MATCH PREVIEW: Manchester United V Liverpool

Liverpool make the short trip to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon as Jurgen Klopp aims to get a momentous victory over Jose Mourinho's Manchester United. The match needs no introduction on a standard basis but even less so when the two sides are so closely bunched together at the top of the Premier League table.

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At the time of writing (Saturday during PL matches) Liverpool find themselves in third on 44 points with United sitting in sixth, five points behind. A win for the devils would close that gap to two points and with Jurgen's side due to face Chelsea at the end of the month, a loss on Sunday would be a huge dent in Liverpool's title hopes.

Intertwined with all the excitement for the Manchester United match, the Reds also have a League Cup semi-final second leg and FA Cup replay to contend with over the coming weeks. While only the manager knows where his priorities lie, I asked Twitter this week what victory they would prefer:
It's clear that Liverpool fans overwhelmingly would prefer a big win over United in the league on Sunday as opposed to a win over Southampton and ticket to the final, probably against United. I personally can see both sides of the argument, but if we want to be serious about this year's title then a win at Old Trafford, at a minimum a draw, is simply a must.

Injuries for Liverpool have taken a boost with the return of the ever influential Philippe Coutinho. Hednerson and Matip are also both back in training but we continue to work without Sadio Mane who is playing in the Africa Cup of Nations.

For Manchester United, defender Bailly is also at the Africa Cup of Nations. Aside from a question over Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is apparently recovering from an illness, Mourinhho has a very strong side to choose from.

United are on a great run of form and annoyingly for Liverpool they appear to have found their feet just as we appear to have dipped slightly. The lacklustre performance against Plymouth can perhaps be passed off to youth but there was no real explanation for the poor performance against Southampton. Despite this, a match against United is a completely different beast, if there's a game that will fire you up and trigger a world beating performance, it's this one. To break down Mourinho's United, it's going to have to be something special from the Reds.

The last time the two sides met was in October last year and what a bloody terrible match that was. That game was easily one of the worst Liverpool v United games I've ever watched, absolutely shocking. The gamed ended 0-0.

The last clash at Old Trafford was in the Europa League in March 2016. A 1-1 draw was enough for Liverpool who had already picked up a 2-0 win at Anfield. From the last five meetings in the league at Old Trafford, the Reds have won on just one occasion. A 3-0 win in March 2014 saw goals from Luis Suarez and two penalties from captain Steven Gerrard.

"...give me 11 players and we will be competitive." - Jurgen Klopp

Nowadays, these games have a completely different feel, there's no local boys like Carra or Gerrard to stir up the emotion and rile up the opposition. There's no Suarez to cause sheer panic, it's a clever more patient role we seem to play relying on the link up and speed to somehow cause Mourinho's bus to break down. I'm not sure what to expect on Sunday to be honest, on paper and with my realistic cap on, we should lose. In my heart, I can see Coutinho scoring a worldy within 20 minutes and us catching them off guard.

Whatever happens, it simply has to be better than that 0-0 draw! Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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