This already feels like a must-win game for both sides with Man Utd in utter chaos following back-to-back defeats to Brighton and Brentford, while Liverpool are also yet to register a win after stalemates with Fulham and Crystal Palace.
Darwin Nunez’s early bath last time out does however mean Lisandro Martinez should be spared another physical aerial battle, though having conceded six times already this season, it’s hard to envisage a home clean sheet here.
Indeed, the Red Devils managed just eight clean sheets last term, while against Liverpool alone, they’ve conceded at least four times in each of the past three competitive meetings, unsurprisingly losing every time.
They conceded twice at a minimum in seven of 10 clashes with the rest of the top six last season, including four of five at Old Trafford, so despite an encouraging 4-0 win over Liverpool in pre-season, defensive frailties should once again be on display here.
It will be no surprise if Erik ten Hag wrings the changes to his starting eleven and with Raphael Varane and new signing Tyrell Malacia coming on at half-time to help Man Utd stem the tide at Brentford, they might expect to keep their places.
However, midfield options remain thin on the ground, the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho are horribly out of form, while up top, Anthony Martial remains a major doubt and Cristiano Ronaldo’s future is still up in the air.
Liverpool To Win And Both Teams To Score
Jurgen Klopp has his own concerns with a spate of players missing though injury. The midfield is reduced with Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain all sidelined, while in addition to Nunez’s suspension, Diogo Jota is also out of action, so Roberto Firmino is sure to start here.
Centre-backs Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate are both absent, though at least Joe Gomez should be fit again to take Nat Phillips’s place alongside Virgil van Dijk. Elsewhere, back-up goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher and right-back Calvin Ramsay are unavailable, so Klopp certainly won’t have the usual number of options to change things from the bench.
Although both sides have made poor starts, it seems inevitable that Liverpool will start racking up points, whereas the prospectus for Man Utd appears far grimmer.
Erik ten Hag is actually the first Man Utd manager to lose his opening two games since John Chapman in 1921, as they’ve now taken just four points from eight games stretching back into last season, including four defeats on the spin.
It’s difficult to see where the host’s next clean sheet is coming from and although Liverpool have hardly sparkled this term, it’s not as though they haven’t carried a significant attacking threat despite the absentees.
However, Liverpool managed just two clean sheets from seven trips to the top eight in the table last term, while both sides have scored in each of their past six league games against anyone.
LIVERPOOL TO WIN AND BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
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