In Review

Premier League: Man Utd vs. Liverpool preview, team news, possible starting XIs, predictions

Leaders Liverpool are flying high but Andy Robertson expects United to come out firing at Old Trafford

Manchester United vs. Liverpool

  • What: Premier League matchweek nine 
  • When: Sunday 20 October 
  • Where: Old Trafford, Manchester  
  • Kick-off time: 4.30pm (BST) 
  • TV channel: live on Sky Sports from 3pm

Manchester United go into Sunday’s huge clash against league leaders Liverpool on the back of their worst start to a season for 30 years. 

According to reports on Thursday that form could soon spell the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s time at Old Trafford.

The United boss is on the verge of getting sacked and being replaced by former Juventus chief Massimiliano Allegri.

Currently 12th in the table, Solskjaer’s side are already 15 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and their chances of upsetting the league leaders have been dealt a double blow with goalkeeper David de Gea and midfielder Paul Pogba both set to miss Sunday’s fixture. 

A heavy defeat against their rivals could see United make a big decision on Solskjaer’s future at the club

Forget form

With United struggling and Liverpool flying high with eight wins from eight, the Anfield side will be heavy favourites to win the clash at Old Trafford. 

However, despite the different starts for the two rivals Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson says form counts for nothing in what will be a full-blooded encounter on Sunday. 

The Scotland captain said: “I don’t think it matters what your form is like in these games. It doesn’t matter that we’ve won eight on the bounce and they’re struggling. It’s Man Utd vs. Liverpool. It will be a one-off game and we’ll see who comes out on top.

“I’m absolutely sure that they will be firing and wanting to kick-start their season. For them, there would be no better time to do it than against us. 

“But we have our own objectives and our own aims. That’s what we’ve got to be striving for.”

Change the dynamic

United midfielder Juan Mata has urged his team-mates to use the “special” fixture against Liverpool as a catalyst to kick-start their season. 

The Spaniard wrote on his blog: “On Sunday [against Liverpool] we have a great chance to change the dynamic and we are all very motivated to take the win. 

“We are United, we are playing at home and we will give everything to be able to take the victory that our fans deserve in such a special game.”

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Team news and possible starting XIs

Man Utd team news

Goalkeeper David De Gea injured a muscle playing for Spain this week and is ruled out of the game against Liverpool. Argentine Sergio Romero is set to deputise between the sticks in place of De Gea. 

Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard will also miss out, but good news for United is that right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka and forward Anthony Martial could return to the squad. 

United boss Solskjaer told Sky Sports: “I can’t tell you 100% [who] is going to be fit as something might happen. But hopefully Aaron and Anthony will last the training this week and be available for selection. If it’s for half a game or 30 minutes I don’t know but let’s see where they’re at.”

Liverpool team news

Jurgen Klopp should be able to call upon goalkeeper Alisson Becker for the first time since the opening day of the season. The Brazilian has not played since injuring his calf against Norwich, but he returned to training this week. 

Defender Joel Matip also joined Alisson in first-team training ahead of the trip to Old Trafford. 

Striker Mohamed Salah has trained separately as he bids to shake off a knock. However, the Egyptian is expected to be fit for Sunday and line up in attack alongside Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

Possible starting XIs
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp led the Reds to Champions League glory in 2018-19

Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Man Utd vs. Liverpool: pundit predictions

Andy Dunn, Daily Mirror: Man Utd 0 Liverpool 2 

“Across all competitions, Liverpool have won just once in their last 13 visits to Old Trafford - in March, 2014 - but that statistic is about the only straw for United fans to clutch at. Even allowing for the return of a couple of United players who have been on the sidelines, there is no logical argument to be constructed that concludes with a verdict in favour of the home side. In all departments, Jurgen Klopp’s team are stronger than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team. It is as simple as that.”

Steve Bates, Daily Mirror: Man Utd 0 Liverpool 3 

“Let’s be frank, United are a disaster zone and on Sunday they could easily be taken apart by their biggest historic rivals. If you’re Liverpool there’s simply no better time to be going to Old Trafford.”

Paul Ince, former United and Liverpool midfielder, Paddy Power

“For the first time ever, the majority of Manchester United fans actually think they can’t beat Liverpool. It’s at Old Trafford, the ground will be full and I know the supporters will all be behind the team - they always are. But I think the majority will just be hoping they don’t get a hiding, it will be that kind of mindset.”

Michael Owen, former Liverpool and United striker, BetVictor

“Liverpool will equal Manchester City’s record of 18 successive league wins if they win at Old Trafford. Jurgen Klopp’s side have ridden their luck in recent weeks, but I expect them to have too much pace and aggression for this United side.”

Steve Jennings, Squawka: Man Utd 1 Liverpool 2

“Liverpool will be desperate to make it nine wins from nine and keep up their 100% start to the season, especially against rivals Man Utd. The hosts won’t want to be embarrassed in front of their own fans so they will do all they can to get among the goals, but Liverpool will probably have just too much for Solskjaer’s men.”

Premier League fixtures 

Saturday 19 October (3pm unless stated) 
  • Everton vs. West Ham United (12.30pm, live on BT Sport)  
  • Aston Villa vs. Brighton & Hove Albion  
  • AFC Bournemouth vs. Norwich City  
  • Chelsea vs. Newcastle United  
  • Leicester City vs. Burnley  
  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Watford  
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Southampton  
  • Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City (5.30pm, live on Sky Sports) 
Sunday 20 October 
  • Manchester United vs. Liverpool (4.30pm, live on Sky Sports) 
Monday 21 October 
  • Sheffield United vs. Arsenal (8pm, live on Sky Sports)

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Get your first six issues for £6–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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