Manchester Utd 0 - 4 Liverpool FC (?)

Well here we are, just a few days away from one of the biggest games of the season. We made it through the international break and thankfully so did our players.

Although Utd are now barely managing to stay in the bottom half of the league they're still undeniably one of our fiercest rivals. Granted that other Manchester club are our more direct competitor in terms of trophies but even if that remained the case for another twenty seasons they'll still not overtake Utd in terms of rivalry. They simply don't have the history ourselves and Utd do.

So, although we'd likely all more or less agree on the above points, do we all agree that this should be a fairly easy win? Let's consider what we know injury wise to see if that will help us decide.

To the best of our knowledge Pogba and De Gea are both unavailable to play for Utd but Martial might be an option. As noted by both Hawthorn and Jock on recent threads, Martial hasn't played for some time and so you'd think he'd be lacking match sharpness. Utd don't have many options however so perhaps they'll roll the dice and use him.

On our own injury front we have good news that Alisson and Matip are both reportedly available. I believe Keita is possibly now an option too but there is some concern over whether Salah will have recovered from a minor ankle injury picked up in our last match. Shaqiri's apparently still suffering from an ongoing calf injury and looks set to miss out.

We perhaps have some consideration to make in midfield as to who starts, with Henderson and Wijnaldum both playing several matches for their respective countries in the international break. It's also possible Klopp may decide not to take any risks with Salah if it's touch and go with his ankle. Firmino, Robertson and Mane featured for their home nations over the last two weeks as well but all things considered I'd expect Jurgen to pick our strongest eleven, something along the following lines.


What do you think all, is this our best line-up to face Utd or do you see Jurgen making a few surprises as he has a tendency to do in big matches. And how do you see the game going in general. Do Utd have any chance at all?

There have been a few comments made on site already which I think give us some food for thought.

Hawthorn says:

[Regards our game vs Utd last season] "Think cowardice is too strong a word but we did seem too scared to really go for it last season. It was an awful performance & Utd actually had the better chances if I remember correctly."

"Looks like Pogba & De Gea are definitely out on Sunday but Martial & Bissaka could return. 

Martial hasn't played since the 24th August, just cant believe he would start, no way he can be fit let alone match fit. If he does Utd will likely line up with a front 3 of Martial, James & Rashford. That's a pretty pacey front 3 & can just see Utd sitting deep on the edge of their box & launching it, probably turn into a 7-0-3 formation."

"We really need to score first in this, even some of our worst sides used to give Fergie's best teams a tough game at Anfield so this really will be a tough game."

"Who actually is Mark Goldbridge?"

While Joe comments:

"OGS will have them up for a diving fest and desperate to get our players sent off - we need to just play our own game and thump them"

"Is Ashley Young still playing - he’s one to look out for - he will try and wind up Trent every chance he gets but hopefully Hendo and Virgil will keep the boys calm and by half time it will be done and dusted. If Milner plays he needs to be careful and not get drawn into their dirty tactics. They can’t beat us at football so will try to get us sent off. It’s all they have."

Really good points and pretty much sum up the main concerns of the game. United will surely see trying to stop us winning the EPL as a massively important task. They are stuck well and truly in the doldrums and preventing us from taking all three points on Sunday would provide their fans a bit of rest bite and return a modicum of the feel good factor, even if just for a short while. They're going to be desperate to beat us. That will mean they'll up their game and possibly also tempers could boil over resulting in all manor of foul play. Something we mustn't get drawn into. As Joe and Hawthorn say we must keep our heads and stick to our normal game. Do that and we should win comfortably.

Will it be that easy though, our lads are not robots and as good as Jurgen is at having them focus solely on the task at hand it would be crazy to think they won't be feeling some pressure and a few nerves, not just from going to Old Trafford but from trying to maintain our winning run and lead at the top of the league. That however is part and parcel of a league winning season and if that's what we want to have then we need to be able to feed on those nerves and lap up the pressure, harnessing both things and using them to dish out shellacking after shellacking.

As has recently been noted in both article and comments sections here the above nerves and pressure management is something this team does now seem to have in it's armoury. We are really looking like we believe in our own ability to prevail in any given situation and including I feel against anything Utd can bring to the table.


@LBS I decided to go with the following for the appetite whetter as Shaqiri hasn't been getting much of a look in for a long while and I feel bad for him to now be struggling with injury as well.

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