Manchester United versus Liverpool: derby preview
Manchester United host Liverpool at home on Saturday in arguably English football's most keenly contested fixture.
With Pep Guardiola's men cruising to the title, Manchester United and Liverpool face off with 2nd place the item up for grabs.
Manchester United come into this fixture after staging a remarkable comeback against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. The Red Devils have momentum in their favour after defeating Chelsea and Crystal Palace back to back. A victory here could open up a gap of 5 points between both teams.
Liverpool had scored 20 goals in their last 7 games before seeing out a draw against FC Porto in their Champions League fixture. Jurgen Klopp could once again go for an all-out attack combination against Mourinho's characteristically defensive tactics.
David de Gea will start in goal for Manchester United after another exemplary performance at Selhurst Park. He might play a crucial role in stopping on-fire Mohamed Salah. Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are out injured and will miss this intriguing clash.
Nemanja Matic, Man of the Match for United in the previous clash is expected to play the pivotal role once again in midfield alongside Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay. Fellaini remains unavailable with a knee problem but could be back for the FA Cup quarter-final, next weekend.
Zlatan was seen training at Old Trafford and could start from the bench for United. Anthony Martial is recovering from a knock and will be assessed ahead of kick-off. Romelu Lukaku will undoubtedly be leading the attack for Manchester United at the Theatre of Dreams.
Manchester United's possible starting eleven:
David de Gea (GK); Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Ashely Young, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba; Scot McTominay, Jesse Lingard, Alexis Sanchez; Romelu Lukaku.
Jurgen Klopp heavily rotated his squad against FC Porto in their second leg Round of 16 UCL tie. The Merseyside boss made five changes for the goalless draw at Anfield from their 2-0 home win over Newcastle in the league last weekend.
Liverpool will certainly be fielding a full strength side against second-placed United. A victory for Liverpool here would see them leapfrog the Red Devils into second place. This means the likes of Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Trent Alexander-Arnold will return to the starting line-up against United.
The flying left-back, Andrew Robertson might be missing the clash due to match fitness issues. In midfield, Georginio Wijnaldum (illness) and Jordan Henderson (dead leg) are slight doubts. Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are expected to form an attacking trident in a bid to tear United's defence apart.
Liverpool's possible starting XI:
Loris Karius (GK); Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Vigil van Dijk, Alberto Moreno, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Emre Can; Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane.
#1 Two of the last three meetings between these two sides have ended goalless.
#2 Mohammed Salah has scored in each of his last five Premier League games.
Head to Head Stats
Matches Played: 169
Manchester United Wins: 67
Liverpool Wins: 55
With second-place at stake, both teams are expected to play with high intensity. It is an absolutely mouth-watering tie, Liverpool are expected to exploit Manchester United's defensive frailties. However, Manchester United are always a hard nut to crack at home and a scoreline of 1-1 can be expected.