One of English football’s fiercest rivalries resumes on Monday as Manchester United host Liverpool at 8pm in the Premier League.
Despite their vaunted status, both have questions hanging over them.
Last Saturday, new Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag became the club’s first coach since John Chapman in 1921 to lose his first two competitive games in charge, with the chastening 4-0 defeat at Brentford.
It’s not been plain sailing for Liverpool, who were left frustrated with their second stalemate of the campaign when being held 1-1 at home to Crystal Palace, not helped by the red card for new boy Darwin Nunez.
It is safe to say that neither club has enjoyed an ideal start to 2022-23 and both Ten Hag and his opposite number, Jurgen Klopp, will hope this always fascinating fixture can kickstart their seasons.
United could be able to call upon Anthony Martial after the Frenchman return to training this week following a thigh injury.
Martial impressed in pre-season and could go straight into the side.
However, he will not be joined by Victor Lindelof, who remains unavailable, while Facundo Pellistri continues to battle an ankle issue.
For Liverpool, Nunez will serve the first game of his three-match ban but there is better news on Joe Gomez and Jordan Henderson who both made substitute appearances against Palace and should be fit to start at Old Trafford.
Thiago Alcantara, Diogo Jota, Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip are all out injured.
In all, these two have met on 209 occasions, with United winning 81 times, Liverpool 70 and them playing out 58 draws.
Mohamed Salah is one of four players to have netted nine times in this fixture, five of which came in the pair’s two league meetings last term.
Salah scored a hat-trick as Liverpool won 5-0 at Old Trafford in October 2021, before grabbing a brace in the return game at Anfield, a 4-0 victory.
Liverpool are unbeaten in the league in M16 since 2018, although the Red Devils did enjoy a 3-2 FA Cup win at Old Trafford in 2021, despite another brace from Salah.
United also won a pre-season friendly played in Bangkok, in which they triumphed 4-0 courtesy of goals from Jadon Sancho, Fred, Martial and Pellestri.
— Ferdinand A Baah