Liverpool will look to properly kick off the 2022/23 campaign on Monday night with a win over Man United, who themselves have also suffered a difficult start.
Man United vs. Liverpool
Premier League (3) | Old Trafford
August 22, 2022 | 8pm (BST)
Their first ‘big six’ clash of the season, it promises to be an enthralling contest regardless of the fortunes of the two sides in these early weeks.
Here are 10 key things to know ahead of Man United vs. Liverpool.
1. It’s been a rough start for both sides
There is an acceptance that, after years of dominance in Manchester, there has been a power shift between Liverpool and Man United.
After the Sunday fixtures, the Reds find themselves 15th in the Premier League table, while United are rooted to the bottom with zero points.
2. The injury situation has improved
Much of Liverpool’s difficulty in these opening weeks can be attributed to a ridiculous injury list, with a host of key players unavailable to Jurgen Klopp.
However, while there is still a large number out, the situation is gradually improving.
Darwin Nunez is a new absentee as he serves the first of three games suspended, with Caoimhin Kelleher, Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip, Calvin Ramsay, Thiago, Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kaide Gordon and Diogo Jota still injured.
3. Rare starts for Gomez and Firmino
Much of the Liverpool side is easy to predict ahead of the teamsheets being released at 7pm on Monday night.
For instance, Klopp has all but confirmed that both Gomez and Roberto Firmino will start, having been unable to do so against Palace due to fitness issues.
Gomez will replace Phillips in the back four while Firmino leads the line in the absence of Nunez.
4. No Casemiro for United
While Liverpool’s problem is in the fitness department, United’s comes with their continually shambolic recruitment.
The Manchester club pulled off something of a coup on Friday, however, with a £70 million deal struck with Real Madrid for midfielder Casemiro.
Casemiro heads to Old Trafford after nine years with Real, who have clearly decided that, at 30, it is time to move on from their long-serving No. 14.
But the Brazilian is unavailable on Monday, with United missing the registration deadline with the Premier League – though Casemiro is still awaiting a work permit regardless.
5. Maguire to be dropped?
Beyond Casemiro, there could be some major changes to Erik ten Hag’s side following a 4-0 humiliation the hands of Brentford.
It has been reported that Harry Maguire’s position is under threat, with it now likely that Raphael Varane comes in to partner the struggling Lisandro Martinez at centre-back.
There are question marks over both Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo, too, though given the alternatives they can be expected to start again.
Predicted Man United XI: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Fred, Eriksen; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo
6. A chance for 4 in a row
Liverpool have been in impeccable form against United in recent years, including a double over their rivals in the Premier League last season.
In fact, in their last three meetings, the Reds have scored 13 goals and conceded only two, with three straight victories for the first time since 2009.
If they get another on Monday, it would be the first time Liverpool have sealed four consecutive league wins over United since 2002.
A win or a draw would make it five games unbeaten in the league at Old Trafford for the first time since 1927 – a club record.
7. Salah loves United
“So life changed.”
Last season, Salah became the first Liverpool player to score a hat-trick at Old Trafford since Fred Howe in 1936, and with five goals over the two meetings took his tally against United to nine.
One more would see the Egyptian become Liverpool’s highest-scoring player against United in history. He is currently tied with Steven Gerrard having played 25 games fewer.
8. Expect a protest
As was the case ahead of the meeting at Old Trafford in May 2021, United fans are planning to protest against the club’s ownership outside the stadium on Monday.
Various forms of protest have been suggested, including an in-stadium boycott, but fan group The 1958 have confirmed their plans to meet in numbers before kickoff.
Just over a year ago, protests initially delayed kickoff as team buses were unable to reach the ground in time, before the behind-closed-doors fixture’s eventual postponement as supporters made it onto the pitch.
9. Klopp’s thoughts on postponing the game
During his pre-match press conference, Klopp was asked what should happen if United fans did force another postponement:
“I really hope it will not happen, but if it happens I think we should get the points.
“We have nothing to do with the situation. If that happens and the supporters want the game to not happen, we cannot rearrange the game and try and fit it in somewhere…[the schedule is] incredibly busy.
“I don’t think, and I really hope, this will not happen. I have no idea what could happen, I don’t think about it.
“They tell us it’s fine, we go there and play the game, hopefully, and then go home.
“But if [the game gets postponed], I really think, in a situation like this, always the other team should get the points because they have nothing to do with it.”
10. How to keep up with the action
You won’t want to miss this one.
Kickoff at Old Trafford is 8pm (BST), with coverage on Sky Sports beginning at 6.30pm as part of Monday Night Football.
This Is Anfield will be bringing you all the action with our matchday live blog, with Dan Clubbe keeping you up to date and entertained from 7.15pm.