It's been a rather mixed start to the season for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Northern Irishman witnessed his side keep three clean sheets in an unbeaten start to the season, only for them to gift three goals to West Ham at Anfield in their first loss of the campaign.
That defeat was headlined by poor defending and a lack of drive upfront. Liverpool's defence - which was so often praised prior to the match - was to blame for the first two goals, whilst a third was given away ever-so cheaply.
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New signings Nathaniel Clyne and Joe Gomez were kept quiet for most of the game whilst old faces Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel were a sorry sight for Liverpool fans, some of which left the stadium before the game had even ended.
The Reds next face bitter rivals Manchester United after the international break and although the Red Devils have issues of their own, this game could turn out to be a more difficult one for Liverpool than for United.
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Brendan Rodgers will be without the services of Philippe Coutinho - a player who has become an intergral part of his plans - due to the Brazilian being sent off against West Ham and suspended for the crunch match.
To make matters worse, Rodgers may also have to make do without leading striker Christian Benteke, who has reportedly suffered a thigh injury ahead of Belgium's Euro 2016 qualifier against
Another issue that is sure to give Rodgers a headache is his chosen centre-back partnership. The Liverpool boss opted for Skrtel and Lovren for the opening three games of the season and to his credit, the pair looked strong, but were vulnerable and lackadaisical against West Ham.
Whether or not Rodgers will keep faith in his back four remains to be seen but he will certainly need all 11 to step up against United with or without Coutinho and Benteke.
A win against Manchester United in less than two weeks time will surely be the perfect way to bounce back and should give the Reds renewed confidence ahead of a Europa League tie against Bordeaux five days later.
A loss, on the other hand, will see pundits and fans alike criticise Liverpool, which in turn might damage their confidence and expose themselves to a decline in form.
It's do-or-die for Brendan Rodgers' side and after the nightmare of last season, he will be hoping that his side can finally get things right or else the Liverpool boss may face the axe yet again.
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