EPL: Liverpool vs Manchester United Preview

Soccer player celebrates scoring goal

Manchester United face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday the 16th of December 2018 in a battle of English football's two most successful sides. 

Jurgen Klopp’s side are top of the Premier League table after Chelsea inflicted Manchester City's first defeat of the campaign last weekend. Jose Mourinho's men are sixth in the standings, eight points off fourth spot and 16 behind the Reds.

Can United end Liverpool’s unbeaten streak at Anfield? Will the Merseyside club pile more misery on the Red Devils and their under-fire boss Mourinho? Our Editor gives his verdict.

Please note that this preview was written prior to these sides’ UEFA Champions League fixtures on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 December.


Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

Liverpool vs Manchester United | Sunday 16 December | Anfield | 18:00

To Win (90 Mins)
Liverpool 11/20
Draw 31/10
Man United 5/1

Liverpool
It’s a massive week for Liverpool as they face Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday in a must-win game, before their crunch clash against Manchester United. The Merseyside club must beat the Italian side either 1-0 or by two goals or more in order to advance, so the Reds can’t afford to keep one eye on United and rest players when they face Napoli. 

Liverpool have taken 45 points from the past 51 on offer and are unbeaten in 17 league games in a run that stretches back to last season. They remain the only unbeaten team in the Premier League after Manchester City lost 2-0 away to Chelsea last weekend. That result, along with the Reds’ 4-0 victory over Bournemouth, saw Klopp’s side move to the top of the table with a point clear of the defending champions. 

Klopp will be delighted to go into Sunday’s clash against Manchester United as Premier League leaders, but what would really please the German tactician is that he can call on an in-form Mohamed Salah, who was back to his best last weekend, netting a hat-trick at the Vitality Stadium. 

Despite being labelled a one-season wonder, Salah is the joint-top goalscorer – alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – in the Premier League with 10 goals. 

With the Reds flying high at the top of the table and Salah demonstrating his exhilarating form of last season, Klopp’s side will fancy their chances of claiming maximum points. The Merseyside club are the in-form team in the Premier League with five wins on the spin, scoring 13 goals while conceding just once in that run. 

Klopp’s side have kept 10 clean sheets this season, which is the most in the Premier League. That defensive record can largely be credited to the signing of goalkeeper Alisson and the form of Virgil van Dijk.


Manchester United
Manchester United recorded their first Premier League win in five matches as they comfortably saw off Fulham 4-1 at Old Trafford last Saturday. It was only United’s seventh victory in the league this season, but this was a performance worthy of the shirt and it eased some pressure on under-fire manager Mourinho.

The Red Devils were unbeaten against Liverpool last season, winning 2-1 at Old Trafford in March, before playing to a goalless draw in October last year. In fact, Mourinho’s men are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League meetings against Klopp’s side, winning five times – two of those victories coming at Anfield. 

United’s last win at Anfield came three seasons ago when Wayne Rooney scored the game’s only goal with Louis van Gaal at the helm. And the season prior, the Red Devils also masterminded a 2-1 victory on Liverpool’s ground thanks to a brace from Juan Mata. 

But United’s away form in the league hasn’t been too good this season. They’ve won three and lost three from their eight matches on the road, conceding (15), a goal more than they’ve scored (14). 

However, Mourinho’s men showed they are still capable of getting a good result at the toughest grounds in football. They went to Chelsea in October, only to be denied a memorable victory by Ross Barkley's 96th minute injury-time equaliser, and not forgetting their remarkable 2-1 win away to Juventus in the Champions League last month.

United will be hoping to derail Liverpool’s title bid, but they’ll need the likes of Mata, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial at their very best as Klopp’s side have been excellent this season, especially at Anfield. 

Verdict: Salah to Score Anytime & Liverpool Win (13/10)
I expect Mourinho’s men to try and frustrate Klopp’s side and make it uncomfortable for them, but I think the Reds will have enough firepower to claim all three points. Liverpool are in a rich vein of form in the Premier League with five consecutive wins and with Salah hitting top form, I suggest backing the Egyptian to score anytime in the match and Liverpool to win.


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