Will bro­ken mo­men­tum halt Red Devils’ march?

The Star Late Edition - - SPORT -

an­dand 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 Juer­gen 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 told Sky Sports.

“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 ab­sent with an in­jury.

For­mer Liver­pool striker and man­ager Kenny Dal­glish ex­pects Mour­inho to pro­tect his de­fence with a cau­tious ap­proach, sim­i­lar to how they played in last sea­son’s 1-1 draw on Mersey­side.

“Last year, when United came to Liver­pool, Jose Mour­inho parked the bus. But it wasn’t just the one bus, I think it was a cou­ple of dou­ble deck­ers he put there,” said Dal­glish.

“I think United will come and set up quite de­fen­sively...

Liver­pool have a po­ten­tially more sig­nif­i­cant ab­sen­tee, 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 with striker Ser­gio Aguero pos­si­bly in con­tention for a squad place af­ter re­cov­er­ing from in­jur­ing his ribs in a car ac­ci­dent last month.

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.

Fifth-placed Ar­se­nal are at Wat­ford, while Burn­ley, the sur­prise pack­age so far in sixth, will fancy their chances of suc­cess when they tackle West Ham United at Turf Moor.

Ever­ton’s Ronald Koe­man is favourite to be the next man­age­rial ca­su­alty af­ter his side’s woe­ful start.

His side travel to Brighton & Hove Al­bion on Sun­day. – Reuters

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