Champions Liverpool host new Premier League leaders Manchester United at Anfield. Probably the biggest fixture in the English calendar will take on even more importance this weekend.
The top two positions in the table are currently held by the two most successful clubs in the history of English football. They are separated by just three points going into this mouth-watering Merseyside meeting.
It’s almost exactly a year ago to the day since the last meeting of these two sides. Mohamed Salah raced clear at the Kop end to score Liverpool’s second goal in a 2-0 win -a goal. The result was widely regarded as the moment when Liverpool fans felt confident enough to unleash their first real roar of assurance about their drought title coming to an end.
The scene on Sunday would be very different twelve months later. There will be no fans to witness this firecracker of a battle between these two great rivals. And, even if there were, they would definitely not make any claims that the title is theirs already.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson led them to their 20th title in 2012-13, it is the first time Man United have been top. Visitors will certainly head to Merseyside full of faith that they can secure a declaration-making triumph. However, having won nine and lost none of their last 11 top-flight outings dating back to November 1.
Man United have not lost in the league since their last trip to Anfield almost exactly a year ago, away from home. In the meantime, Klopp would expect to mark his 200th Premier League game in style as Liverpool manager. His 127 wins in his first 199 games is only enhanced in Premier League history by Jose Mourinho. But he already has a better winning ratio than any other Liverpool boss to have crossed the double-century in the top flight.
Manchester United will play the match with some injury issues. Having been ruled out by Brandon Williams and Phil Jones and also questionable by Victor Lindelof with a back issue that has seen him miss the last three matches. After limping off against Burnley with a hamstring injury, Anthony Martial will undergo a late fitness examination, while Nemanja Matic must also demonstrate his fitness due to a minor groin problem.
Klopp has refused to rule out the prospect of Joel Matip returning in time for this match. Naby Keita has been ruled out as Klopp exercises
caution over the midfielder’s return, while Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas also remain sidelined. Four months after joining, Thiago Alcantara is in line to finally make his Anfield debut for Liverpool.
Liverpool possible starting lineup: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Manchester United possible starting lineup: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba; Martial