While they have struggled to replicate their sparkling domestic form in the Champions League, Liverpool will be confident of claiming all three points when they take on arch rivals Manchester United this weekend at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are clinging to a one-point lead at the top of the English Premier League table and will be confident of a positive result leading into the all-important Christmas period.
Liverpool are undefeated in their last 28 matches at Anfield in the English Premier League and have kept a clean sheet against Manchester United in their last three matches.
Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Napoli in the Champions League came at a cost, with Joel Matip ruled out, joining Nathaniel Clyne and Joe Gomez on the long-term injury list.
Manchester United haven’t been this far behind Liverpool in the league table since Christmas 1990.
Jose Mourinho’s side missed a golden opportunity to finish at the top of their Champions League group, after a 2-1 defeat to Valencia.
With possibly nine front line players out with injury, the trip to Anfield is looking like a crucial test for Jose Mourinho’s side as they look to stay in touch with the top four.
Here are five questions that should be answered in one the of the English Premier League’s fiercest rivalries this weekend.
Would a loss to Liverpool be the end of Mourinho?
The burning question for United fans, is this Chelsea all over again?
There has been talk of Mourinho losing the dressing room, with Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez all spending extended time on the sidelines.
A loss to Liverpool wouldn’t spell the death of Mourinho, who is protected by a large contract
While United chief Ed Woodward has expressed an admiration for Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, a change of manager at this point in the season could potentially end United’s slim Champions League hopes for next season.
Can Mo Salah continue his golden run over the Christmas period?
The Egyptian midfielder is back to his brilliant best with four goals in his last two outings.
Salah scored his first hat-trick of the season last weekend against Bournemouth and then found the winner against Napoli in the midweek Champions League fixture.
Salah has 10 goals in 15 appearances in the English Premier League this season.
With United facing a defensive injury crisis, there will be plenty of opportunities for Salah to take advantage of the situation this weekend at Anfield.
Will Liverpool’s injury list come back to haunt them?
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp faces an injury crisis in his defensive set-up, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Matip and Gomez all on the injury list.
Veteran James Milner looms as the go-to man for Klopp, with the experienced man more than capable of deputising at right full-back.
With Virgil Van Dijk looming as the likely match for Lukaku, Klopp may gamble on Dejan Lovren to curtail the influence of Marcus Rashford.
Is this Paul Pogba’s last derby against the Reds?
There are clearly issues still between Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho that refuse to go away.
The United manager would have been furious with Pogba’s lacklustre performance against Valencia.
Pogba missed a golden opportunity to find the back of the net against the Spanish outfit and remains an uncertain starter for the clash against Liverpool at Anfield.
The French World Cup winner has six goals in 18 Premier League appearances this season and has come under increasing pressure from Mourinho to deliver on his promise at Old Trafford.
Juventus would love nothing more than to steal back Pogba for a second time from United and a January move could be on the cards for the World Cup star.
Can United’s kids shine in Mourinho’s hour of need?
A clash against Liverpool at Anfield is the perfect time for Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard to deliver on their promise.
The United pair have four goals between them across 19 appearances in the English Premier League.
After a lacklustre midweek performance in the Champions League, Jose Mourinho will need his young charges to add some enthusiasm to attack, with Lukaku struggling with two goals in his last 10 matches for the Red Devils.