Liverpool have the chance to cement the top position in the Premier League standings when they entertain fierce rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday. The Reds have been right in the title mix since the start of the season and they most-recently leapfrogged Manchester City to the first spot after the Citizens suffered a rather surprise defeat on the road to Chelsea.
United, on the other hand, have been playing catch up to the top-four positions since the second matchday of the campaign and they are currently 16 points behind their arch-rivals on the table. A title pursuit appears more or less gone with their recent run of results but they can remain optimistic of pushing for the Champions League positions with eight points separating them from fourth-placed Chelsea.
Two things to watch for:
Mohamed Salah versus Ashley Young: Salah has taken the Premier League by storm over the past 18 months but he has struggled when it comes to tackling the Red Devils. This has largely come about by the impressive man-marking job done by Young against the Egyptian and their duel may partly decide the fate of this weekend’s encounter. Salah has already shown that he can adapt to the different demands of the top-flight and it remains to be seen whether manager Jurgen Klopp will consider a positional change for the attacker, should things not go his way during the early phase of the Sunday clash. Salah is currently the joint-top scorer in the league campaign with 10 goals after his hat-trick at Bournemouth last weekend.
Manchester United’s approach: Jose Mourinho was heavily criticised during United’s previous league trip to Anfield last term where the Portuguese tactician was happy for his side to sit behind the ball and play for a goalless stalemate. In response to this, Mourinho preferred a counter-attacking display in the reverse fixture and it paid dividends with Marcus Rashford scoring a quick-fire brace during the opening 30 minutes of a 2-1 triumph. Based on this, Mourinho’s team have showcased both facets of their game and it will be interesting to see how the manager approaches the current league meeting, given anything less than a victory may witness them fall further behind in the quest to finish in the top four.
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