Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will be heading to Anfield for the first time as the Red Devils boss. Liverpool will be hosting the 20-time Premier League champions at home for the first time after their stadium upgrade on a Monday night under the floodlights. Before the ball gets rolling, let’s look at 5 talking points ahead of kickoff.
1) Jose Mourinho vs. Jurgen Klopp – Who will have the last laugh?
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is leading the race to win the match, even before the referee has blown his whistle to start the game. The German is ahead of Mourinho in terms of head-to-head numbers and his team has lighted up the Premier League with some impressive attacking gameplay.
The Reds are sitting comfortably at 4th in the league table, ahead of their Monday night rivals, who sit at the seventh position.
This is Klopp’s record against Mourinho.
Monday will provide Mourinho with an opportunity to start reducing the difference.
2) How will the Liverpool defense fare against United’s counter?
Liverpool have been enjoying a high attacking game in the Premier League and have already scored an impressive 18 goals in 7 matches. However, they are not so stable defensively and are continuously leaking in goals, left, right and center.
The Reds have conceded a total of 8 goals until now and will be vulnerable to United’s counter attacking threat. Klopp’s men are also weak on defending set-pieces and with the Red Devils possessing the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly and Marouane Fellaini, they will give the supporters at Anfield some nervy moments.
3) Style of Game
Klopp has had more time with his Liverpool team than Mourinho has had with his United one. The Portuguese manager took over the reigns at Old Trafford only this summer and this will give his German counterpart an added advantage.
The Liverpool players have formed an easy understanding within themselves which is showing on the football pitch. The United team on the other hand, although stacked with some heavyweight names, are not gelling well together on the pitch and this has reflected in their inconsistent gameplay.
We can expect a heavy pressing game from Liverpool, who are likely to dominate most of the ball possession. The Reds will be looking to dominate the proceedings with some high intensity attacking.
Mourinho will look to deploy his usual big-game defensive tactics. He applied it perfectly in 2014 when Chelsea defeated a Liverpool side consisting of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling, 2-0, according to This is Anfield.
4) United’s tough schedule in October
It will be interesting to see how Mourinho and his United team are able to cope with the fixture congestion they have to experience in October. They have already struggled with fixture congestion until now as they were on the receiving end of successive defeats to Manchester City and Feyenoord.
The Red Devils will now face Liverpool and Chelsea in consecutive Premier League matches with an Europa League match against Fenerbahce mid-week.
United will need a good result against Liverpool at Anfield to start some sort of momentum in their favor.
5) Who will be the Premier League contenders?
When the season started, Liverpool was not considered as one of the teams who would be in the running for the Premier League trophy. Manchester United on the other hand was predicted to be in the race for the championship until the very end.
As we head into the eight round of the Premier League matches, Liverpool are well ahead on points as well as form than their Monday opponents. The epic rivalry clash at Anfield will help to provide a glimpse of which team will eventually be in the running for the Premier League title in the end.
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