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Premier League Preview: Tottering Liverpool host injury-hit Manchester United

Can Liverpool stop the mighty Red Devils juggernaut in front of their own fans on Saturday?

Prithviraj Dev | New Delhi |

Old foes reunite when Liverpool welcome Manchester United on Saturday in what promises to be a titanic Premier League clash.

Anfield will be buzzing in a bid to inspire the Reds, who have won just once in their last seven games.

A win against their hated rivals would give their flagging season a sorely-needed jolt, but with the Red Devils in free-scoring form, can the hosts clinch three points?

That seems unlikely as Jose Mourinho is surely going to set up for a smash-and-grab on Saturday. A United win or draw seems to be the likely result but then again, Liverpool up their game when against the best.


Jurgen Klopp has completed two years at Liverpool but the gregarious German has precious little in terms of silverware to show. Once again, his side have been calamitous in defence and  cannot afford to give the visitors too many chances on Saturday.

Liverpool FC, Premier League, Sadio Mane Injury
Can Liverpool cope without Mane? (Photo: AFP)


United’s formidable attack doesn’t need helping and if Dejan Lovren and Co. don’t get their act right, they might as well forget about a positive result.

Liverpool FC, Premier League, Philippe Coutinho
Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho (Photo: Liverpool FC)


And with Sadio Mane ruled out with a hamstring injury, the Reds have lost their most direct attacking outlet.

In the Senegalese’s absence, Daniel Sturridge is likely to feature, pushing Roberto Firmino out wide and while on paper Liverpool still have a good attack, but with United likely to ‘park the bus’ will have their task cut out.

Dejan Lovren, Premier League, Liverpool FC
Can the error-prone Lovren keep Romelu Lukaku and co quiet? (Photo: AFP)


Talking Corner: It will be a very, very tough game because Manchester United have done very well this season so far. But we know we are strong too and we are really looking forward to the game-Liverpool midfielder Emre Can (

Injury concerns: Sadio Mane (hamstring), Adam Lallana (hamstring), Nathaniel Clyne (back) and Adam Bogdan (knee).

Suspension Alert: None

Manchester United

United’s 1-0 win over Southampton gave an insight into Jose Mourinho’s tactics as the Portuguese knew his side were outmatched and shut up shop early on after securing a 1-0 lead to secure three points.

A familiar theme is likely to ensue on Saturday for United are missing key personnel namely Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini in midfield. The midfielders had been in fine form and their loss will be keenly felt as the player who is expected to replace them, Ander Herrera, lacks a solid physical presence.

Jose Mourinho, Premier League, Manchester United
Will Jose Mourinho spring a surprise with his team selection?


The Spaniard, however, more than makes up with his tenaciousness and it will be a key game for him as he is seeking to prove he’s worthy of a regular starting spot. Hererra and his partner in the pivot, Nemanja Matic,  will have to be on their toes if they are to shield their defence from a dangerous Liverpool attack.

Another player in contention to start is Anthony Martial for the Frenchman has been in scintillating form despite seeing limited playing time. His speed on the counter will be key if United are to hurt Liverpool but if he doesn’t start, Marcus Rashford is likely to get the nod and the United Academy graduate is an excellent option as well.

Anthony Martial, Manchester United FC, Premier League
Will Martial start at Anfield?(Photo: AFP)


Up top Romelu Lukaku leads the line and in his first game against ‘top-six’ opposition, the powerful Belgian will look to set the record straight once and for all.

Giving him company will be Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a player who was on fire in the opening stages of the season but has cooled down in recent weeks. A big performance is required from the Armenian as well for while Liverpool may be inconsistent, they will be fired up on Saturday and will not settle for anything less than a win.

Premier League, Manchester United, Henrikh Mkhitaryan
United’s ‘Armenian Magician’ is a key player for the visitors, for he supplies ammunition to their centre forward Romelu Lukaku (Photo: AFP)


Talking Corner: Do I like to go to Anfield? Yes, I love it. Do I like to play against Liverpool? Yes. I like amazing stadiums, the best opponents but the preparation is not different. It’s just a match-Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

Injury concerns: Paul Pogba (hamstring, Marouane Fellaini (knee), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (knee) Michael Carrick (calf) and Marcos Rojo (knee).

Suspension Alert: None

Super Stat: This is the 199th official meeting between the clubs!