Liverpool vs Manchester United
Monday, October 16, 2016
That international break was boring wasn’t it? After a weekend of goals, red-cards and controversy, one of the biggest games of the season is set to take centre stage on Monday Night Football.
Manchester United versus Liverpool, and the two teams couldn’t have a more different atmosphere behind them going into the game.
Liverpool have shown some blistering form already this season, beating Arsenal, Leicester and Chelsea and also scoring an impressive 10 goals against the three sides.
Their best players have shown up such as Philipe Coutinho, with others starting to prove their worth such at James Milner and Jordan Henderson, who have chipped in with vital goals and assists so far this season.
United in comparison have experienced a stuttering start. No rhythm, no identity and really, it just hasn’t clicked yet.
The performance against Leicester at the end of September was a morale booster, however drawing against Stoke just before the international break put a brake to any sort of consistency or performance.
Paul Pogba has shown instances of brilliance, but for the most part still looks like he’s getting warmed up, and the likes of Anthony Martial and to an extent, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, have been too inconsistent so far this season.
The match at Anfield could make or break United’s season. If they lose to Liverpool, it would be a gigantic task to then defeat Chelsea next weekend, and all of a sudden, Jose Mourinho’s men could be out of the title race.
It’s early in the season of course, but Mourinho needs to get his side performing. He also needs to bring back that scare factor that seemed to have come back against Leicester.
Let’s remember, you have Golden Boy winner Martial, winners in Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney, alongside star names such as Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
It’s easy to forget United possess some fantastic players, and after the summer business, they now boast one of the most impressive squads in the Premier League.
United will go to Anfield without much confidence, but that’s the best thing about a big game, especially one against your biggest rival.
Form, consistency and everything goes out the window.
Mkhitaryan and Luke Shaw will be available for the Red Devils after recovering from injuries during the international break.
Phil Jones remains the only long-term injury for United, with Mourinho having a fully fit squad to choose from.
Liverpool will be without Adam Lallana, who has a groin problem and Georginio Wijnaldum, who was injured while playing for the Netherlands.
Emre Can could return for Liverpool and make his first start of the season with Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne expected to return to the side.
Liverpool: Karius, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Henderson, Lucas, Can; Mane, Firmino Coutinho
Man Utd: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Shaw; Pogba, Schneiderlin, Herrera, Lingard, Ibrahimovic, Martial