Battle of the Reds as Liverpool hosts beleaguered Manchester United

There is more than pride at stake when Liverpool hosts Manchester United at Anfield on Monday morning (12.30am).

While Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool is flying high at the top of the table, Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils were eliminated from European football in midweek and are struggling in the English Premier League.

The Manchester club is sixth, 10 points behind Liverpool after 16 matches. Although ten Hag was the EPL’s Manager of the Month for November, he could be the first person to win that award and get sacked the following week if United does not get at least a draw at the home of its fiercest rival.

The Dutchman has a crippling injury list and could miss as many as 13 players for the trip to Anfield.

Captain Bruno Fernandes is suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card of the season in last weekend’s 3-0 home loss to Bournemouth.

On the injured list are Harry Maguire (groin), Luke Shaw (thigh), Mason Mount (leg), Lisandro Martinez (foot), Casemiro (thigh), Tyrell Malacia (knee), Christian Eriksen (knee) and Amad Diallo (knee), while three others – Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Victor Lindelof, are doubtful.

Another player – Jadon Sancho – has been removed from the first-team squad after clashing with ten Hag.

Liverpool has its share of injury problems, as six players are on the injured list – Joel Matip (knee) is ruled out for the season, while Thiago Alcantara (groin), Andrew Robertson (shoulder), Diogo Jota (muscle), Stefan Bajcetic (leg) and Alexis Mac Allister (knee) have yet to get the green light to return.

The Reds, however, have regained its ‘mentality monster’ tag and have made a habit of snatching victories in the dying moments of a game.

It also ranks No. 1 from points collected from losing positions – 18 out of 27 after winning five times, earning three draws, and losing once.

With Mohamad Salah scoring his 200th goal for the club, expect the Egyptian King to torment the United defence, as he has 12 goals against the Red Devils.

Although United historically performs well against Liverpool, its form in the past several seasons has been abysmal.

In the last five league meetings, it has lost on four occasions and won once. It has scored four, and conceded 21 times.

They say the form book goes out the window when these two meet, and we do not expect anything less on Monday.

FIXTURES (Malaysian time)
SATURDAY
Bournemouth vs Luton (11pm)
Chelsea vs Sheffield United (11pm)
Manchester City vs Crystal Palace (11pm)
Newcastle vs Fulham (11pm)

SUNDAY
Burnley vs Everton (1.30am)
West Ham vs Wolves (10pm)
Brentford vs Aston Villa (10pm)
Arsenal vs Brighton (10pm)

MONDAY
Liverpool vs Manchester United (12.30am)

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