Manchester United and Liverpool renew their famous old rivalry on Sunday afternoon when the two giants of English football collide at Old Trafford with both sides desperate for the bragging rights.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be underperforming slightly as Manchester United manager at the moment, but his side certainly hasn’t been boring; their midweek Champions League clash against Atalanta producing another classic under the lights at Old Trafford.
After 45 minutes on Wednesday, it looked as if United’s Norwegian coach might not even make it to Sunday’s game with the Red Devils 2-0 down and heavy criticism being levelled at the manager and his team from all angles.
However, whatever he said to his players at half-time clearly did the trick, as Manchester United came out looking revitalised and – spearheaded by the talismanic Cristiano Ronaldo – managed to produce a sterling comeback and win the match 3-2.
United still have a lot of work to do, though, as they have flattered to deceive so far this season. Solskjaer reportedly still has the full support of the board but – despite adding Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Ronaldo to their squad in the summer – the Norwegian simply hasn’t been able to get a tune out of his players consistently so far this season.
That has to change – and fast – if the Red Devils are going to push on and start challenging for league titles again. A victory over the old enemy at the weekend could well be the perfect way to kick start their campaign.
Manchester United v Liverpool
16:30 Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Ultra HD
(Maximum 10 matches)
MAY 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 2-4 Liverpool
JAN 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 3-2 Liverpool
JAN 2021 FA CUP Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United
JAN 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United
OCT 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool
FEB 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 0-0 Liverpool
DEC 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United
MAR 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool
OCT 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United
JAN 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool
Liverpool enjoyed their own 3-2 thriller in the week as they continued their fine form with an impressive away win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds charged out of the blocks, scoring two goals in the opening thirteen minutes, before Atletico Madrid managed to wrestle back control and hit back with two goals of their own to level the scores before half-time.
Mohamed Salah, again on form, converted a penalty 12 minutes from time to win back the lead for Liverpool, but soon after Atletico were then awarded their own spot-kick. However, it was overturned by VAR – much to the dismay of Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone – meaning it was Liverpool who took home a victory that will leave them in a buoyant mood ahead of their battle at Old Trafford on Sunday.
It seems a long time ago that we were talking about Klopp’s Liverpool struggling to find the back of the net. The terrifying trio of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino went on a goal drought of 348 minutes last season, but this transformed side have now scored at least two goals in each of their last nine matches.
The main man, of course, is Salah who many feel is the best football player in the world right now. The Egyptian forward has already bagged 12 goals this season in all competitions and his strike rate shows no sign of slowing.
His jaw-dropping goal against Manchester City recently showed that this is not a player that is afraid of the big stage or a big match so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him make a big impact on Sunday.
Although anything can happen in derby matches like this, Liverpool just look like the all-round better side at present. Manchester United have players who can win matches with a piece of individual brilliance, but Liverpool have a team capable of wearing down and breaking down opponents with much more impressive and efficient team performances.
They should have the edge so we’re backing them to win on Sunday with Mohamed Salah scoring at any time.
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