This must be the least concerned I've been about Liverpool facing United in a very, very long time. I mean don't get me wrong, I'm always up for the United match and I always think the Reds will be able to get the win but equally, I also fear what the devils have to offer... not this time out though.
United, at the time of writing, are sitting 6th in the table on just 26 points. A full sixteen points behind Liverpool at present, and potentially nineteen points behind tomorrow. The United side used to be one filled with talent you would begrudgingly own up to saying you would like in your own team but as fans, including neutrals, up and down the country have been filling out their Liverpool/United combined XIs this week, it's the boys from L4 making up the majority of the lineup.
|Image via inews.co.uk|
The last time the two sides met was in March this year, I'd moved our dream holiday to Australia back a week in order to make sure I could watch this fixture but we lost the game 2-1. A brace from Rashford was enough for United and Liverpool only found the net thanks to an own goal from Bailly.
The last game at Anfield was in October last year, a dire 0-0 didn't exactly display the excitement and head to head affair we usually expect from this clash of the titans. The Reds haven't won at Anfield against United since September 2013 in the league, but they did pick up a victory in the Europa League on home soil in 2016.
Injury wise, both sides are struggling in defence. Matip fractured his collarbone against Napoli and Joe Gomez is also out for the foreseeable future. Liverpool are also facing a major doubt over Alexander-Arnold who has a foot problem.
For United, Marcos Rojo is added to an ever-growing injury list: Smalling, Darmian, Shaw...
- If Liverpool keep a clean sheet it will set a top-flight record for the fewest goals conceded in the opening 17 matches.
- If United lose this fixture, it will result in their lowest points total after 17 league fixtures.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 28 home matches in the league.
Liverpool are flying high, unbeaten, looking solid at the back and remaining powerful in attack, everything on paper says this match should result in victory for Jurgen Klopp, but it's not that simple is it?
Jose Mourinho, as much as it pains me to say it, is a clever manager. He's not afraid to shake up his tactics or set up and play horrible football if it will mean his side avoids an embarrassing defeat and nicks a point.
Mourinho will not come to Anfield to play football tomorrow, he will come to play anti-football and you can almost guarantee that somebody like Fellaini or Lukaku will find a goal and spoil Liverpool's Christmas party.
Klopp's side found it very difficult against teams who parked the bus last season and while we've definitely found a way through this year, I can just see it working a bloody treat for United.
However, if the Reds can get off the mark quickly, score early on and force United into a reaction then I think it could end very badly for the away side. Whatever happens, I hope it's more exciting than that bloody 0-0. I am well up for this one!!!
Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!