Manchester United v Liverpool: Liverpool to run United close at Old Trafford
Manchester United will be looking to maintain their seven point Premier League lead this weekend with the arrival of arch rivals Liverpool to Old Trafford. Robin van Persie should return to the United starting line up while Daniel Sturridge may start in the centre of attack for Liverpool.
Manchester United Preview
Manchester United have won more games at home this season than any other team with nine wins. They will be looking to complete the double over Liverpool following a 2-1 win at Anfield earlier in the season.
However, United’s tendency to leak goals this season and last season’s collapse gives visiting teams hope. It may not do anything for Liverpool though, for whom United seem to be more than ready.
Injuries & Suspensions
Wayne Rooney is unlikely to feature in this match as he’s currently suffering with a knee injury. Anderson is struggling with a hamstring problem and is unlikely to play again this month while Nani is on the fringes of a return to first team action though this match may be a little too soon for him.
One of the things Liverpool have to transform this season if they want to finish in the European places is their away form which reads only three wins. They will go into this game with confidence and momentum following a 3-0 home win against Sunderland and they will take a high number of supporters to create a good atmosphere.
Injuries & Suspensions
Fabio Borini has gotten over a broken foot problem but is unlikely to feature as he lacks fitness. Jose Enrique will not play as he has a hamstring problem which is expected to keep him out until February. Martin Kelly remains a long term absentee from the Liverpool side with a knee problem.
Manchester United v Liverpool Stats
United have the far superior record in terms of stats so far this season with 17 wins, one draw and just three defeats from all of their games played (21). They have scored more goals than any other team in the division with 54 while conceding 28 which will give Liverpool some confidence.
Liverpool have won only eight matches, drawing seven and losing six which is a record they will be looking to improve. The problem has seemingly been conceding goals with a tally of 26 but they have functioned well up front with 34 goals scored.
Head to Head
These great rivals have met at Old Trafford a total of 87 times with United winning 44 matches, Liverpool winning 16 and 27 matches ending in draws. United narrowly won this fixture 2-1 last season while Liverpool’s last win came in the 2008/09 season when they ran out 4-1 winners.
United have won their only match in January so far and they dropped only two points throughout December thanks to the 1-1 draw away at Swansea. They are yet to concede a goal in the league this month.
Liverpool are also undefeated in January but they were much more inconsistent through December with four wins and two defeats from all of their league matches. Liverpool have conceded only eight goals in their last seven matches.
Manchester United v Liverpool Prediction
It’s difficult to see United dropping points in this game. If Liverpool score early then it will give them the best possible chance of fighting for a draw but a repeat of the 2-1 win for United last season is likely.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool