Can Manchester United become the first Premier League team this season to beat fierce rivals Liverpool?
The Red Devils, who currently sit fifth in the table, head into Sunday’s fixture at Anfield as the firm underdogs.
Liverpool have only dropped two league points all season - although that was against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’ side at Old Trafford back in October.
However, Friday saw Liverpool mark 1000 days - yes, 1000 - since their last home defeat in the Premier League.
They’ve been invincible at Anfield for quite some time now and Man Utd, who may be without star man Marcus Rashford, certainly have their work cut out on Sunday.
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Ahead of this weekend’s fixture, we thought we’d take a look at Liverpool and United’s combined top 20 players this season, based on WhoScored.com’s average ratings.
It’s also worth noting that only players with total appearances greater than the average number of appearances in the Premier League this season are featured, which mean the likes of Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Naby Keita, Joe Gomez and Brandon Williams are ineligible.
20. James Milner - 6.52
We begin with Liverpool’s Mr. Reliable, James Milner. The 34-year-old, who is currently injured, has scored two goals and registered the same number of assists in the Premier League so far this season.
19. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 6.59
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has found himself in and out of Liverpool’s starting line-up this season. As a result, he’s only been able to provide one goal for the Reds in the league so far. Will that change against the Red Devils?
18. Victor Lindelof - 6.62
Nobody has dribbled past Victor Lindelof in the Premier League this season. Despite that, the Swedish defender’s average rating on WhoScored is only 6.62.
17. Andreas Pereira - 6.64
A lot of fans aren’t convinced Andreas Pereira is good enough for Man Utd, but Solskjaer clearly feels otherwise. The midfielder has scored one goal and set up three more for his teammates in the Premier League this term.
16. Alisson Becker - 6.69
It’s surprising to see Liverpool’s No. 1 goalkeeper Alisson Becker so far down this list. Perhaps this just shows that the Brazilian has not had *that* much to do this season because his teammates have been so good.
15. Daniel James - 6.79
Summer signing Daniel James scored three goals in his first four league appearances for Man Utd but hasn’t found the back of the net since. The Welsh winger has, however, provided six assists this season, including three in his previous six outings.
14. Georginio Wijnaldum - 6.91
Georginio Wijnaldum scored in the league fixtures against Sheffield United and Everton but is yet to register an assist this term.
13. Fred - 6.92
Next we have Fred, who has shown in recent weeks why Man Utd splashed out £52 million on him back in the summer of 2018. The Brazilian midfielder has been one of the team’s best performers of late, although is still yet to score or set up a single Premier League goal this season.
12. Jordan Henderson - 7.00
The first player on this list with an average rating of 7.00 or higher, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is a solid 7/10 player most weeks these days. He’s scored one goal and provided two assists in the league this season.
11. Harry Maguire - 7.04
Man Utd’s newly-appointed captain following the departure of Ashley Young, Harry Maguire has experienced a mixed debut campaign at Old Trafford. The £80 million defender will surely be desperate to begin his captaincy with a victory over Liverpool at Anfield.
10. Aaron Wan-Bissaka - 7.12
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been superb defensively for Man Utd this season. If he can improve the attacking side of his game then he’ll soon cement his status as one of the best right-backs in world football.
9. Scott McTominay - 7.15
How Solskjaer must wish Scott McTominay was fit for Sunday’s clash. The Scottish midfielder has been a hugely important player for Man Utd this season but is currently out of action with a knee injury.
8. Andy Robertson - 7.19
Is there a better left-back in world football right now? Almost certainly not. Andy Robertson has been sublime again this season. As well as impressing defensively, the Scot has also contributed one goal and six assists.
7. Anthony Martial - 7.25
Anthony Martial is quietly enjoying a very productive season, scoring eight goals and providing three assists in the Premier League so far this season. The Frenchman famously scored against Liverpool on his debut - but can he repeat the feat this weekend?
6. Roberto Firmino - 7.32
Next we have Roberto Firmino, who has scored seven goals and set up five more for his teammates in the Premier League this term. The Brazilian forward is absolutely vital to the way Klopp’s side plays.
5. Marcus Rashford - 7.34
Marcus Rashford is enjoying his best season as a professional, scoring 14 goals and registered five assists in 22 Premier League games. But will the in-form striker be fit for Sunday’s game? He’ll do everything he can to make this one.
4. Mohamed Salah - 7.36
Mohamed Salah hasn’t always been at his world-class best this season but the Egyptian forward has still been quality, chipping in with 10 goals and five assists in the league. He hasn’t scored in four appearances against Man Utd - but that could all change on Sunday.
3. Virgil van Dijk - 7.38
The world’s best centre-back, Virgil van Dijk has been a colossus once again this season. As well as dominating at the back, the revered Dutch defender has also scored three league goals since August.
2. Trent Alexander-Arnold - 7.42
Still just 21 years old, it’s scary to think how good Trent Alexander-Arnold will be in the future. With two goals and TEN assists in the Premier League this season, the Englishman is already one of the world’s best right-backs.
1. Sadio Mane - 7.61
But leading the way, with an average rating of 7.61, it’s the brilliant Sadio Mane. The Senegalese forward has netted 11 goals and registered eight assists this ter, and just keeps getting better and better. Mane is currently the frontrunner to win the PFA Player of the Year and he’ll further enhance his chances of landing the prestigious individual award by shining against the Red Devils.
So, how do we see this weekend’s match at Anfield going?
Obviously it’s incredibly difficult to look beyond the home side, who look unstoppable right now.
But Man Utd’s come into this game off the back of two straight wins and will take a lot of heart from the fact they frustrated Klopp’s men earlier this season.
We’d still back a Liverpool win - you’d be mad not to - but perhaps it won’t be as convincing a victory as most fans are expecting.News Now - Sport News