Will Mourinho conjure up a game-plan to inflict more pain on Liverpool ?
Liverpool have made a bright start to the new season and sit just 2 points behind leaders Manchester City after 7 matches. There is a renewed optimism on Merseyside and a growing belief that Jürgen Klopp could be the man to bring them that elusive first Premier League title.
However, if the Reds are to mount a serious title challenge they will need to collect as many points as possible against the other contenders, making the next instalment of Sky’s Monday Night Football all the more riveting, with Manchester United the visitors to Anfield.
José Mourinho has a fantastic record against Liverpool in the league and his new side possess the type of ammunition that could inflict further woe on the Merseysiders.
Goal projections – Liverpool 1.68 Man Utd 1.17
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Team news & predicted starting line-ups for Liverpool v Man Utd
Klopp is likely to go with a high press and will be encouraged by United’s inability to handle such tactics in the first half of the recent Manchester derby at Old Trafford.
The Liverpool boss has opted for a 4-3-3 in every league game so far and changes are expected to kept to a minimum.
Mourinho will be fully aware of Liverpool’s defensive inefficiencies, with WhoScored going as far as to describe their ability in aerial duels as ‘very weak’.
This weakness was exposed at Swansea City, where the Reds were somewhat fortuitous to come away with all 3 points, so expect United to be looking to exploit this at every opportunity.
Liverpool fantasy player to watch
Loris Karius seems to be winning the battle to tie down the number one spot at Anfield but his ability to handle crosses still remains a concern.
The German shot-stopper has started two Premier League games so far, with Liverpool conceding a goal from a corner kick on both occasions.
Liverpool team news
Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren all missed out on International duty and face a race against time to be fit to face Manchester United.
Firmino and Coutinho are away on International duty with Brazil but both are expected to feature, so long as they come back unscathed.
The same cannot be said of Georginio Wijnaldum, who has picked up a hamstring injury while away with Holland, adding to Klopp’s problems ahead of the United game.
Predicted starting line-up for Liverpool
Man Utd fantasy player to watch
Paul Pogba thumped a header against the bar, following a wonderful Marcus Rashford cross against Stoke City and the miss was to prove critical, with United being held to a 1-1 draw. Pogba will be looking to use his aerial ability to good effect at Anfield and this is one area in which Manchester could overwhelm Liverpool.
It’s worth recalling that the world’s most expensive player scored 8 goals and provided 12 assists in Serie A last season as Juventus clinched a fifth straight Scudetto.
Man Utd team news
Mourinho often springs a surprise in big matches and will even go as far as to sacrifice a player, by utilising him in a man-marking role (Zouma on Fellaini springs to mind) if he feels it is necessary.
Wayne Rooney will be hoping for a recall, while Marouane Fellaini’s sheer size and physique would be an obvious asset but Mourinho may opt to stick with the same team that has started the last 2 Premier League games.
Predicted starting line-up for Man Utd
Will Mourinho get his tactics spot-on again to maintain his incredible record against Liverpool?