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Manchester United vs. Liverpool

First off,  it’s a sad day for English football after ex-England Manager Graham Taylor sadly passed away after a heart attack. He was much-loved and will be forever remembered for the documentary made during his tenure as the England Manager in “An Impossible Job.”

 

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United vs. Liverpool

Oh boy, here we go! It’s the game of the round despite Leicester taking on Chelsea and Everton at home to City. There is no love lost between these two sides in what will be the 50th Premier League clash between two of the most famous English clubs in the world.


United are in front in the head-to-head stats with 27 wins to Liverpool’s 13 and their last two meetings have seen a Red Devils victory at Anfield exactly one year ago, and a 0-0 draw at Liverpool back in October 2016.

We hear that Zlatan will be available after a midweek illness, but Marcus Rojo may well be a doubt with a potential muscle injury.

For Liverpool Sadio Mane is ruled out, with Liverpool’s top scorer playing in the African Cup of Nations and word on the street is that Henderson is not quite ready to play.

If Rooney plays, he will become the 21st player to reach 450 Premier League matches and if he scores he will break Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record of 249 goals.

As always it’s a passionate affair, and there have been some brutal tackles flying around over the years, with this tackle from Steven Gerrard seeing the Liverpool captain get a red card after only 38 seconds of coming on as a substitute, which Liverpool then went on to lose 2-1. It was his final United grudge match.

Last EPL games

With the FA Cup played last weekend there were no EPL games, but before this Liverpool had travelled to Sunderland with one defeat in their last 18 games. The Reds failed to capitalise on early chances, with their players not being clinical enough to score against a Black Cats side missing eight of their first-team squad. Eventually, Sturridge scored in the 20th minute, but that man Defoe levelled with a penalty. Mané then put Liverpool ahead, but Defoe equalised again with another penalty in the 84th minute. If you want to win the Premiership, you should be leaving the Stadium of Light with three points, not one.

Liverpool then went down 1-0 to Southampton in the first semi-final of the EFL Cup and are lucky not to be behind 3-0 after being outplayed by The Saints. If they want to keep in touch with Chelsea above them, then this has to be a winning game.

United travelled to the London Stadium to face a West Ham side that had won three of their last four games, where they were fortunate to get the rub of the green after Feghouli was red-carded after 15 minutes. They were also fortunate after Zlatan’s goal to put United up 2-0 was given despite being clearly offside. Them’s the breaks, and that leaves Manchester United unbeaten in 13 games across all competitions with a win putting them just two points behind their fierce rivals.

With the majority of these games there is a high expectation from fans for them to be absolute classics, so if the players are not belting the shit out of each other, we may well see a classy match.

In the 0-0 draw, we saw Mourinho at his tactical best after his side closed Liverpool down and ruffled their feathers, not allowing them to play the fast clinical football that the Kop had been watching at home up to this stage of the season. This time round it will be up to Klopp to show he and his side has the right stuff.

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