Fo­cus on An­field ‘war’, but ex­pect sparks else­where

Daily Dispatch - - Sport -

JOSE Mour­inho takes high-fly­ing Manch­ester United to Liver­pool for a search­ing test of their ti­tle cre­den­tials to­day as the Pre­mier League re­turns with a bang af­ter the in­ter­na­tional break.

United are level with Manch­ester City at the top of the ta­ble on 19 points, trail­ing their neigh­bours on goal dif­fer­ence, but have not yet faced any of their ma­jor ri­vals.

Pep Guardi­ola’s free-scor­ing City, who have al­ready beaten sev­en­th­place Liver­pool and de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Chelsea, host Stoke City, look­ing to add to an im­pres­sive haul of 22 goals so far.

Here are five things to look out for in the Pre­mier League this week­end: Mour­inho and Liver­pool man­ager Jur­gen Klopp must both jug­gle their re­sources for to­day’s early kick-off at An­field fol­low­ing in­juries to key play­ers.

United are with­out mid­fielder Paul Pogba, who has been out of ac­tion for sev­eral weeks with a ham­string in­jury, and the mus­cu­lar Marouane Fellaini is also miss­ing.

It means a likely start for last year’s club player of the year An­der Her­rera along­side Ne­manja Matic.

For his part, Klopp, whose side trail United by seven points, has to do with­out for­ward Sa­dio Mane, who picked up a ham­string in­jury on in­ter­na­tional duty with Sene­gal.

“I think we are a bet­ter team (than we were),” Mour­inho said yes­ter­day.

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