Manchester United v Liverpool: Preview, key stats and prediction

Anfield

A preview of the huge match at Anfield on Sunday between Manchester United and Liverpool.

Liverpool v Manchester United.

Venue: Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, Sunday 1st of September, 2013, Kick-off 13.30

Official: Andre Marriner.

This is Marriner's third Liverpool v United encounter. He refereed the feisty match in 2009 when he red-carded both Vidic and Mascherano as United lost 0-2. United saw Marriner three times last season as referee, the last occasion in the 2-1 win against Reading in the FA Cup at Old Trafford.

Form

League Form last 5: United; DWDWL

League Form last 5: Liverpool; WWWWD

All Matches: United win (74), Liverpool win (62), draws (51).

Discipline last season

Manchester United: Yellow 57 Red 1.

Liverpool: Yellow 54 Red 2.

Manchester United have been given 8 red cards against Liverpool, more than any other team in the Barclays Premier League.

Top scorers last season:

Manchester United; Van Persie (26) Rooney (12) Hernandez (10) Kagawa (6) Evra (4).

Liverpool; Suarez (23) Sturridge (10) Gerrard (9) Henderson (5) Downing (3).

Top scorers this season:

Manchester United; Van Persie (2) Welbeck (2).

Liverpool; Sturridge (2) Henderson (1) Sterling (1).

 Assists: Manchester United; Rooney (2), Valencia (1).

Assists: Liverpool; Enrique (1), Aspas (1).

Team News likely starting:

Manchester United; de Gea, Jones, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Cleverley, Valencia, Welbeck, Rooney, van Persie.

Predicted formation: 4-2-3-1. Suspended, N/A. Injured: Rafael, Hernandez, Nani, Fletcher.

Liverpool; Mignolet, Enrique, Agger, Skirtel, Johnson, Gerrard, Leiva, Henderson, Aspas, Coutinho, Sturridge.

Predicted formation: 4-2-3-1. Suspended, N/A. Injured: Cissokho, Coates, Allen, Suarez.

The last meeting: Manchester United v Liverpool Sunday 13th January.

United 2 Liverpool 1, Van Persie (19) Vidic (54) Sturridge (57).

In a tense enthralling encounter the first 55 minutes were as one sided as has been seen at Old Trafford against Liverpool, with Brendan Rodgers choosing to isolate Luis Suarez in the spear-head of the Red's attack on his own. 

Going into the lead by half-time 1-0 up, Robin van Persie guided the ball past Reina from a Patrice Evra cross. Liverpool at the start of the second 45, brought on Sturridge to add more ammunition in attack, but from a van Persie dead-ball, his kick was thundered goal-bound by Evra, for it to take a deflection of Nemanja Vidic and settle in the back of the Spaniard's net. As Liverpool tried to make a fist of the battle, David de Gea made a great save from a Steven Gerrard drive, only for Sturridge to pounce to turn home the rebound off De Gea, and into the net.

It set up a nail-biting final 30-odd minutes in the match, but United held out to secure the three points, maintaining the seven point gap ahead of Manchester City, at the top of the League table. A nervy battle as always, but a fantastic double over Liverpool the first in over 5 years.

Possession: United 56%, Liverpool, 44%. Shots: United 15, Liverpool, 12. Shots on Target: United 10 Liverpool 5. Corners: United 3 Liverpool 1.

Liverpool overview

Liverpool on Tuesday completed 120-minutes of football in the Capital One Cup against Notts County, eventually seeing-off the League One team in extra-time, 4-2. Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson and on-form striker Daniel Sturridge all remained on the field for the two hours of play.

Brendan Rodgers was not unduly concerned noting: "We've got plenty of time now for the players. That was the idea - that I could put some of the senior guys in knowing there was enough recuperation period after the game, and obviously to give our young players good experience playing in a competitive game. Young Jordon Ibe is 17, Raheem 18, and Andre Wisdom 20 years of age.

"They'll all be fine, they'll recover well and we'll be excited now looking forward to that game on Sunday. We'll assess the injuries, but we'll just see what players are available for us. There's no doubt we need more numbers but it's about quality - hopefully we can bring that quality in."

Defender Aly Cissokho who joined Liverpool from Valencia on loan earlier in August, lasted a mere nine minutes on his debut start for Liverpool in the League Cup match.

Early in extra time ex-Manchester City central defender Kolo Toure also went down injured, although Liverpool went on to victory with the remaining 10 men, through strikes from Sturridge and Henderson.  

The latest is that Toure could now be fit to play, but may end up starting on the bench as a precaution.

Brendan Rodgers the Liverpool boss is under-fan-pressure to add more quality to the team, not just quantity, he noted: "It was obviously disappointing with Cissokho getting injured so early on, he was distraught coming off as you can imagine. Joe Allen we just need to check, he has maybe tweaked his hamstring. Kolo Toure has overstretched his groin, so we need to assess that, which doesn't look good to be honest."

Key Notes - Facts

Liverpool have recorded four consecutive wins in the EPL, they last won 5 on the bounce back in 2009. Should Liverpool win it will be their best start to a league campaign since season 1994-95, recording three consecutive victories.

Daniel Sturridge since moving to Anfield, has netted 12 times in 16 appearances for the club. Becoming the first Liverpool player in EPL history to score 10 times in his first 13 Premiership matches. What do Chelsea-Manchester City- say now?

Dimitar Berbatov was the last United player to score a hat-trick against Liverpool in 2010, a 3-2 victory.

In the Premier League era, eight Manchester United players have scored a double against Liverpool, Mark Hughes, Gary Pallister, Andy Cole, Diego Forlan, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ryan Giggs, Mikael Silvestre, and Wayne Rooney.

United have not lost in their last 13 away games in the Premier League and will have to be at their very best at Anfield to maintain this achievement.

United's top 5 appearance makers against Liverpool are Ryan Giggs (46), Paul Scholes (33), Gary Neville (26), Arthur Albiston (26), and Sir Bobby Charlton (24).

David Moyes has never won at Anfield, if he should record a victory at Anfield it will equal the boss' finest start to a top tier campaign with 7 points on the board in the opening 3 matches, he last achieved that feat in season 2006-07.

Premier League Finishes the Last 10 years:

Manchester United; 12-13 (1st), 11-12 (2nd), 10-11 (1st), 09-10 (2nd), 08-09 (1st), 07-08 (1st), 06-07 (1st), 05-06 (2nd), 04-05 (3rd), 03-04 (3rd).

Liverpool; 12-13 (7th), 11-12 (8th), 10-11 (6th), 09-10 (7th), 08-09 (2nd), 07-08 (4th), 06-07 (3rd), 05-06 (3rd), 04-05 (5th), 03-04 (4th).

Match Prediction: Liverpool 0 Manchester United 1

What is your prediction for the match?

image: © Sanjiva

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