Current Premier League leaders, Liverpool, make the short trip to bitter rivals, Manchester United on Sunday afternoon, looking to preserve their 100% start to the season and extend their lead at the top of the table.
The Reds have been in blistering form in the league, winning their opening eight games to build an eight-point gap between themselves and second placed Manchester City. However, this margin might have been reduced to five points by the time the game kicks off at Old Trafford, if City can bounce back from their shock 2-0 defeat at home against Wolves, with a win at Crystal Palace on Saturday evening.
Manchester United are having a pretty torrid season and have endured their worst ever start to a Premier League campaign. The Red Devils currently sit down in twelfth-place, two points above the relegation zone – but this position could be much worse dependant on results in Saturday’s fixtures.
United have scored just nine goals in their eight league games so far; four of these came against Chelsea on the opening day of the season, and they have won only two games and lost three. In contrast, Liverpool are averaging 2.5 goals per game having scored 20 times and have only failed to score two or more goals in a game once, which was away at Sheffield United.
In the form table, Manchester United have the eighth best home form with two wins, one draw and one defeat from their four league games at Old Trafford – that loss was a 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace. Liverpool are top of the away form table, with four wins from four. This has included a 3-0 win at Burnley, 1-0 win at Sheffield United, and two 2-1 successes at both Southampton and Chelsea.
In the ten most recent head-to-head fixtures in the Premier League between Manchester United and Liverpool, United have won five times to Liverpool’s two. Of those wins for United, three came at Old Trafford, whilst you have to go back to March 2014 for the last time Liverpool won at the Theatre of Dreams, a 3-0 success with goals coming from Steven Gerrard (2) and Luis Suarez.
When the two sides met last season, Liverpool won 3-1 at Anfield in December, ahead of a 0-0 draw in February at Old Trafford, which helped to scupper the Reds chances in the title race last term.
Manchester United come into the game in the middle of an injury crisis, with several key player’s ruled out. There is a hope that Anthony Martial will be fit to make a return, but goalkeeper, David de Gea, has been ruled out after picking up an injury in midweek whilst playing for Spain in Sweden. He joins other noticeable absentees like Paula Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Eric Bailly.
Liverpool are still without first choice keeper, Alisson, whilst Nathaniel Clyne, Joel Matip, and Xherdan Shaqiri remain long-term injuries.
If you go on form, Liverpool can win this game comfortably, despite a poor record at Old Trafford.
However, form often goes out of the window in derby games and this won’t be easy for Liverpool. We still expect them to be too good and can come away from Old Trafford with maximum points.