Manchester United v Liverpool: What to look out for in assembly of giants

Mohamed Salah and Jurgen Klopp go face to face with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Cristiano Ronaldo on Sunday

Manchester United and Liverpool go face to face this weekend in certainly one of English soccer’s huge rivalries – and it’s as necessary as ever.

Either side have metropolis rivals within the Premier League, however for a lot of the large one is the assembly of the perimeters separated by 32 miles.

That is their 202nd assembly, with United profitable 81 and Liverpool profitable 68 thus far.

The final match between these sides – at Outdated Trafford in Might – was postponed as United followers protested towards the membership’s house owners. Liverpool received the rearranged recreation 4-2.

United try to indicate they’ll compete for the large trophies this 12 months, as Liverpool look to bounce again from final season’s disappointment.

BBC Sport appears to be like at some potential speaking factors.

Man Utd v Liverpool head to head record

A key second in United’s title hopes?

United are sixth within the desk going into Sunday’s motion with 4 wins, two attracts and two defeats from eight video games.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s aspect solely have one level from their final three video games and, if they’re to problem for the title, they need to discover some type rapidly.

In 4 of the previous seven seasons, the title winners have solely misplaced two or three league video games all season.

Final season, Manchester Metropolis received the title with 86 factors, the bottom title-winning haul since Leicester in 2016. To even attain that quantity, United have to common 2.4 factors a recreation for the remainder of the season.

Liverpool, in third place, are unbeaten however their hole over United would solely be some extent if the Pink Devils win.

BBC Sport’s Simon Stone stated: “Converse to some Manchester United followers and they’re quietly optimistic about their assembly with Liverpool. Their crew might need solely received three of their final eight video games however, the idea goes, Liverpool at Outdated Trafford is strictly the sort of recreation the place United’s star names will excel.

“Frequent dialogue about by no means understanding which United crew will flip up actually revolves round inherent weaknesses within the supervisor’s most well-liked 4-2-3-1 formation.

“On the high of the pitch, the gamers do not work arduous sufficient when they don’t have the ball, it’s claimed. That places stress on these behind.

“Regardless of which personnel are deployed, the midfield two don’t perform successfully as a pivot between defence and assault, which exposes points, both technical or bodily, on the again, exposing David de Gea in purpose.”

Liverpool, the forgotten title contenders

There was an odd dynamic in the summertime when everyone was discussing the two-way title race between Manchester Metropolis and Chelsea.

Of 20 BBC pundits, 13 tipped Metropolis and 7 tipped Chelsea with no person predicting Liverpool to win the title.

One skilled didn’t even predict Liverpool to complete within the high 4.

However Liverpool received the 2019-20 Premier League title by 18 factors – and 33 factors above third place.

They completed in third, 17 factors behind Metropolis final season – however they had been hindered by a number of defensive accidents, most notably to Virgil van Dijk.

The Dutch centre-back has returned now and Liverpool are unbeaten in 12 video games in all competitions this season, scoring 36 targets.

Salah v Ronaldo – who will come out on high?

Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo (r) has received all 4 matches he has performed towards Mohamed Salah earlier than (Actual Madrid v Roma, Portugal v Egypt, Actual Madrid v Liverpool)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer again to Outdated Trafford made all of the headlines this summer season however he’s being outshone by Mohamed Salah within the Premier League this season.

Salah has scored seven targets in eight video games – together with two goal-of-the-season contenders. He’s joint high of the scorers listing with Jamie Vardy – and joint second on assists with 4.

Ronaldo, against this, has three targets and no assists in 5 video games – fewer than Hwang Hee-chan, Ismaila Sarr, Callum Wilson and Neal Maupay.

In all competitions, the hole between Salah (12 targets) and Ronaldo (six targets) is starker.

Salah is understood by Liverpool followers because the king – can he now show he’s the Premier League’s high star?

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp stated: “Why ought to we evaluate Cristiano Ronaldo and Mo Salah? Clearly each are world-class gamers, in order that’s how it’s.

“I might say even when Ronaldo’s left foot just isn’t that unhealthy, however I might say Mo’s left foot might be higher.

“Possibly Cristiano within the air is barely higher and the suitable foot might be higher. However speed-wise they’re each fairly fast, very determined to attain targets – so perhaps that is it.”

Protest points haven’t gone away – evaluation

Simon Stone, BBC Sport

On 18 October, Manchester United confirmed through its personal investor relations channels that Kevin and Edward Glazer had raised $161.31m (£116.97m) by means of their share sale in Manchester United. Three weeks earlier, Joel Glazer attended his second followers’ discussion board in simply over three months – after by no means beforehand going to 1 in 16 years of his household’s possession of the membership.

Whereas the go to of Liverpool to Outdated Trafford is a stark reminder of the difficulty that triggered final season’s recreation to be known as off after followers broke into the stadium and spilled onto the pitch, breaking Covid restrictions within the course of, the 2 issues involving United’s house owners are associated.

Joel Glazer broke his silence after the Liverpool debacle, which was triggered by a mixture of long-standing disenchantment with the house owners and the fallout from the doomed European Tremendous League mission.

One of many key calls for made by supporters was for better fan involvement. To that finish, Glazer is working with the Manchester United Supporters Belief (MUST) to place collectively a share scheme.

But, in the event that they so wished, followers might have purchased the shares two of the Glazer household have simply bought.

True, they weren’t ‘voting’ shares, which is what MUST need. However have a look at the price. Over £100m. It’s estimated with a purpose to purchase United, it is going to value £3bn.

It’s unattainable to think about MUST get close to that determine by means of followers alone. Which signifies that for the Glazers to go away, it is going to take some very wealthy people to speculate. And this is able to be right into a membership which now has three home rivals – Manchester Metropolis, Chelsea and Newcastle – who’ve entry to considerably extra funds, which suggests something like a repeat of the sustained glory days loved below Sir Alex Ferguson can be robust.

Additional mass demonstrations will not be anticipated this weekend. However the issues at Manchester United haven’t gone away.

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