Liverpool host Manchester United in a heavyweight Premier League clash on Saturday, but how do the two teams compare on paper?
United sit second on 19 points in the Premier League table, behind rivals Manchester City only to goal difference, while Liverpool are way down in seventh on 12 points. As we build up to the historic clash, see how the two sides compare on all areas of the pitch:
United have scored an impressive 21 goals this season compared to Liverpool’s 13, meaning it is unlikely that Jose Mourinho will be happy to ‘park the bus’ like he did in last season’s 0-0 draw at Anfield.
Meanwhile, Liverpool will be looking to regain their fluidity in attack, having failed to capitalise on missed chances in their most recent 1-1 draw against Newcastle at St James’ Park.
This is where the stats start to get ugly for Liverpool. The Red have shipped 12 goals from seven Premier League games this season compared with United’s two. Only West Ham and struggling Crystal Palace have a worse record than Jurgen Klopp’s side in England’s top flight.
Both teams will be without key players for the matchup. Hosts Liverpool will have to make do without last season’s top scorer Sadio Mane, who suffered a hamstring injury while on international duty with Senegal, while United will be without Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba, who are both sidelined with injuries.
Klopp v Mourinho
These two men will more than likely be in eachother’s faces on the touchline at Anfield on Saturday. They are two of the biggest presences in the Premier League, with both happy to have a row with the officials.
If recent form is anything to go by, United should have this one in the bag. Five wins from as many games for Mourinho’s men compared to one from five for Klopp’s side is another stat the the Liverpool faithful will not like the look of.
Can either side win the league?
Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler is yet to be convinced by United’s fast start, highlighting the fact that the Red Devils are yet to face a team in the top half of the table.
“If you look at the fixtures – I’m not having a go at Manchester United here – but the run that they’ve had, they’ve played teams who, on paper, they should be beating,” Fowler told the ‘Daily Mail’.
“Without sounding disrespectful to them, now you’ll see over maybe the next month or so, with the run of fixtures they’ve got, what sort of team that really is. They’ve done well. Football is a confidence thing, and that breeds confidence.”
Fowler also insists this is the perfect opportunity for Liverpool to kickstart their so far faltering campaign.
“Liverpool haven’t started yet,” Fowler added. “They’ve had a few good results, a few good performances, but the consistency has not been there just yet. But that might all change with a win against Manchester United. It’s still very very early days in the season.
“It’s a big game. It won’t be the end of the world if Liverpool lose, but it makes it a little bit more difficult.”
Who do you think will emerge victorious at Anfield? Let us know in the comments.