Liverpool find themselves nine points clear at the summit of the Premier League table thanks to a 3-1 win over Manchester City at Anfield.
Goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané gave the rampant Reds a 3-0 lead before Bernardo Silva snatched a late consolation for the visitors.
Manager Jurgen Klopp elected to pick what is known as his tried and tested midfield — with Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum ahead of Fabinho — and he was rewarded in a performance of tactical and physical dominance.
Fabinho, in particular, was dominant throughout and not only in a defensive sense. The Brazilian offered an attacking thrust, too, and it was through him that the European Champions opened the scoring.
Mané’s cross from the left flank into the City box caused consternation and a limp clearance found Fabinho outside the box. With time to compose himself, the former Monaco man walloped a 25 yard strike into the left corner and past Claudio Bravo for a goal that sent Anfield into raptures after six minutes.
City were growing into the game and probing, but it wasn’t long before the famous old ground erupted with noise again.
In a game with technical footballers of the ilk of Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne, Trent Alexander Arnold stood out as a beacon of creative application and quality and it was through the academy full back’s pass that Liverpool doubled their lead.
Alexander Arnold’s searching and arched, left footed pass completely filleted Pep Guardiola’s midfield and found Andrew Robertson on the front foot. The Scot then produced a cross of the highest calibre, perfectly bouncing into the path of Mohamed Salah. Despite the pinpoint accuracy of the cross, the Egyptian scoring was no gimme. But the reigning Premier League golden boot winner deftly directed the ball past Bravo with his head for 2-0.
Staring down the barrel of a big defeat the visitors kept pushing, with Aguero neatly knitting the play when dropping deep from his centre forward role, but the Reds held firm. Angelino, starting at left back ahead of Benjamin Mendy, almost grabbed a goal back when his deflected strike hit the outside of Alisson’s post, but Liverpool held their 2-0 lead at the break.
Two goals became three just after the break when Mané headed past the despairing Bravo. Jordan Henderson, showing no ill signs of the virus that afflicted him during the week, powered past Kyle Walker and when tight to the right hand touchline fashioned a brilliant cross for Mané.
The Senegalese’s power prevented Bravo — who got a hand to the ball – from keeping the header out and the table toppers were in dreamland and held a commanding 3-0 lead.
Predictably, the defending Premier League Champions began to assert themselves after the concession of the third. Using Raheem Sterling heavily, City created a glut of half chances — with Walker and Bernardo both going close — but Liverpool remained defensively sturdy.
Finally, after what felt like an interminable wait, the light blues broke their goal scoring duck.
In a move seen a thousand times before, City scored from a cut back from the touchline. Angelino supplied the cross and Bernardo, with the aid of a deflection from Lovren, supplied the finish on the 78th minute mark.
A nervy final 12 minutes awaited the Anfield faithful, but Liverpool — who brought on Joe Gomez to shore up their right hand side and counteract Sterling’s influence — held on for a massive win in the context of the Premier League title race.
Liverpool team: Alisson; Alexander Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané.
Substitutions: Milner for Henderson, Oxlade Chamberlain for Firmino, Gomez for Salah.
Subs not used: Adrian, Lallana, Keita, Origi.
Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Michael Oliver
Date & Time – Sunday, November 10th @ 16:30
Current Odds – Liverpool 81/50, Draw 5/2, Manchester City 8/5
Time to bite your nails to the quick. These games are huge. No, they’re not fuelled by quite as much tribalist vitriol as the Manchester United or Everton fixtures, but because of the bar Manchester City has raised in recent years, this is one of the most important fixtures Anfield will witness this season.
Can Liverpool extend their lead to nine points or will it be cut back to just two by Sunday night?Form
10 wins from 11 in the Premier League – 31 points from a possible 33. That’s unbelievable. Add to that the fact The Reds are top of their Champions League group and into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup and the magnitude of what Klopp and this Liverpool team are achieving quickly becomes apparent.
Regarding form, Liverpool are winning. It’s as simple as that. They are doing what needs to be done in almost every single game. Beating City on Sunday would give The Reds a nice 9-point lead in the Premier League. Here’s hoping.
Manchester City Form
Before Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw away to Atalanta, Manchester City had bounced back from their Wolves defeat in early October with five straight wins in all competitions.
Pep Guardiola’s team also lost at struggling Norwich City in mid-September. However, the concern is that, once again, City will hit an incredible run of form in the second half of the season, as they did in 2018/19.
That’s why Liverpool need to maintain this six-point lead at least. City are capable of winning every league game they play from January to May, maybe even longer.Team news
Liverpool Team News
Nathaniel Clyne, Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri will all miss this game through injury.
Jordan Henderson missed the 2-1 Champions League win over KRC Genk on Tuesday night with an illness. However, the Liverpool captain should be back fully fit in time for Sunday’s game.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson will start on either side of the back four with Dejan Lovren most likely preferred to replace Joel Matip alongside Virgil van Dijk in the centre.
In midfield, Fabinho will be at the base of the three with the afore-mentioned Jordan Henderson with Gini Wijnaldum just in front of the Brazilian.
Much has been made of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s impressive performances in recent weeks, and rightly so. Personally, I would like to see Oxlade-Chamberlain start in place of Henderson on Sunday but my guess is Klopp will stick with the well-drilled and structured trio of Fabinho, Henderson and Wijnaldum.
In attack, Liverpool will be at full strength. Mohamed Salah will start wide on the right with Bobby Firmino through the middle and Sadio Mané cutting in from the left.
Manchester City Team News
Leroy Sané, Aymeric Laporte, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Rodri have all been ruled out of this game through injury.
David Silva is also a doubt but could face a fitness test later in the week to determine his availability.
Ederson went off at half-time in City’s 1-1 draw at Atalanta on Wednesday but he will almost certainly be fine to start at Anfield.
Fernandinho and John Stones will more than likely form the makeshift central-defensive partnership with the in-form Kyle Walker at right-back and Benjamin Mendy on the opposite flank.
Bernardo Silva will drop back into midfield to take David Silva’s place, meaning there will be room for Riyad Mahrez to start wide on the left of City’s front three.Predicted lineups
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Manchester City XI (4-3-3) – Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Stones, Mendy; De Bruyne, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva; Mahrez, Aguero, SterlingWhen they last met
Liverpool and Manchester City last met in August’s Community Shield curtain-raiser at Wembley in an exciting 1-1 draw. City went on to win on penalties on the day.
At Anfield, Liverpool haven’t lost to City since 2003 when a late double from Nicolas Anelka gave the visitors victory after Milan Baros had put Liverpool ahead early in the second half.
Last season, this fixture ended in a 0-0 draw. Riyad Mahrez’s missed penalty in the 86th minute was the highlight of a surprisingly dull encounter when both sides just cancelled each other out on the day.Prediction
Liverpool 1 – 1 Manchester City
These games are almost impossible to call. Also, with the bar currently at the level these sides raised it to last season, it seems far more important for Liverpool to avoid defeat in the head-to-heads than to go chasing victory. I hope I’m wrong and The Reds do take all three points. However, I can see another draw on the horizon.
Liverpool climbed to the top of the Group E table with a 2-1 win over Genk at Anfield.
Goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain sufficed for the Reds, despite the concession of a goal to Mbwana Samatta.
Having started the game in second place, Napoli’s 1-1 draw with Salzburg in Italy means Jurgen Klopp’s men will be top when they entertain Carlo Ancelotti’s side on match day 5 on November 27th.
Electing to make wholesale changes — six in total from the Premier League victory over Aston Villa — the defending champions showed no lack of fluency in the early exchanges.
James Milner came in for Andy Robertson, Fabinho replaced Adam Lallana, Naby Keita started instead of Sadio Mane, Divock Origi took Firmino’s place and Joe Gomez lined up next to Virgil van Dijk in the stead of Dejan Lovren in Klopp’s reshuffle.
However, despite territorial dominance and the overwhelming lions share of the possession, the opening goal was not forthcoming in the opening 10 minutes with the final ball proving elusive.
The Belgians resistance, after an extended period of Red clad pressure, was broken after 14 minutes.
Divock Origi, who started on the left side of a front three, played an intelligent pass into the left hand channel for James Milner to take the ball into the box. The Englishman, who was named to play to left back, then crossed across the face of goal. After a fortuitous bobble, Wijnaldum reacted opportunistically — taking advantage of the hesitance of the Genk defenders — and finished neatly with an improvised scoop into the roof of the net.
Boosted by their goal, and with Naby Keita and Oxlade Chamberlain — who started the game as the false 9 in the hosts 433 formation — progressing the ball sharply through the centre of the pitch, the Reds attacked and attacked but their efforts were frustrated by their own inability to convert chances.
Liverpool’s press, lead by the impressive Fabinho, kept the visitors hemmed into their own half for large periods of the fist half. When the Belgian Champions did manage to break out, they crowned it with a goal.
Samatta, who was on the periphery of the game, met a Bryan Heynen corner powerfully to nod home the equalising goal totally against the run of play.
The half time whistle sounded with the score at 1-1, which was a scantly deserved scoreline for Genk given the dominance they had been subjected to.
The second half saw no let up from the Reds as they buccaneered forward at every opportunity.
Mohamed Salah, who had a frustrating night in front of goal, turned provider when he showed vision, calmness and technique in spades when he teed up Oxlade Chamberlain for the lead.
Pausing with the ball and holding off would be tackles, Salah found Oxlade Chamberlain at the opportune moment with a pass just inside the box. The Englishman then proceeded to smash a left footed shot into the bottom corner and past Gaëtan Coucke.
The goal was Oxlade Chamberlain’s third against the Belgian’s in two games.
Perhaps with their minds on the crunch clash with Manchester City on Sunday, Liverpool played much of the remainder of the second half in second gear and a laxness crept into their game.
Midfielder Heynan almost drew Felice Mazzu’s team level late on, but Alisson, with the only save of note he had to make, was equal to it and confidently pushed the shot away.
Chances came for the Reds to extend their lead, with Genk — pushing forward for a leveller — susceptible on the counter attack, but wasteful finishing, mainly from Salah, kept the score at 2-1.
The Belgians huffed and puffed but all their efforts were in vain as the more streetwise Liverpool saw the game out and collected the win.
Liverpool team; Alisson, Alexander Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Milner; Fabinho, Keita, Wijnaldum; Salah, Oxlade Chamberlain, Origi.
Substitutions: Robertson for Keita, Firmino for Origi, Mane for Oxlade Chamberlain.
Subs not used: Lallana, Adrian, Lovren, Jones.
Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Ivan Kruzliak (SVN)
Date & Time – Tuesday, November 5th 2019 @ 20:00
Current Odds – Liverpool 2/25, Draw 9/1, KRC Genk 25/1
It’s another night of European football at Anfield this Tuesday. Us Reds fans have been completely spoiled with the amount of special Champions League fixtures we’ve had the pleasure of seeing in recent years. That’s all thanks to Jurgen Klopp. This game won’t be one to live long in the memory but a win could set Liverpool off on another unforgettable journey between now and May.Form
Jurgen Klopp’s mighty Redmen just keep upsetting everyone. It’s great to see. This Liverpool team has garnered a reputation as one of those sides that are never quite beaten. They showed more of this fantastic fighting spirit at Villa Park on Saturday. 1-0 down after 87 minutes, The Reds battled back to take all three points with goals in the 87th and 94th minutes of the game, breaking Aston Villa hearts in the process.
That win maintained Liverpool’s six-point lead ahead of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.
In this competition, Klopp’s side can take a massive stride towards qualification for the last-sixteen stage with a win over Genk.
Genk are languishing in 9th position in the Belgian Jupiler League, having lost five of their opening 13 games this season.
They’ve won one, drawn one and lost one since their defeat to Liverpool a couple of weeks ago. The loss was last Saturday when they went down 2-0 away to KAS Eupen.Team News
Liverpool Team News
Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri are out for Liverpool through injury. Naby Keita is also carrying a slight knock which he picked up in the 5-5 Carabao Cup clash with Arsenal on Wednesday night.
Jurgen Klopp will probably opt for Joe Gomez to start in central defence as Dejan Lovren will most likely be kept for the Manchester City game next weekend.
I think Fabinho will start as he didn’t feature in the win at Aston Villa on Saturday. The Brazilian midfielder will probably need some minutes under his belt to be in optimum condition for Sunday’s match.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may also start after his two-goal performance for The Reds in the 4-1 win away to Genk.
At least one of the front three could be rested on Tuesday night so Divock Origi will get another start at Anfield.
Genk Team News
Felice Mazzu has a fully fit squad to choose from for Genk’s visit to Merseyside.
In the home game, the Belgian club lined out in a 4-4-1-1 formation and we can expect to see the same formation on Tuesday.
Genk have no players missing through suspension for this game, either.Predicted Lineups
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Origi
KRC Genk XI (4-4-1-1) – Coucke; Maehle, Cuesta, Lucumi, Uronen; Ito, Heynen, Berge, Bongonda; Samatta; OnuachuWhen they last met
Liverpool won 4-1 when the sides met in Belgium two weeks ago. It was the first-ever meeting between the clubs in any competition. Goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (x2), Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah gave The Reds victory. Stephen Odey scored a late consolation strike for Genk.Prediction
Liverpool 4 – 0 KRC Genk
Liverpool should win this game comfortably, as they did in Belgium a fortnight ago. Expect plenty of goals in the game. Some players will be playing for a starting place in the huge Premier League clash with Manchester City next Sunday.
I’ll be honest with you all – I turned my Chinese stream off a couple of minutes before Robertson’s equaliser. I didn’t think it was worth the constant flicking between grainy, lag-ridden pictures just to see us lose. How wrong I was. This team just never gives up and despite Jon Moss and Martin Atkinson’s best efforts, the Reds find a way to dig out yet another win. It wasn’t the best of performances, but let’s have a look at how Jurgen’s handsome group of mentality monsters got on individually. Do forgive me if you find any errors in my analysis. As I just mentioned, the streaming wasn’t particularly successful today.
Alisson had very little to do, as I feel I say every week. He couldn’t do much about the goal and his most significant involvement was when he showed great awareness to cut out a dangerous looking through ball, which had the potential to see a Villa man get in one-on-one.
The defence was a little bit shaky early on and allowed Wesley to have a free header from around ten yards out. Not long after, we were behind from a wide free kick after, for what feels like the first time in years, our high line didn’t catch the correct person offside. Other than those two instances, Villa didn’t create a whole lot and it was a rather quiet afternoon for them. Despite Wesley’s aerial prowess, he rarely got the better of van Dijk or Lovren. Going forward, our fullbacks struggled to get much going with a lot of hopeful crosses being swung with, what felt like, a lack of thought. Having said that, both Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold played instrumental parts in the two goals. For the equaliser, the Scotsman sprints towards a Sadio Mané cross to the back post and thunders a header past Tom Heaton. For the winner, Trent creates another massive goal from a corner as Mané glances his near-post-delivery into the far corner.
The midfield was always going to be an issue today with Fabinho predictably left out due to his yellow card tally. Lallana started deepest with Henderson and Wijnaldum in front of him. While that trio were not the best, it was a case of just getting through the game with the three points, knowing that we are very unlikely to see that setup again anytime soon. Henderson and Wijnaldum continued their pretty poor form and Lallana just quite simply should never be seen in holding midfield. I will let them off today, though, as it was an unorthodox three, to say the least.
Our main men up top were not at their best. All three struggled with their touches and decision-making and, unfortunately, with the midfield that took to the pitch, they were the only real candidates to get us a goal. Salah came off after an hour, probably still feeling the effects of the ankle injury. Firmino should have had a goal but it was bizarrely ruled out for offside despite the VAR camera appearing to show the Brazilian in a clear onside position when the ball was played. Aside from that, it was not a great showing from our Bobby. Much like Salah and Firmino, Mané had a difficult game for the most part. This was made even worse after, instead of being awarded a penalty for being trodden on in the box, he was booked for diving. He didn’t let it get to him, though. As usual, he kept fighting right until the end and turned the game on its head, which is why he is my Man of the Match. Despite very little coming off for him in the first 85 minutes, he leaves the pitch with a goal and an assist, single-handedly keeping us 6 points clear at the top of the Premier League. He floats a cross into the back post with his weak foot which Robertson dispatches to get us level. In the 94th minute, he makes his trademark dart to the front post from a corner and delicately clips the ball into the far bottom corner off the top of his head and sends the Liverpool fans into delirium. The ultimate clutch player.
Venue – Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee – Jonathan Moss
Date & Time – Saturday, November 2nd @ 15:00
Current Odds – Aston Villa 8/1, Draw 4/1, Liverpool 33/100
Newly-promoted Aston Villa will be a very tough proposition for Liverpool at Villa Park this weekend. As Liverpool fans, we’re growing so used to winning in the league now we’re in danger of forgetting the grind and effort that has to go into it.
Both players and the manager give every last ounce they have, week in week out, to take us three points closer to our 19th league title. Saturday’s game in Birmingham will be no different. Take nothing for granted.FORM
Aston Villa Form
Dean Smith’s side has already faced three of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ teams so they can be relatively content with being 15th in the table after a difficult opening few months to the season.
Villa have only lost one of their opening five home games in the league so far. That was a 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth on the second weekend of the campaign.
They’ve learned a lot since then and even had Manchester City worried with a 0-0 scoreline at half-time last Saturday.
Liverpool have played 15 games in all competitions this season. They’ve failed to win in only three of those games.
Defeat at Napoli in the Champions League, a 0-0 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford and last Wednesday night’s incredible 5-5 draw with Arsenal in the League Cup (which Liverpool won on penalties) are the only flies in the ointment of 2019/20 so far.
Last Sunday saw The Reds completely dominate Spurs at Anfield after going behind to an opportunistic early header from Harry Kane. Liverpool showed they can bounce back, again.
At the risk of sounding like Brendan Rodgers, there is no lack of character in this squad. They’ll need it at Villa Park this weekend, too.TEAM NEWS
Aston Villa Team News
Jack Grealish is Villa’s only concern as he looks to recover from a calf injury. Villa’s number 10 has had a good season so far and, along with John McGinn, is probably Dean Smith’s most important player. I think he’ll make it back in time for Saturday’s game.
In recent weeks, Smith has been setting his side up in a 4-3-2-1 formation which, when out of possession, reverts back to a more conservative 4-1-4-1 shape.
Tom Heaton has been pretty solid in goals for Villa while Tyrone Mings and Bjorn Engels seem to have a good partnership at the heart of the defence.
The brilliantly-named Marvelous Nakamba is the midfield anchor with John McGinn and either Conor Hourihane or Douglas Luiz beside him. I think Hourihane will get the nod for this game.
The two attacking midfielders to link with the lone striker, Wesley, or Mahmoud Trezeguet and Jack Grealish.
Liverpool Team News
Nathaniel Clyne, Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri are all out of Saturday’s fixture. Clyne won’t be back until February due to the ACL injury he suffered in pre-season. Matip reportedly won’t be available again for 5-6 weeks while Shaqiri’s ongoing calf issue continues to prevent him from getting any game-time.
Jurgen Klopp rested the bulk of his first-choice starting lineup for the Carabao Cup clash with Arsenal on Wednesday night.
Dejan Lovren is expected to keep his place in central defence alongside Virgil van Dijk in Matip’s absence.
Fabinho – one yellow card away from suspension – should be left out of this game to protect him for the Manchester City fixture the following weekend.
Gini Wijnaldum, therefore, will probably start in the ‘6’ role for Liverpool with Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain making up the rest of the midfield triumvirate.
The front three should be at full strength – Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané.PREDICTED LINEUPS
Aston Villa XI (4-3-2-1) – Heaton; Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Nakamba, Hourihane; Trezeguet, Grealish; Wesley
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, ManéWHEN THEY LAST MET
February 2016 was the last time Liverpool travelled to Villa Park. The Reds won 6-0 on that day, just months before Villa were relegated to the Championship. Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi are the only four players from the squad on that day who are still at LFC.PREDICTION
Aston Villa 0 – 2 Liverpool
This Liverpool team has learned to dig deep in the last few years under Jurgen Klopp. The so-called Mentality Monsters have lived up to the name on several occasions when the task before them has appeared too large.
Aston Villa may be newly-promoted but Dean Smith has his team structured and very well organised so far in the Premier League. Klopp’s men will know that this Villa Park fixture presents another difficult obstacle on the course to a potential Premier League title victory. They will overcome this one, too.
Liverpool booked their place in the Carabao Cup quarter finals after a 5-4 penalty shootout win settled their spectacular ten goal thriller with Arsenal.
Young Irish goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher saved Dani Ceballos’ spot kick — the only penalty missed in the shootout — and this gave fellow academy graduate Curtis Jones the opportunity to win the shootout with the final Reds penalty. The 19 year old Scouser, cool as a breeze, slotted low into the left corner past Emilliano Martinez to see the Kop erupt.
Arsenal, who named a relatively more experienced team than the hosts, thought they had won it late on through a sensational Joe Willock strike. But Jurgen Klopp’s men, recovering the lead for the second time in the game, rescued the draw and ensured penalties when Divock Origi completed his brace with an acrobatic finish in the fourth minute of added time.
The young Reds started the deluge of goals in the fifth minute when Shkodran Mustafi clumsily deflected the ball past his own keeper. Debutant right back Neco Williams clever pass released Alex Oxlade Chamberlain in the right hand channel and the cross — intended for Rhian Brewster — was stabbed into his own net by the German.
To the credit, the Gunners recovered well and 3 quickfire goals — from Lucas Torreira, which appeared offside, and a double from Gabriel Martinelli — saw them claim a 3-1 lead.
Continuing the madcap flow of goals was James Milner — who started the night playing left back — who calmly stroked home a penalty after Harvey Elliott, the youngest player to ever start a game for Liverpool at Anfield, was upended in the box by Martinelli.
The second half followed a similar goal laden pattern, when Mesut Ozil brilliantly and opportunistically assisted Ainsley Maitland Niles with a back heel after a slack back pass from Milner put Unai Emery’s team through on goal.
Against his former club, Oxlade Chamberlain would score the first of three consecutive long range strikes as he powerfully smacked a volley past Martinez. 4-3 soon became 4-4 when substitute Jones ball found Origi just outside the box and Belgian shrugged off would be challenges before smashing a shot into the right hand corner. Martinez, the Argentinian, got a hand to it but the power of the shot was too much to prevent the goal being tied.
Willock, in even more spectacular fashion, followed suit soon after and appeared to win it for Arsenal when his brilliant outside the box strike made the score 5-4 to the visitors.
However, with time running out, the impressive Williams’ cross found Origi and the forward wrote himself into Kop lore with a spectacular scissor kicked equaliser.
Penalties awaited and Milner, Lallana, Brewster, Origi and Jones netted confidently for the Reds. Kelleher, the second Liverpool goalkeeper this season — after Adrian in the Super Cup final in Turkey — to win a penalty shootout guessed the right way and saved Ceballos well hit penalty to send the eight times winners into the quarter finals.
Liverpool team: Kelleher, Williams, Gomez, Van den Berg, Milner; Lallana, Keita, Oxlade Chamberlain; Brewster, Origi, Elliott.
Substitutions: Chirivella for Oxlade Chamberlain, Jones for Keita.
Subs not used: Adrian, Koumetio, Kane, Clarkson, Larouci.
Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Andre Marriner
Date & Time – Wednesday, October 30th @ 19:30
Current Odds – Liverpool 4/5, Draw 14/5, Arsenal 16/5
Wednesday night sees Liverpool return to Carabao Cup action against Unai Emery’s Arsenal team at Anfield.
The Reds have won the League Cup a record 8 times. Yet, in the last two seasons, Jurgen Klopp’s men fell at the first hurdle on both occasions.
Klopp did almost win the League Cup in his first year on Merseyside, just losing out on a penalty shootout to Manchester City in the final in February 2016.
In 2016/17, Liverpool reached the semi-finals only to lose out 2-0 on aggregate to Southampton.Form
Form can be a tricky topic to discuss when it comes to the top teams and their upcoming League Cup fixtures. This is because Liverpool’s starting eleven on Wednesday night will bear little-to-no resemblance to The Reds’ strongest lineup which we are used to seeing week in week out.
Going on Liverpool’s young team’s performance in its 2-0 third-round win at MK Dons, however, we can look forward to another night of exciting football at Anfield this week.
Five players made their competitive debuts for Klopp’s side that night as goals from James Milner and Ki-Jana Hoever ensured progression to the last sixteen.
The Gunners have only lost twice in 14 games across all competitions this season. One of those defeats came at Anfield when Unai Emery’s team went down 3-1 to Liverpool in late August.
In the previous round of the League Cup, Arsenal thrashed Nottingham Forest 5-0 at The Emirates with a young team led by 18-year-old Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli who scored twice on the night.
Last Sunday, Arsenal gave up a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Crystal Palace in a game where club captain Granit Xhaka was booed off by his own fans after an hour of the game.
It will be interesting to see the mood in The Gunners camp when they arrive in Liverpool on Wednesday.Team News
Liverpool Team News
Nathaniel Clyne and Xherdan Shaqiri are both out through injury. Clyne’s ACL issue keeps him out until February at the earliest while Shaqiri’s ongoing calf/heel problem means he is also unavailable.
Joel Matip missed the win over Spurs due to a knock he picked up in the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford over a week ago. It’s unlikely Matip will be risked in this Carabao Cup fixture.
Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk both suffered injuries against Spurs on Sunday. Salah was taken off with a recurrence of the ankle injury he got against Leicester City. Van Dijk had a dead leg late in the game but was able to see out the full 90 minutes. It’s unlikely either of these players will play any part on Wednesday.
Caoimhin Kelleher made his Reds debut in the last round at MK Dons. Klopp needs to decide whether to stick with the Irishman or give some more game-time to Adrian who impressed so much during Alisson’s early-season injury absence. I think Klopp will opt for Adrian to start in this case.
Neco Williams and Sepp van den Berg could start at right-back and centre-back, respectively. Van den Berg will probably partner Joe Gomez in the middle of the back four. James Milner could play at left-back.
Adam Lallana might be employed in the ‘6’ role at the base of Liverpool’s midfield and, hopefully, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain just ahead of him in that trio.
Up front, it should be the same players who started at MK Dons. That is, Harvey Elliott wide on the right with Rhian Brewster through the middle and Curtis Jones on the left.
Arsenal Team News
Reiss Nelson is the only Arsenal player currently listed as being injured. His knee injury keeps the youngster out until early November at least.
Like Liverpool, Arsenal played a second-string team made up of a healthy mix of experienced players and youth talents in the previous round.
I would expect Unai Emery to employ the same approach this week.
Gabriel Martinelli is certainly one to watch and could give Liverpool’s backline a tough night.Predicted lineups
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Adrian; Williams, Gomez, Van den Berg, Milner; Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita; Elliott, Brewster, Jones
Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1) – Martinez; Chambers, Mustafi, Holding, Tierney; Torreira, Willock; Rowe, Ozil, Saka; MartinelliWhen they last met
Arsenal haven’t won in the last 9 meetings between the sides, drawing four and losing five. Their last win at Anfield was in 2012 when goals from Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla gave them a 2-0 win in the Premier League fixture.
Liverpool won 3-1 in the league back in August and 5-1 in last season’s home fixture against The Gunners.Prediction
Liverpool 2 – 1 Arsenal
This game could be a cracking one for football fans. Two young teams will be going for the jugular as they try to book their place in the quarter-finals of this season’s competition.
Liverpool’s more experienced lineup should play a huge part in securing a victory for Klopp’s side in a game where I fancy both teams to get on the scoresheet.
Liverpool reopened their six point lead at the top of the Premier League table with a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield.
Having fallen behind early to a Harry Kane goal, the Reds rallied to take what may prove to be a huge victory with a Jordan Henderson half volley and a Mohamed Salah penalty.
Jurgen Klopp elected to make three changes from the midweek victory over Genk, with the fit again Trent Alexander Arnold replacing James Milner at right back. Elsewhere, Jordan Henderson replaced Naby Keita in midfield with Georginio Wijnaldum also coming into the engine room, in place of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain.
Much of the preamble before the game centred on what kind of tactical approach Spurs would take into the game and that was answered after only a minute.
Henderson, attempting a foray upfield, was too easily muscled off the ball by Harry Winks. The ball was then swept to Son Heung Min and the Korean’s shot, which deflected off Dejan Lovren, struck the left hand post. From the rebound, Harry Kane — with typical strikers instincts — nodded the ball into the net from minimal distance for a 1-0 lead.
Liverpool, with Spurs flooding the midfield in their 4-5-1 shape, looked laboured at times in the first 20 or so minutes. With the middle third congested, much of the attack was funnelled out wide and Alexander Arnold and Andrew Robertson’s usual world class delivery wasn’t quite as prodigious as usual.
The tide began to turn, however, as Roberto Firmino — hitherto unseen — began to influence things and provide a link between midfield and attack.
The European Champions, now with the bit between their teeth, would have equalised in the first half if it wasn’t for the heroics of Paulo Gazzaniga in the visitors goal.
The Argentinian kept the hosts at bay with excellent saves, particularly from Virgil van Dijk. From a typically whipped Alexander Arnold set piece, Gazzaniga expertly pushed van Dijk’s goalbound header over the bar.
The half time whistle blew with Liverpool in the ascendancy, but without them making it count on the scoreboard.
Gazzaniga, who also played under Pochettino at Southampton, was in the thick of the action in the second half just like he had been in the first.
The Spurs back up saved from headers from Firmino and van Dijk and also showed his distribution skills. From a long kick from hands, Gazzaniga released Son, who after taking advantage of poor Lovren positioning, and the Korean rounded Alisson before rattling the bar with his left footed strike.
Despite bossing the game, Spurs’ almost moment was a wake up call for Liverpool and one they heeded as they scored soon after.
Fabinho, rightly, is credit as being one of the foremost, ball winning defensive midfielders in the world. But that tag doesn’t give enough credit to his playmaking abilities and they were in full show as he assisted Henderson for the equaliser.
The Brazilian’s probing ball took Spurs’ left back, Danny Rose, out of the equation and Henderson, on his weaker left foot, half volleyed home with aplomb for a deserved game leveller.
Attacking the Kop with a raucous crowd roaring them on, the table toppers attacked and attacked and completely hemmed the visitors into their own half.
It felt like a matter of time before the relentless Reds would take the lead and the breakthrough came in the 75th minute and it owed itself to the never say die attitude of Sadio Mané.
Chasing down a lost cause, the Senegalese got to the ball Serge Aurier. The Ivorian won it back, but Mane — not giving up and showing brilliant core strength — pilfered the ball again before the right back wildly kicked home and conceded what was a stone wall penalty.
Quite like the Champions League final between the sides in Madrid, Salah’s penalty was hit hard and true and past the keeper.
It was a deserved lead for Liverpool and they threatened more but held out for a 2-1 win, which was only dampened by the fact that Salah was replaced late on complaining of what appeared to be his previously injured ankle.
Liverpool team: Alisson, Alexander Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Mané.
Subs: Milner for Wijnaldum, Origi for Firmino, Gomez for Salah.
Subs not used: Adrian, Lallana, Keita, Oxlade Chamberlain.
Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Anthony Taylor
Date & Time – Sunday, October 27th @ 16:30
Current Odds – Liverpool 1/2, Draw 7/2, Spurs 5/1
Liverpool Vs Spurs… it’s always a fascinating matchup with no shortage of goals. Spurs have provided consistently tough opposition under Mauricio Pochettino in recent years and Sunday’s game will certainly be no different.Form
Liverpool bounced back from their disappointing 1-1 draw with Manchester United by winning comfortably in Belgium on Wednesday night. Goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (x2), Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah set Liverpool up nicely for this Sunday’s clash with Spurs.
The Reds have won 8 of their 9 league games so far and really have to be expected to make it 9 from 10 against an out-of-sorts Spurs side at Anfield.
Spurs’ 5-0 win against Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday night was only the side’s second victory in its last 8 fixtures in all competitions. Mauricio Pochettino’s team is currently seventh in the league table having already lost three times.
During the week, players like Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane looked to be in great form but it was against a significantly weaker side. Last weekend in the Premier League, Pochettino’s men couldn’t overcome bottom-of-the-table Watford, drawing 1-1 at home to The Hornets.
It’s difficult to know exactly which Spurs team will turn up on Sunday but whichever it is, Liverpool should be looking to win and maintain at least a six-point lead at the top of the table.Team news
Liverpool Team News
Nathaniel Clyne and Xherdan Shaqiri are the only two Liverpool players who will definitely be unavailable this weekend.
Clyne has an ACL injury which he picked up in pre-season so the right-back isn’t due back in full training until early 2020.
Shaqiri has a persistent calf problem that has kept him out of the squad for a few weeks now. He should be fit again in November.
Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold both stayed on Merseyside, missing Liverpool’s 4-1 Champions League win in Belgium on Wednesday night. Alexander-Arnold had a virus while Matip was recovering from a knock he picked up in the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last Sunday. Both are expected to be available for selection this weekend.
I think Klopp will bring both Matip and Alexander-Arnold back in against Spurs.
Andrew Robertson should also be okay to start at left-back. He did come off after 63 minutes against Genk but Klopp confirmed the Scottish international was fine, after the game.
While Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might well deserve a start – and I hope he gets it – after his two-goal performance against Genk, I think Klopp will stick with his preferred trio of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum in the middle.
In attack, The Reds will be at full strength with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané all displaying fine form in the Champions League. They will be raring to go again this weekend.
Spurs Team News
Ryan Sessegnon and Hugo Lloris are both ruled out of the trip to Anfield. Sessegnon is expected to return from his current injury in November. Lloris had that sickening dislocated elbow a few weeks back, keeping him out for the foreseeable future.
Whatever has been going on behind the scenes at Spurs this season, it does seem to have had an impact on Christian Eriksen’s level of performance. However, the Great Dane will probably start against Liverpool to provide for Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son in the forward line.
At the back, Paulo Gazzaniga is Lloris’ stand-in replacement in goals while Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen should form the heart of the defence.
Spurs’ midfield will have a three-man base, probably consisting of Moussa Sissoko, Harry Winks and Tanguy Ndombélé.Predicted lineups
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Spurs XI (4-3-1-2) – Gazzaniga; Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Sissoko, Winks, Ndombélé; Eriksen; Kane, SonWhen they last met
Liverpool did the double over Spurs last season in the Premier League, winning both games 2-1. The Anfield fixture in March was decided by a late Toby Alderweireld own-goal after Hugo Lloris fumbled Mohamed Salah’s header. It was a pulsating encounter and we can expect more of the same this weekend.
The last meeting between the sides, of course, was in Madrid in June. Liverpool won 2-0 to lift the European Cup for the sixth time in the club’s history.
Spurs’ last win at Anfield was in 2011 when goals from Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric ensured victory for the north London club.Prediction
Liverpool 2 – 1 Spurs
Just our luck. Spurs seem to have found their form again during the week as they destroyed Red Star Belgrade 5-0 in London in the Champions League.
Liverpool can make another real statement of intent by taking all three points and I think they will. Anfield will be bouncing and, even though I think Spurs will score – Son is in great form, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds should get the win.
Liverpool won their first Champions League group away game since 2017 with a 4-1 win away to Genk tonight.
A brace from Alex Oxlade Chamberlain as well as goals for Sadio Mane and the returning Mohamed Salah sufficed for the Reds. Substitute Stephen Odey added a late consolation for the hosts, but the gulf in class between the two sides was evident throughout.
Manager Jurgen Klopp elected to make five changes to the side that drew 1-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday, with Naby Keita, Oxlade Chamberlain, James Milner, Dejan Lovren and Salah all coming into the European Champions’ team.
The lack of craft and goals in the Anfield side’s midfield is often a point of contention and debate, but Oxlade Chamberlain showed his goal scoring capabilities after barely two minutes.
Collecting a pass from Roberto Firmino, the England international arrowed a trademark long range shot into the bottom corner past Gaëtan Coucke for 1-0.
The goal seemed to have a lulling effect on the Reds as sloppy play marked most of the remainder of the first half.
Coucke parred away a Mané shot after the Senegalese star was beautifully teed up by Firmino, but the best chance of the half was for the home side. Being played onside by Dejan Lovren, towering Nigerian striker Paul Onuachu was the beneficiary of a long ball up field. The 6’7″ forward bore down on Alisson Becker’s goal, but a combination of fill right back Milner and Alisson’s quickness off his line forced the Nigerian to tamely hit his shot for the Brazilian to save.
Genk, having scant possession, pressed with what little ball they had but their attempts were scuppered by Liverpool’s well organized offside trap. Tanzanian striker Mbwana Ally Samatta who the ball in the net midway through the first half, as he powered over Milner to nod a header home. However, in the build up Japanese winger Junya Ito was offside and the goal was correctly ruled offside.
The second half was played in the same manner to the first; the European Champions dominating possession and keeping the Belgian’s pinned in their own half.
The impressive Keita was seeing a lot of ball and the Guinean played a key role in the Reds second. The midfielder dug out an impressive pass to find Firmino in the box. The Brazilian then laid it back to Oxlade Chamberlain who — from just outside the box — beautifully used the outside of his foot to curl a shot into the top corner off the crossbar.
At 2-0, the game was over but that didn’t stop the visitors appetite for more goals. Much has been made about the apparent spat between Salah and Mane, but that narrative was shown to be nonsense when the Egyptian crafted the third goal for the former Southampton winger.
Showing strength and vision, Salah held off the attention of a Genk defender before slipping the ball to Mane just inside the box. With trademark composure, the number 10 delicately lifted the ball over the onrushing Coucke for 3-0.
Despite the assist, it wasn’t a trademark display from the Egyptian King — with some of his touches and decisions poor on the night, but understandable given it was his first match back from injury — but he proved that form is temporary and class is permanent when he netted the fourth.
Once again, showing admirable core strength, the Premier League record holder for most games in a 38 game season held off 6’1″ defender Jhon Lucumi before finishing cooly with his weaker right foot.
The goals were not done there, however, and the home fans — who had so graciously applauded Divock Origi, a former Genk academy player, upon his introduction as a sub — were rewarded for their support with a goal.
A Lovren mistake on the left hand touchline let Genk in and Odey finished low past Alisson for a late consolation.
Liverpool team: Alisson; Milner, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Oxlade Chamberlain, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Subs: Gomez for Robertson, Wijnaldum for Oxlade Chamberlain, Origi for Firmino.
Subs not used: Adrian, Lallana, Henderson, Brewster.
Venue – Luminus Arena, Genk, Belgium
Referee – Slavko Vincic (SVN)
Date & Time – Wednesday, October 23rd 2019 @ 20:00
Current Odds – Genk 17/2, Draw 5/1, Liverpool 2/7
It’s been just over two years now since Liverpool won an away game in the group stages of the Champions League. On October 17th, 2017, Jurgen Klopp’s side demolished Maribor 7-0 in Slovenia.
Incredibly, Liverpool lost all three of their group games on foreign soil last season, before going on to eventually lift their sixth European Cup. Klopp won’t want to have to do go through such a difficult slog again, though.
Having lost 2-0 in Naples already, Liverpool must do enough to take all three points in Belgium this week.Form
Genk lost 1-0 away to title-rivals Standard Liege on Saturday in Belgium. That defeat sees Felice Mazzu’s club now lying in sixth place in the league table.
They won the Belgian title by seven points last season but Genk have already lost four of their opening 10 games in 2019/20.
In the Champions League, Genk lost 6-2 at Red Bull Salzburg in the first game but then held Napoli to an impressive 0-0 draw at home, last time out.
The Reds dropped their first Premier League points of the season against Manchester United on Sunday. They are now six points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table.
Klopp’s side has three points from its opening two Champions League games – losing 2-0 at Napoli and winning 4-3 at home to RB Salzburg.
A win in Belgium would put Liverpool right back in contention to win the group.
Let’s hope that Sunday’s sluggish performance at Old Trafford had a lot to do with the international break. Liverpool need to shake off that rustiness to stake a claim for the three points in Genk.Team News
Genk Team News
Defender Neto Borges is Genk’s only current injury concern.
Felice Mazzu generally likes to set his team out in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Indeed, that was how they lined up for the 0-0 draw at home to Napoli at the start of the month.
Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta has 6 goals in all competitions so far and will provide the Belgian sides main threat going forward.
Interestingly, attacking midfielder Ianis Hagi is the 20-year-old son of Romanian football legend, Gheorghe Hagi.
Liverpool Team News
Joel Matip, Mohamed Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri are all carrying knocks and it would be a huge surprise if any of them are risked on Wednesday night.
I think Jurgen Klopp will start some fringe players against Genk. Expect to see Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain play some part.
Divock Origi is likely to get his second start in a row as Salah probably will be rested to ensure a full recovery from his current injury. It will be a nice homecoming for Origi. The striker spent 9 years in Genk’s youth system before signing for French side, Lille, in 2010.Predicted Lineups
Genk XI (4-2-3-1) – Coucke; Maehle, Cuesta, Lucumi, Uronen; Berge, Heynen; Ito, Hagi, Bongonda; Samatta
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mané, Firmino, OrigiWhen they last met
Liverpool have never previously played KRC Genk in any competitive fixture.Prediction
KRC Genk 0 – 2 Liverpool
I expect Liverpool to get back to winning ways on the road in the group stages. Genk have struggled to reach the heights of last season, so far, under Mazzu, who only joined the club in the summer.
They may be in something of a transitional period so Liverpool need to pounce on this opportunity, taking six points from six against Genk in the next two Champions League games.
A late goal from substitute Adam Lallana salvaged a point for Liverpool in their 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford this evening.
The home team had lead through a Marcus Rashford goal mired in controversy but Lallana, who replaced Jordan Henderson, had the simple task of converting Andrew Robertson’s cross into an empty net in the 85th minute.
The beginning of the game was typical of a first match after an international break; slack passes were compounded by a lack of sharp movement as both team’s lacked any semblance of fluency or fluidity.
United, however, who started the game in 14th place looked more aggressive and were first to the second balls ahead of the European Champions.
Starting in a 352 formation, the hosts — while not being especially good — had the better of the opening exchanges with Rashford and Daniel James willing runners into the channels for the long balls played by their centre halves.
With the midfielders, with the exception of Georginio Wijnaldum, showing no inclination to make themselves available for passes, Liverpool relied on their full backs, Robertson and Trent Alexander Arnold, for a creative thrust.
With Firmino lacking his usual assurance with his touch and Divock Origi doing likewise, the travelling Reds played into Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s teams hands.
And it was through this laxness in touch that United opening the scoring, albeit with a massive helping hand from referee Martin Atkinson and V.A.R.
A Robertson pass to Origi was mis-controlled by the Belgian, but home centre half Viktor Lindelof clearly came through the back of the forward with a foul.
Play was waved on as the Reds’ players froze in the anticipation of a foul being awarded and James broke into space before firing a sumptuous cross into the path of Rashford, whose movement was opportunistically clever, to fire past Alisson.
Correctly, the goal was referred to V.A.R. but, to the shock of many, it was allowed to stand.
It was a tough pill for the European Champions to swallow but, while Atkinson helped the cause of the Old Trafford side by constantly blowing his whistle for United fouls and ignoring the Reds’ claims, their performance didn’t merit much more.
Liverpool huffed and puffed, with Firmino missing a decent chance from a Sadio Mané cross, but their lack of incision in their passing meant no real chances were created.
Mané had the ball in the net near half time, but it was correctly ruled out by V.A.R after the Senegalese appeared to handle the ball in the build up.
The half time whistle blew with United holding their lead and Klopp visibly frustrated.
The second half started in a similar manner, with the visitors poor in terms of their passing and movement.
The introductions of Adam Lallana, for Henderson, Naby Keita, for Wijnaldum, and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, for Origi, proved to be a catalyst for the table toppers to get a grip of the game.
Prior to the trio’s introduction, the Reds had no options to receive passes between the lines but the substitutes offered a new dimension to the build up phases.
Aside from a Rashford break and wide shot, Liverpool were not threatened in the second half and held the lions share in both possession and territory. However, David De Gea was barely tested in the home teams goal as the visitors struggled to fashion big chances.
The six times European Champions stuck to the task and were rewarded for their perseverance in the 85th minute.
Robertson cross across the face of the United goal found their defence flat footed and Lallana, unmarked, tapped into the empty net.
The table toppers continued probing for a winner but United held firm to deny Liverpool equalling Manchester City’s 18 game long successive winning streak.
Liverpool team: Alisson; Alexander Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Mané, Firmino, Origi.
Substitutions: Oxlade Chamberlain for Origi, Lallana for Henderson, Keita for Wijnaldum.
Subs not used: Adrian, Lovren, Milner, Lovren, Gomez.
Venue – Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee – Martin Atkinson
Date & Time – Sunday, October 20th @ 16:30
Current Odds – Manchester United 7/2, Draw 3/1, Liverpool 8/11
It’s the biggest game of the season for both clubs, no matter what predicament either side finds themselves in at the time.
Manchester United against Liverpool is as atmospheric a fixture as you will find in the Premier League. The recently-suffering Old Trafford crowd will be anxious for something to cheer about this season as the European Champions – and current Premier League leaders – come to town. Can Solskjaer’s men raise their game or will the gulf in class be clear for all to see on the day?FORM
Manchester United Form
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a man under pressure. You can see with the naked eye just how much the United job has aged the ‘baby-faced assassin’ in the months since he was appointed full-time boss. It’s like watching an even stranger version of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
The club has made it’s worst top-flight start since the 1989/90 season and it’s not about to get any easier for the Old Trafford side.
They are without a win in their last three league games, losing two of those. And Solskjaer’s men barely overcame the mighty Rochdale via a penalty shootout on their home turf in the Carabao Cup. In fact, it’s been five games without a win in normal time for The Red Devils, and that was when they beat Astana 1-0 at home in the Europa League.
Liverpool have won their opening 8 Premier League games of the season and sit 8 points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table, currently. The Reds have now won 17 league games on the trot since drawing 0-0 at Everton back in March.
Liverpool’s only negative this season was their 2-0 loss at Napoli in the Champions League.TEAM NEWS
Manchester United Team News
Life hasn’t been easy for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford in recent months. To be fair, he has been dealing with something of an injury crisis at the club.
David De Gea and Paul Pogba are two more players who are now, allegedly, added to the United injury list.
They are expected to miss Sunday’s game, along with Luke Shaw, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard.
United also have concerns regarding the fitness of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Diogo Dalot, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood. However, I expect all of those players to make the matchday squad at least.
Liverpool Team News
Alisson Becker is expected to return to the starting lineup for Liverpool on Sunday. While it may seem cruel on our stand-in ‘keeper, Adrian, the Brazilian international is widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world over the last 12-18 months. Alisson’s reinstatement was inevitable as soon as he was deemed fit and available for selection.
Jurgen Klopp has some other slight injury concerns regarding Mohamed Salah, Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri.
It has been reported that Matip has recovered from a knock so I expect him to start in defence, as I also expect Salah to start on the right-hand side of the front three. Salah was injured by a poor challenge from Leicester’s Hamza Choudhury before the international break. Shaqiri will face a late fitness test to see if he can make the matchday squad.PREDICTED LINEUPS
Manchester United XI (4-2-3-1) – Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; McTominay, Matic; James, Mata, Rashford; Martial
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, ManéWHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool haven’t won at Old Trafford since 2014 when a 3-0 victory was spearheaded by Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and co.
Last season’s fixture in Manchester was a dour 0-0 draw. Liverpool won 3-1 when the sides met at Anfield last December thanks to goals from Sadio Mané and super-sub Xherdan Shaqiri (x2).PREDICTION
Manchester United 1 – 1 Liverpool
While Manchester United languish in 12th-place in the Premier League table, it’s still hard to be too confident as a Liverpool fan when travelling to Old Trafford. Indeed, United is the club Klopp has earned the least amount of league points against in his time at Anfield, and the only club with a better record against Liverpool in head-to-heads in that time.
Yes, this Liverpool team should be beating this United team. Call it old-fashioned pessimism on my part, if you want. I’m predicting a draw on Sunday. Please, let me be wrong.