The North West Derby is kicking off the weekend with the game starting at 12:30pm on Saturday. It brings with it slightly more significance than recent years as both teams creep back up the table on a regular basis. After City’s dominance this year there is still no chance of a title but the reds of Liverpool and Manchester are battling it out for 2nd place. It is likely to be a feisty affair as one of the most passionate games on the calendar comes it Manchester.
The reverse fixture ended 0-0 at Anfield as Mourinho’s United mustered just one shot on target and had De Gea to thank for the clean sheet. With United at home you would hope Mourinho is more inclined to play for the win and they come into the game in decent form. An incredible comeback was capped by a Matic screamer at Selhurst Park on Monday night as they came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and climb back above Liverpool in the table.
Mourinho has talked about the amount of mistakes in that game and a clean sheet against the attacking threat of Liverpool would make him very happy. That will be easier said than done against the potent attack of Mane, Firmino and Salah.
The front three have been in sensational form with Salah taking the league by storm in his debut season with Liverpool. The golden boot is in his grasp but there is fierce competition from Kane and Aguero. A goal here would help his cause and if Salah needed any more motivation, Manchester United are the only top six team he hasn’t scored against this season. Just to make it that little bit sweeter.
Maybe even more encouragingly Liverpool’s defence is showing signs of solidarity. Karius has started to look like a stand out number one and Van Dijk has help sure up the defence. Klopp will certainly be playing to win and if United take all three points I guarantee De Gea will have pulled of at least a couple world class saves.
Mourinho has Eric Bailly and Marouane Fellaini fully fit and available for selection although Martial is unlikely to return after missing the Crystal Palace game on Monday.
Herrera, Rojo, Jones and Blind all remain sidelined.
Despite the mistakes on Monday I expect there be very few changes to the team. Lukaku, Sanchez and Pogba will all surely start and will be looking to find some form together. It’s a very scary proposition once it does click.
Klopp also has players returning from injury with Jordan Henderson, Andrew Robertson and Georginio Wijnaldum all in contention to play after resuming training.
The game has come to early for Nathaniel Clyne who is still lacking match fitness.
A few players were rested in the midweek Champions League game so the players should be fresh despite playing three games in a week.
Old Trafford is one of the hardest places to come and win but Klopp has a good record against the big teams. I think it will be a very close game but unless De Gea has one of those days where it is impossible to score against him I can see Liverpool nicking it.
Manchester United 1 – 2 Liverpool