Preview: Liverpool host a wounded Manchester United, expected lineup

We preview Sunday’s important clash against fierce rivals Liverpool as United travel to Anfield.
Manchester United v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Manchester United v Liverpool FC - Premier League / Michael Regan/GettyImages

One of the oldest and fiercest rivalry in English football takes center stage on Sunday as Liverpool FC welcome Manchester United at Anfield.

Referred to sometimes as the Northwest Derby, the fierce rivalry all started in 1893 after Liverpool went unbeaten in the Second Division and beat Manchester United 2-0 in a playoff to take their position in the First Division, after they finished last that season. The fierce rivalry between the two saw them squaring up in 239 competitive games thus far. However, Manchester United hold the edge over Liverpool with 90 wins, 81 losses and 68 drawn games.

Brian Kidd, Alex Ferguson
Brian Kidd and Alex Ferguson Premiership Trophy May 1996 / Getty Images/GettyImages

Touted as two of the most decorated teams in the Premier League, they are both tied on 67 trophies apiece with 38 league titles between them. During the Shankly era, Liverpool dominated the 70’s and 80’s with 11 league titles in 20 years despite Manchester nibbling at the title here and there. Sir Alex Ferguson took over Manchester United and brought back the glory days at Old Trafford as Liverpool's golden era of Bill Shankly, Kenny Dalglish and Bob Paisley faded in the clouds. Eric Cantona’s late strike in 1996 FA Cup for the cup double was sweet revenge for United as the two met for the first time in a final since they first met in the 1800’s.  

Liverpool FC v Manchester United - Premier League
Liverpool FC v Manchester United - Premier League / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Both teams are in different positions when glancing over the league table, with Liverpool as the current leaders staring down the barrel of a 20th title. Manchester United on the other hand, are fighting to stay close to the top four in a bid for Champions League football next year. A 4-0 drubbing in this fixture two years ago helped to drive the nail in former Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick’s tenure..

The year before, Liverpool beat Manchester United 5-0 at Old Trafford - putting it beside one of the heaviest defeats at home for United. Ten Hag and his men have suffered some humiliations by the hands of Liverpool - losing 7-0 at Anfield on March 5 2023, making it Liverpool's biggest win against United. They previously beat Newton Heath 7-1 in October 1895.

Ten Hag outsmarted Jurgen Klopp's team in the home fixture last year. To find a comparable 6-1 Division One win like the one in May 1928, United's biggest win over the 'Spice Boys' to date, one would have to go back almost a century.

Surprisingly, both teams failed to secure victories in European competitions. Manchester United was eliminated from the Champions League by Bayern Munich. Liverpool, despite topping their group, rested their star players and fielded a second11 against Union St.Gilloise in the Europa League, suffering a 2-1 loss. A record crowd is expected at Anfield for the game, but unfortunate injuries rule out Joel Matip, Stefan, Andy Robertson, and Thiago Alcantara. Diogo Jota and McAllister are also doubtful for the clash due to injuries

Mo Salah leads with the most goals (12) in this fixture, while George Wall scored 9 for United. Salah's goal last weekend marked his 150th Premier League goal, and he looks to add to his tally in Sunday's clash.

With no travel outside of England, a victory over Liverpool might be enough to secure Ten Hag's job for at least another weekend. Injuries continue to plague Manchester United, with Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw limping off in midweek. Bruno Fernandes is suspended for this game, opening the door for Mainoo or Hannibal to fill the midfield void. Rasmus Hojlund, despite failing to score in 14 domestic appearances, is expected to get the nod over Marcus Rashford, who lacks form in front of goal.

This matchup has seen 545 goals, and Manchester United has yet to draw a game this season. Jadon Sancho, currently out of favor, was the last player to score for United against Liverpool. Liverpool has scored in every game this season, indicating that fans can expect goals from both teams.

 Expected Manchester United line-up:

Onana - Wan Bissaka, Evans, Varane, Shaw - Amrabat, McTominay - Antony, Mejbri, Rashford - Højlund.