have had mixed starts to the Premier League season; Liverpool sit in 4th, two points from table-topping Manchester City with United three points behind them in 7th. As such, the upcoming meeting between the two sides on Monday 17th at Anfield promises to be a fascinating contest. Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho both know the importance of this fixture to their respective clubs and fans, and will be intent on getting a result.
I believe Klopp will play a 4-3-3 system against us but Klopp may have a few issues to deal with first, however. According to the Liverpool Echo, both Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana are missing from Gareth Southgate’s first England squad this week with injury; Clyne has been suffering from a knee problem for a number of weeks and Lallana misses out due to a likely groin strain which forced him off last weekend against Swansea City. The same fate has befallen DejanLovren, according to the International Business Times, with the Croatian pulling out of this week’s international matches having suffered the same injury at the Liberty Stadium.
This could have some severe ramifications for Klopp’s starting XI on Monday week. Liverpool’s strength has been in their attack this season, granted, but Mourinho is highly likely to adopt a counter-attacking approach at Anfield, and if Liverpool’s defence is missing both Lovren and Clyne, there are likely to be gaps that the likes of Anthony Martial, ZlatanIbrahimovic and Marcus Rashford can exploit. The German will be hoping that at least one of those three players can regain fitness in time, with the Portuguese hoping for the exact opposite. Either way, it should be a fascinating contest.