Time: Sunday 17th January 2016, 2:05 pm (GMT)
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Liverpool’s Form (past five league games): LWWLD
Current League Position: 9th, 31points
Manchester United’s Form (past five league games): LWDWD
Current League Position: 6th, 34 Points
Two of the Premier League’s deadliest rivals are set to face each other this weekend, in what is regularly touted as the most anticipated game of the season. Liverpool and Manchester United have a long history of fierce rivalry, with Liverpool once holding a record of having won eighteen league titles before United surpassed and put two over them when they sealed their twentieth and most recent title under Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013. The legendary Scot himself was a large driving force behind the intense rivalry, with him setting out the aim to ‘knock Liverpool off their perch’.
View from the Home side:
Liverpool will enter the game upbeat after their credible 3-3 draw against Arsenal over the week despite needing a rare Joe Allen goal to claim the point. The Reds however will be missing a couple of key men with star men Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge set to sit out the game alongside Divock Origi and not to mention Joe Gomez and Danny Ings who are both side-lined until the end of the season. At the back, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp could be forced to throw new loan signing Steven Caulker straight into the fray to ease his the defensive crisis which sees key centre-backs Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel both on the sidelines, while Jon Flanagan is not expected to be fit having only recently returned to Under-21 action after a lengthy injury absence.
Key Man: Roberto Firmino
The Brazilian seems to have a knack of playing well when leading the line in big games, as seen in his excellent performances against City and Arsenal both games in which he scored and provided clever movement up front for the Reds.
View from the visitors:
On the other side, Manchester United will too be entering the game on the back of a credible 3-3 draw, a game which saw them concede three to struggling Newcastle, but United fans will be upbeat after seeing Rooney getting among the goals in successive games. That said, Louis van Gaal too has an injury list to contend with, with the likes of Michael Carrick, Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo all set to miss this feisty clash, while German powerhouse Bastian Schweinsteiger remains a doubt.
Key Man: Wayne Rooney
The England forward has been bursting with form in recent games, scoring vital goals in three successive games to keep the pressure from building up further on his boss Louis van Gaal.
Statistics to note:
Wayne Rooney will be looking to score in four successive matches for Manchester United for the first time since March 2012.
Christian Benteke has scored in his last three league outings against Manchester United.
Van Gaal has so far managed to get the better of Liverpool in their past three meetings, the last time the sides met, Brendan Rodgers was still Liverpool manager
Jurgen Klopp and Louis van Gaal have come up against one another on four occasions in the German League, with either winning two of the four meetings.
The last time a game between the two sides ended with a 1-1 draw was back in October 2011, with Steven Gerrard and Javier Hernandez on the scoresheet- both of which are no longer at their respective clubs