The much awaited super Saturday is finally here as Liverpool and Manchester United’s globe-trotting squads must shake off the effects of international duty for one of English football’s most eagerly-anticipated clashes.
Sky Sports reported that both teams’ players clocked up 139,000 miles taking part in World Cup qualifiers since the last Premier League action, but all roads lead to Anfield as the English top flight resumes after a two-week hiatus with a potential cracker.
The stoppage was badly-timed for United who won their last three Premier League games with nine goals scored and none conceded, albeit against sides in the lower half of the table.
Jose Mourinho’s side, joint leaders on 19 points from seven games with Manchester City, will hope to continue that momentum in what will be their biggest test of the season to date.
Liverpool’s form has been less impressive and Juergen Klopp’s side, beset by defensive problems, are seven points off the searing pace being set by the two Manchester rivals.
They are also without a Premier League victory over bitter adversaries United in their last six meetings but Mourinho says recent history will have no bearing on Saturday.
“These kinds of matches, every single moment plays a part,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “We are playing against a good team with very good players. The form doesn’t matter, the moment doesn’t matter. It’s a match of three points.”
United will be missing midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who hurt his knee playing for Belgium against Bosnia, while Paul
Pogba is still absent with an injury.
Liverpool have a potentially more significant absentee, however, with forward Sadio Mane facing a six-week layoff after injuring his hamstring representing Senegal.