Liverpool vs Manchester United prediction, playing XI, team news and more | Premier League 2019-20
At Anfield on Sunday, December 19, before the two most decorated sides in English football take to the pitch, and before the palpable excitement turns into the fretting of nerves once the prospect of a victory or defeat dawns, the one thing that the Liverpool faithful inside the stadium will relish and need a moment to take in is the shifting of sands.
The bravado, courage and sheer excellence that Jurgen Klopp’s side have exhibited over the past year and a half in all competitions has ensured that their faltering rivals - for whom an entire structural, cultural and footballing reset is looming large – cannot even think of going toe-to-toe with them.
Such has been Liverpool’s stranglehold on the number one spot of the Premier League table – they are 15 points ahead of Leicester City in second and have a game in hand – that the talk has shifted from a first-ever Premier League crown to an invincible title-winning campaign.
Klopp’s men have played with such authority and confidence that even on days when things have seemingly gone against them, it’s their mental fortitude that has carried them over the line.
Manchester United, on the other hand, are in fifth spot on the Premier League table with 35 points, four behind Frank Lampard’s Chelsea who are in fourth place with 39 points. The Red Devils have been anything but consistent and confident under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season. Their entire campaign has reeked of a philosophy which has essentially felt like one step forward, two steps back.
Besides the obvious concerns over Solskjaer’s tactical shortcomings, the Old Trafford outfit have poor recruitment and a plethora of injuries to crucial players to blame for the patchy form they have endured so far this season.
Ironically though, United are the only side to have taken points off Liverpool this season in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford which ended in a 1-1 draw, courtesy Adam Lallana’s late equaliser.
The cliché surrounding derbies has always been that form goes out of the window in these kinds of fixtures. However, it’s just impossible to shake off the fact that most people who’ll be tuning in to this game have a very good idea of what the result might be – such has been the aura around Liverpool this term.
Liverpool vs Manchester United Head to Head
Liverpool wins: 76
Manchester United wins: 88
Matches drawn: 67
Liverpool vs Manchester United Form Guide
Last 5 matches (in all competitions)
Manchester United: L-D-L-W-W
Liverpool vs Manchester United Team News:
The league leaders received a huge boost this week with the return of Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, who resumed training with the first team after missing the last 12 games due to ligament damage.
Alongside Fabinho, we saw the return of centre-back Joel Matip, and the two might be involved in some capacity against United on Sunday.
Dejan Lovren, who has been out with a muscle problem, might be in contention for a return on the weekend but wasn’t clicked at Melwood training with his teammates.
Klopp is still without the services of James Milner and Naby Keita, who are out with hamstring and groin injuries respectively.
The Red Devils suffered a huge blow last night when Marcus Rashford was taken off after suffering a back injury only 16 minutes after coming as a second-half substitute in United’s 1-0 FA Cup victory over Wolves.
His availability for Sunday is up in the air, with Solskjaer saying in his post-match press conference that the club will do everything in order to get United’s talisman match-fit for the massive clash on Sunday.
Eric Bailly, who made his return this week in a U-23 clash, might be available for selection. However, Solskjaer is set to miss the services of Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay and Marcos Rojo, all of whom are nursing long-term injuries.
Liverpool vs Manchester United Predicted XI
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams; Nemanja Matic, Fred; Daniel, Andreas Pereira, Marcus Rashford; Anthony Martial.
Liverpool vs Manchester United Prediction
Although United’s pacey attack comes to life in big encounters where they mostly rely on deploying a low block and then hitting on the counter, Liverpool have the personnel to deal with such waves of attacks.
Moreover, United’s personnel in midfield might not be able to cope with Liverpool’s intense press and a turnover of possession in advanced areas is something that we might see a lot in this encounter.
Liverpool are expected to have the lions share of possession and if they get the first breakthrough in the encounter, it’s difficult to see United clawing their way back and getting anything out of this game.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United.