Liverpool have a score to settle with Man United

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Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp and his men take on Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Manchester United. Picture: Catherine Ivill / Mike Hewit / Getty Images
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp and his men take on Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Manchester United. Picture: Catherine Ivill / Mike Hewit / Getty Images

Liverpool have a virtually unblemished record in the Premier League so far this season.

Their record makes for astonishing reading – 21 games played, 20 games won and one game drawn. They have scored 50 goals and conceded only 14.

This has given the Reds a comfortable 14-point lead over defending champions Manchester City ahead of City’s game against Crystal Palace yesterday.

Today’s late game against Manchester United sees Jürgen Klopp’s side welcome the only club that has so far managed to avoid defeat against them this season, having held the champions-to-be to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in October.

Although United are 27 points and four positions behind their opponents, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær has not ruled out another surprise, cryptically saying that he has found a way to play against Liverpool.

Liverpool are on a run of 38 unbeaten Premier League games, with United the only team to have twice held them to a draw.

“Of course it is hard, but I’ve had Liverpool here twice and we’ve drawn both. I think we’ve found a nice way of playing against them and we’ve deserved the points in both [matches],” said Solskjær.

The Norwegian has a major injury concern ahead of the game, with striker Marcus Rashford having been substituted after a back injury just 16 minutes after coming on in the FA Cup replay against Wolverhampton, which United won 1-0.

“It seems like he got a knock there and he couldn’t run. I don’t know if he will be ready for the match against Liverpool. He’s struggled a bit with a [few] knocks on his back lately and he got another one, which didn’t help.”

The England striker has been pivotal to United’s season so far, and he is joint second on the scorers’ chart with 14 goals.

“He’s been absolutely top this season, so we’ll do everything we can to get him fit. But, if he’s not, we’ll play without him.”

Klopp’s record against United is a poor one, with the German registering only two victories against Liverpool’s arch rivals in 10 games since he took over as Liverpool manager four years ago.

He has had some good news on the injury front, with three players reporting back for training after sitting out to recover from various injuries.

Joël Matip, Fabinho and Dejan Lovren are all in line for a recall into the Liverpool squad.

“I wait until they are on the pitch and somebody tells me that they are allowed to do the full session,” Klopp told the Liverpool website.

“It looks like Joël will be in and it looks like Fabinho will be in maybe a day later, I’m not sure. Dejan, maybe he can be in as well.

“That means a lot and helps massively, of course. But we will see how it looks. The week is very important.

“The game against United ... we all know what people expect from us from that game. It will be a big one as well, and we’ll try to be ready for that.”

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who has played an important role in helping Liverpool to their championship-chasing position, said he believed they had become a winning side because they were a very strong team mentally.

“It is important to maintain this high level across so many games. Our squad is very strong, both in quantity and quality. We’re a team that has been together for a long time and are getting better each season; taking it up a level each season.

“I think the difference from last season, which was already a victorious season, is consistency – defensive and offensive consistency, and a consistent mentality.”

Today’s other match sees third-placed Leicester City, who are two points behind Manchester City, take on struggling Burnley in an away game. The Clarets are only three points clear of a relegation spot.

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