Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool v Manchester United: Eight things you need to know about the Anfield showdown

By David Smith

Liverpool host Manchester United in a mouth-watering Anfield showdown on Monday night. Here is everything you need to know about the match.

What time does it start and what channel is it on?

Kickoff is at 8pm on Monday night at Anfield, and the match will be shown live on MNF Sky Sports One (channel 401). Coverage starts at 7pm.

Who is the ref?

Anthony Taylor will take charge of the clash.

What are the odds?

Liverpool 21/20; Draw 12/5; Man United 11/4

Liverpool currently sit fourth in the table, with the Red Devils breathing down their necks in sixth place.

Liverpool team news

Defensive duo Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne returned to training on Wednesday, and both should be fit for Monday night's showdown.

Clyne will slot in at right back, while Lovren is expected to replace Ragnar Klavan at centre half.

However, Jurgen Klopp is sweating over the fitness of midfielders Adam Lallana and Gini Wijnaldum.

Lallana injured his hamstring in the Reds' 2-1 victory over Swansea before the international break, while Wijnaldum picked up a similar injury for Holland in their 1-0 defeat to France.

Joe Gomez remains a long term absentee.

Manchester United team news

Luke Shaw and Henrik Mikhtaryan are both major doubts for the Red Devils ahead of their trip to Merseyside.

Both players missed the international break. Mikhtaryan is recovering from a thigh injury, while Gareth Southgate revealed that Shaw "isn't fully fit yet".

Daley Blind is likely to deputise at left back in Shaw's absence, while Mikhtaryan has struggled to secure a starting berth for Mourinho's side.

Phil Jones remains sidelined after sustaining a knee injury in September.

Recent History

Liverpool have lost more Premier League matches (27) against Manchester United than versus any other opponent.

United have won all four of their last league meetings between the sides.

Last season, Louis Van Gaal's side beat the Reds 3-1 in Old Trafford, before nicking a 1-0 victory at Anfield.

However, Liverpool came out on top when the sides met in the Europa League, winning 3-1 on aggregate.

Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho have locked horns on five previous occasions, and the German has come out on top

(3W, 1D, 1L).

Clash of Styles

The clash of styles on display at Anfield will be fascinating.

Klopp has implemented his 'gegen-pressing' tactics to devestating effect this season, and Liverpool have covered more distance (814.8), and made more sprints (4165) than any other side in the Premier League.

Liverpool, Man City and Spurs all lead the way in these statistics, and all three sides are currently in the top four.

Arsenal, who are second in the league, used similar tactics to huge success in their recent demolition of Chelsea.

In contrast, Man United have covered the least distance in the entire league (735.6km). They have made 3524 collective sprints, which ranks as the eight best in the league.

The stats suggest that Jose Mourinho's side aren't working as hard as their rivals, and are struggling to implement a pressing game.

Liverpool are also extremely vulnerable from set pieces, while United have scored more goals (4) from set plays than any other side this season.

Key Battle: Henderson v Pogba

Jordan Henderson has had more touches, and completed more passes than any other Premier League player this season.

Only George Boyd has run further than the Liverpool skipper's average of 11.8km per game.

Pogba, on the other hand, has struggled to enforce himself on the Premier League, and seems ill suited to sitting in front of the back four alongside Marouane Fellaini.

Despite this, the French midfielder has completed more passes than any of his teammates so far this season, and scored a 30 yard screamer for his country during the international break.

In terms of attack, both men have one goal to their name. Pogba has yet to register an assist, while Henderson has managed one.

Whichever midfielder comes out on top could be key to the result on Monday night.

Joel Matip faces a battle to shackle Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while Daley Blind will have his hands full with the rampant Saido Mane.

A win for either side could provide momentum for a title tilt.

Irish Independent


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