Liverpool are back in action on Monday night (8pm BST) when they travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. The Reds can’t afford to drop further points after failing to beat Fulham and Palace. Here’s a quick preview of the game.

The Reds could be seven points behind Manchester City by the time they kick off in Manchester on Monday. Such is the frantic pace of the Premier League title race that the Reds are already being written off in some quarters.

It’s indicative of what has been the slowest start to a season under Jürgen Klopp’s seven year tenure on Merseyside. It’s been a far cry from the impressive display at the King Power stadium in the Community Shield victory.

To avoid falling further behind, Liverpool have to win at Old Trafford for what would be a third consecutive time, a feat they’ve never managed in their storied history. Victory would also mark a fourth straight Premier League win over United, equalling the Reds’ best run against their old foes.

There’s been no better time to rack up ‘Ws’ against United than these past few years. They seem to be lurching from one extreme to the other in recent years, with Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, Ralph Rangnick and Erik Ten Hag (early days yet) all struggling to get a tune out of the side.

They proved a hard nut to crack for Liverpool over the years, until the penny finally dropped last year. In Jürgen Klopp’s first ten league fixtures against United, his record read: 2 victories, 6 draws and 2 defeats.

Something’s seemed to click in 2021 though. The mental block that this squad of players seemed to have everytime they stepped onto the Old Trafford pitch was chipped away with a behind closed doors 4-2 victory in a crucial top four showdown.

Then followed the scarcely believable 9-0 aggregate win last campaign. The 5-0 thrashing at Old Trafford last October was the stuff of dreams at the Theatre of Dreams. It was a thorough dismantling of a sorry side.

We hadn’t seen that level of superiority, arrogance and quality from a Liverpool side on that ground since a Suarez-inspired 3-0 victory eight years ago (in that exhilarating 2013/14 nearly season).

That demolishing job was repeated at Anfield back in April, with the Reds cruising to a comfortable 4-0 victory. These results will have little to no bearing on what will pan out on Monday night of course. Ten Hag will want a response to the pitiful 4-0 defeat to Brentford last time out.

They currently lie bottom of the table and will want to show a reaction, helped in no small part by the imminent signing of Brazilian midfielder Casemiro from Real Madrid. That is the kind of signing that could potentially galvanise a team and fanbase.

United have been down this road several times before though. Bastian Shweinsteiger, Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, Cristiano Ronaldo’s second coming, Raphael Varane etc have all failed to alter the course of this once feared club.

Monday night could alter the course of the season for one of these two sides however. Both are winless in the league so far. Victory over arch rivals seems the perfect turbo boost to rise out of a slump. To the victor then, the spoils.

Team News

For Liverpool, Roberto Firmino is back fit and available after being left out of the matchday squad last time out as a precaution. Darwin Nunez begins his suspension following the sending off last week.

As many as eight players are expected to miss out, with Caomhin Kelleher, Calvin Ramsay, Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konaté, Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Diogo Jota all still sidelined with injury.

For Manchester United, Anthony Martial is back training after missing the start of the season with a hamstring injury. Victor Lindelof and youngster Facundo Pellistri are both ruled out.

Key Players

Mohamed Salah

The Egyptian failed to score in his first four against Manchester United but has turned that around spectacularly. He’s found the back of the net nine times in his last six against the Red Devils. With Darwin suspended, expect Mo to be the furthest forward for Liverpool.

Marcus Rashford

The Englishman has been a thorn in the flesh in the past and could pose the biggest threat to the Reds’ defence with his pace on the break. He’s not been anywhere near his best for a while but could rise to the occasion here.

Joe Gomez

The 25 year old was supposed to start against Palace but his rotten luck with injuries threatened to snatch a precious chance away. He did manage half an hour off the bench and looked sharp. He is set to reform the title winning partnership with Virgil Van Dijk.



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