Liverpool are unbeaten in the Premier League so far and led the table by a narrow one-point margin before this weekend’s matches commenced. Next, they take on their arch-rivals Manchester United at Anfield, and one can expect a feisty affair on the offering. Both the teams are having contrasting fortunes at the moment as United are fighting to get back in the top 4 whereas Liverpool are genuine title contenders along with Manchester City.
However, Mourinho has often managed to eke out results whenever his back has been against the wall and one wouldn’t put it beyond him to produce another master class. Even last season when the Reds were flying high on the back of their awesome threesome of Salah, Mane and Firmino, the Mancunians came out victorious when these two teams met the last time in March. But Liverpool looks a more resilient side this time around, and the fans would undoubtedly be in a good mood as they went through to the Champions League knock out stage narrowly.
The win against Napoli came at a cost for the Merseyside club as Joel Matip and Trent Alexander Arnold got injured. Joe Gomez was injured the week earlier, and Liverpool suddenly seems to have a crisis at the back with only two centre-halves available. James Milner is also set to have a late fitness test. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain continues to be a long-term absentee.
United aren’t doing better themselves on the injuries front as the in-form Anthony Martial is set to be unavailable. Alexis Sanchez is also likely to be out along with Victor Lindelof. Chris Smalling could be a significant miss as he has looked the best centre-half for United this season. From the fringes of the squad, Diogo Dalot and Matteo Darmian are also out through injury.
Alisson Becker; Andy Robertson, Virgil Van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, James Milner; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Mane, Salah, Firmino.
David De Gea; Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia; Matic, Herrera, Pogba; Lingard, Rashford, Lukaku.
Mohamed Salah is once again going to be a centre of attention having fired two back to back top class performances, scoring four goals in the process. However, the defensive pair of Virgil Van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson have been a colossus, and they would once again be expected to keep it tight at the back.
Marcus Rashford was the difference maker when these teams met last time around, and his pace and directness would cause some trouble to the Liverpool backline. Paul Pogba’s performances have been bipolar, and Mourinho would hope that his French midfielder gets up from the right side of the bed to deliver a top performance against their major rivals.
Liverpool Win: 4/7
Manchester United Win: 5/1