Manchester United have already got one over on Liverpool and finished top of the table - and the new Premier League season hasn't even started yet.
While both clubs are gearing up for the first game of the new 2014/15 campaign this weekend it is Manchester United who have landed the first blow - in the popularity stakes at least.
New research from the Premier League Review has revealed that Manchester United ace Robin van Persie was the most popular name to have printed on the back of shirts amongst fans last season. Overall the Red Devils have four players in the top 10 - a remarkable sign of their popularity across the globe.
This is the second time that the Dutch ace has topped the list, and he was able to beat off competition from Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and former striker Luis Suarez. Chelsea ace Eden Hazard bags himself 4th spot in the list. Mesut Ozil sparked pandemonium when he arrived at Arsenal last summer, with fans rushing to the club store to buy his shirt.
That appears to have done the trick for the Arsenal star who gets himself 5th spot as the highest-placed new signing. Behind him is Van Persie's Manchester United cohort Wayne Rooney, while Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Manchester United pair Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa, and former Chelsea man Frank Lampard complete the list.
Despite their popularity Manchester United struggled badly last season, and will be hoping for much better this time round with new boss Louis van Gaal at the helm. Fans of the Red Devils will also be hoping for a few big name arrivals before the close of the transfer window; if the likes of Arturo Vidal or Angel di Maria arrive at Old Trafford before the September 2 deadline there's a good chance that they could appear on this list next year.
Liverpool have of course lost one of their two players on this list; Suarez has joined Barcelona for a reported fee of £75 million which leaves a lot of fans with something of a problem. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has been busy spending that money on seven new players, with a few more faces expected at Anfield before the window slams shut.
They managed to finish second in the Premier League last season and earned Champions League qualification, which means they'll need all the help they can get from their new boys if they are to fight in four separate competitions.
1. Robin van Persie
2. Steven Gerrard
3. Luis Suarez
4. Eden Hazard
5. Mesut Ozil
6. Wayne Rooney
8. Juan Mata
9. Shinji Kagawa
10. Frank Lampard
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