Stats suggest United could dominate at Anfield; Michael Carrick key for the visitors

Michael Carrick 2012

Ahead of Manchester United's Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield, we bring you all the best Opta stats.

With just nine games remaining, only two points separate fourth-placed Manchester United from fifth-placed Liverpool as the two English giants prepare to clash on Sunday. There is more than just bragging rights at stake at Anfield this weekend.

Here are the top five statistics ahead of Sunday's encounter:

16 - Liverpool top the Premier League form table with 16 points from a possible 18 (W5 D1). Meanwhile, Manchester United have impressed but sit two places back in third with 13 points (W4 D1 L1). Sunday’s visitors have scored one more than their hosts in their last six games but have also conceded one more.

62.2 - Manchester United have enjoyed the greater share possession in their previous six games than Liverpool, a 10% swing in fact (62.2% to 51.3%), and they also reign superior in terms of pass completion (85.2% to 80.5%). The statistics infer that Louis van Gaal’s side are far more comfortable when it comes to dominating proceedings.

14 - If Liverpool avoid defeat in this game they will match the longest unbeaten run of the season seen in the Premier League this season (14 games, recorded by Chelsea). Brendan Rodgers side will also extend their unbeaten run at Anfield to an impressive 15 matches in all competitions (currently W7 D7).

2.2 - Manchester United have taken 2.2 points per game when Michael Carrick has featured this season (15 games) compared to 1.6 without him. The 33-year-old, who has recently been re-called to the England fray, looks set for his 11th start of the season at Anfield, but he'll face a tough battle against an energetic Liverpool midfield. 

11 - Steven Gerrard has scored seven goals in his last 11 Premier League games against Manchester United. This is likely to be the Liverpool captain's final ever encounter with the Red Devils, and, if given the opportunity, will undoubtedly be looking to make a lasting impression.

Bonus: Only Liverpool v Everton (20) has seen more red cards in Premier League history than Liverpool v Manchester United (15) (including a record by one player in a single fixture; Nemanja Vidic with four).

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