Manchester United vs Liverpool Preview: Two English giants clash in potential season-changing game

Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, to face an in-form Manchester United side in a crucial Premier League clash.

Jose Mourinho’s men are on a nine-match winning streak in all competitions, whilst Jürgen Klopp’s side are winless in 2017.

Despite this, the Reds sit second in the league table, with United in sixth place, but only five points separate the two sides, so both will be hunting for a vital win.

After a shaky start to the season for Mourinho's men, it seems he has finally found the right formula for his side as they rapidly close the gap on the top four.

United sit sixth in the Premier League, despite six straight league wins, but are just three points off the top four and 10 points off the top.

If Mourinho’s men can keep their form up, they could launch a late title challenge.

Klopp’s men seemed to be the only team able to catch Chelsea, but in recent games have looked flat and a different side.

Their last win came on New Year’s Eve against Manchester City, but since then have drawn to Sunderland and Plymouth Argyle, as well as losing to Southampton.

They have managed to close the gap on leaders Chelsea to five points, but will need a win this weekend to keep up with the Blues.

Team News

United will hope to have top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic back from injury, after he sat out their League Cup semi-final first-leg victory of Hull, due to an illness.

Marcos Rojo could return to the side, but Eric Bailly will not features as he is at the African Cup of Nations.

Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho made his return as a substitute in midweek, where the reds lost 1-0 to Southampton, in their League Cup semi-final first-leg, but is expected to start his first game for the Reds since November.

This week, captain Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip both returned to training and are in contention to start this weekend.

Sadio Mane will miss out as he too is at the African Cup of Nations.

Head-to-Head

This is the 50th Premier League meeting between Manchester United and Liverpool, with the Reds winning just 13 and United winning 27.

The last 14 games of this fixture to take place at Old Trafford have resulted in Liverpool losing 11 of them.

For Liverpool, a win would set a club record of 47 points after 21 matches of a Premier League season.

Liverpool have lost 67 league matches to United, more than at the hands of any other opponent.

The only season in which both top-flight fixtures between these two teams ended goalless was way back in 1919-20.

Wayne Rooney needs just one goal to become the outright top scorer in Manchester United's history. He is currently level with Sir Bobby Charlton on 249 goals. If Rooney plays, he will become the 21st player to reach 450 Premier League appearances.

United have won their last nine games in all competitions, their best run of form since an 11-match winning streak across January and February 2009.

The Red Devils could win seven consecutive league matches for the first time since January-March 2013.

Liverpool could remain winless in their opening four matches of a calendar year in all competitions for the first time since 1993.

The Reds have kept just three clean sheets away from home in the league this season.

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