All eyes on the big one at Anfield
Football fans gearing up for nail-biting clash between Liverpool, Man United
LIVERPOOL and Manchester United’s globe-trotting squads must shake off the effects of international duty for one of English football’s most eagerly anticipated clashes tomorrow.
According to Sky Sports, their players clocked up 224 000km taking part in World Cup qualifiers since the last Premier League action, but all roads lead to Anfield as the English top flight resumes after a two-week hiatus with a potential cracker.
The stoppage was badly timed for United, who won their last three Premier League games with nine goals scored and none conceded, albeit against sides in the lower half of the table.
Jose Mourinho’s side, joint leaders on 19 points from seven games with Manchester City, will hope to continue that momentum in what will be their biggest test of the season to date.
Liverpool’s form has been less impressive and Jurgen Klopp’s side, beset by defensive problems, are seven points off the searing pace being set by the two Manchester rivals.
They are also without a Premier League victory over bitter adversaries United in their last six meetings, but Mourinho says recent history will have no bearing tomorrow.
“These kind of matches, every single moment plays a part,” Mourinho said.
“We are playing against a good team with very good players.
“Form doesn’t matter, the moment doesn’t matter.
“It’s a match of three points.”
United will be missing midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who hurt his knee playing for Belgium against Bosnia, while Paul Pogba is still injured.
All eyes will now be on free-scoring United forward Romelu Lukaku, who has been in fine form for his new club.
Liverpool have a potentially more significant absentee than Pogba, however, with forward Sadio Mane facing a six-week layoff after injuring his hamstring representing Senegal.
City, who have built up a goal difference of plus 20 during a stunning start to the campaign, host Stoke City.
Tottenham Hotspur, in third place, will attempt to lay their Wembley jinx in the league at the fourth time of asking as they host Bournemouth, while fourth-placed champions Chelsea, beaten by City before the international break, visit Crystal Palace.
Toothless Palace are the first topflight side to lose their opening seven games since Portsmouth in 2009 and the first in 129 years of the Football League to do so without scoring.
Fifth-placed Arsenal are at Watford, while Burnley, the surprise package so far in sixth, will fancy their chances when they tackle West Ham United at Turf Moor.
Everton travel to Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday. – Reuters
FINE FORM: Romelu Lukaku is expected to play a key role for Manchester United