Liverpool have a tough task ahead of them to stop an in-form Man United team who visit Anfield on Sunday.
Liverpool vs. Man United
Premier League (25) | Anfield
March 5, 2023 | 4.30 pm (GMT)
The old rivals are back at Anfield.
Liverpool have had the better of the home fixture in recent times, not losing since 2016.
However, this is the strongest United team to visit Merseyside in while, and Jurgen Klopp‘s team will need to put in their best performance since the World Cup if they are to get anything from the match.
Here are 10 things you need to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Man United.
1. No love lost
Whether it’s Everton or Man United who are your personal nemeses, this fixture takes on huge significance and is regularly the most-watched fixture in world football.
In recent years, the animosity hasn’t been as prevalent on the pitch but the Anfield atmosphere is sure to get the players ready for a battle, something Liverpool might need as the weaker team on current form.
Into these Redmen!
2. Gomez is “not close enough”
Jurgen Klopp confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Liverpool’s available personnel would be unchanged from Wednesday’s game, saying: “Yesterday evening they were all fine.”
He then added: “Joe Gomez is closer, [but] not close enough.”
Thiago and Luis Diaz remain out while Arthur is unlikely to feature in the first-team squad.
There was no mention of Naby Keita‘s knock that kept him out against Wolves, but he was back in training on Friday afternoon.
Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate and Diogo Jota all missed the session but are expected to be fit.
Possible Reds XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Bajcetic; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo
3. Ten Hag’s team
Fresh off the back of winning the League Cup and progressing to the FA Cup quarter-finals, Man United will be confident but Klopp’s side will be hoping they can capitalise on perhaps one too many nights of celebration.
Luke Shaw and Jadon Sancho are doubts for the match, with them both missing Wednesday’s cup tie through injury and illness respectively.
Erik Ten Hag is optimistic that they could play a part though. He said: “I think we will have players back. Yesterday Luke Shaw was not available, so we expect him back.
“Sancho was ill, but we will have to wait and see how that develops, but I think [he could be available] as well.”
Fred was only fit enough for a late appearance off the bench last time out, though he did score in the short time that he was on the pitch.
Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen remain out.
Possible Man Utd XI: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia; Fred, Casemiro; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst
4. A penalty, please
Liverpool have gone 32 games without a penalty in the Premier League.
They’ve had 1,138 touches in the opp box in this run.
That’s the most touches in the box any side has ever had over a run of Premier League games without getting a single penalty on Opta’s records. #LFC
— Michael Reid (@michael_reid11) March 1, 2023
There haven’t been any obvious penalty decisions go against Liverpool in recent weeks, but the Reds have been left shortchanged this season in the opposition box.
We’ve now gone 32 Premier League matches without getting a penalty, with 1,138 touches in the opponent’s box during that time.
Opta’s Michael Reid said: “That’s the most touches in the box any side has ever had over a run of Premier League games without getting a single penalty on Opta’s records.”
As for Klopp’s verdict on the matter, he said: “Not getting a penalty for that long amount of time is funny.”
It’s not been the cause of Liverpool’s downfall, but a bit of luck would be nice!
5. Klopp on “incredible” Rashford
Klopp was on good form in his press conference and had to field several questions about Sunday’s opposition. Marcus Rashford was one name that kept popping up.
On the attacker’s world-class form, Klopp said:
“I must say it’s difficult, pretty much impossible, to be happy about something positive at Manchester United when you are the manager of Liverpool, but I am happy for Rashford.
“Now he’s playing incredible. His speed, technique, how calm he is in front of goal.”
The 25-year-old had gone off the boil since breaking onto the scene in 2016, but under Erik ten Hag, he’s had a renaissance that’s seen him score 25 goals in 39 appearances already this season.
6. Back on the telly
While following our live blog is a great option, unlike against Wolves you can also watch the match in the UK on Sky Sports Premier League.
It’s a match deserving of the premier time slot – Liverpool haven’t played at 4.30pm on a Sunday since the beginning of November, when we beat Tottenham away.
7. Not a derby!
You can forgive those whose first language isn’t English, but for future reference, Liverpool vs. Man United isn’t a derby.
A derby is between two teams in the same city or local area, not at the other end of the M62.
Everton and maybe Tranmere Rovers are the only other professional teams Liverpool could play in a derby.
Don’t worry though Jurgen, you’re forgiven!
8. Fabinho showing signs of redemption
Since signing in 2018, Fabinho‘s been a key part of Liverpool’s success and decline.
He’s been poor for the majority of this campaign but, of late, the Brazilian’s form has improved and Klopp acknowledged this:
“Everybody could see it, why should I not say the obvious stuff?
“Now everyone can see Fab is getting back [to form], that’s what we need. I was so happy about his last game, so many things were like we needed him.”
9. Madley in the middle
The referee on Sunday is Andy Madley and Liverpool have never lost with the Huddersfield-born referee in charge.
The Reds’ luck with David Coote, who will be on lead VAR duties, has been less fortunate. Hopefully, there won’t be too much controversy come full-time at Anfield!
10. Follow the match with TIA
Liverpool vs. Man United is live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 4.00pm (GMT), kickoff is at 4.30pm.
TIA’s matchday live blog will be up and running from 3.45pm, with Sam Millne tasked with keeping you entertained and up-to-date.
Come on you Reds!