One of English football’s biggest fixtures takes place at Anfield in the Premier League this weekend. We look ahead with our data-powered Liverpool vs Manchester United prediction and preview.
Liverpool vs Manchester United Stats: The Quick Hits
- Liverpool are predicted to win this game, with the Opta supercomputer giving them a 53.7% chance of victory over rivals Manchester United.
- Only Arsenal and Newcastle United (both 13) have had more different goalscorers (excluding own goals) in the Premier League this season than Liverpool (12).
- Man Utd will be without captain Bruno Fernandes for their trip to Anfield due to suspension – this season he’s been involved in 33% of their league goals (six of 18), more than any other player for them.
English football’s two most successful clubs will look to get one over on their rivals when Liverpool host Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.
Boasting 39 top-flight titles between them, the two sides also have their own objectives at the top of the Premier League to worry about when they meet this weekend.
Liverpool head into Matchday 17 top the table having won 11 of their 16 league games, aided by six goals from substitutes so far this season. Only Brighton (10) and Arsenal (eight) have had more goals off the bench this term.
United, meanwhile, need to get back on track, with two defeats in three league matches leaving them six points off the top four. The most recent was a shock 3-0 home defeat to in-form Bournemouth last weekend, failing to find the back of the net in the Premier League for the fifth time this season.
Man United have the lowest shot conversion rate in the Premier League so far in 2023-24 (7.4%), which is also their lowest on record in the competition (since 1997-98). Indeed, they also have the biggest negative difference (-7.7) between goals (18) and expected goals (25.7).
Their firepower in front of goal will also be severely hampered for the trip to Anfield, with Bruno Fernandes banned. Across the league, United’s captain ranks first for chances created (47) and second for expected assists (5.2) behind only Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier (5.4).
Erik ten Hag’s men will also be coming up against one of their most feared opponents in Mohamed Salah. The Egypt international – fresh off hitting his 200th for Liverpool – has scored 12 goals in 12 games against United for the Reds; the most goals he’s scored against an opponent for the club, and the most goals any Liverpool player has ever scored against the Red Devils.
Salah has either scored (17) or assisted (4) a goal in each of his last 16 Premier League games at Anfield for Jürgen Klopp’s side. A goal or assist from Salah in this game will make this the joint-second longest run of home appearances with a goal involvement by any player in the competition (17, level with Alan Shearer from April 1996 to May 1997 and Thierry Henry from November 2002 to October 2003) and put him behind only Shearer (18 from March 1995 to February 1996).
Liverpool’s home form has been key to their table-topping start, winning all seven of their league games at Anfield this season. Only in 2019-20 (first 17) have the Reds begun a Premier League campaign with a longer home winning run.
Another bad omen for the visitors lies in the fact that United have failed to win any of their last 13 Premier League away games against sides starting the day in the top eight of the table (D3 L10) since beating Tottenham 3-0 under Ole Gunnar Solskjær in October 2021.
Both teams were in European action in midweek, with Man Utd crashing out of the UEFA Champions League at the group stage with a 1-0 home defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday. A youthful Liverpool side – who had already topped their group – lost 2-1 at Union Saint-Gilloise in the UEFA Europa League group stages on Thursday.
As for team news, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw both went off injured for United in their loss but Shaw is expected to make the squad this weekend. United have a busy treatment room that already includes Tyrell Malacia, Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez, with that trio not expected back until 2024. Marcus Rashford has been passed fit, but Anthony Martial is doubtful with illness. Ten Hag will likely look to the likes of Sofyan Amrabat, Scott McTominay and Kobbie Mainoo in midfield.
Sunday’s game comes too soon for Christian Eriksen and Mason Mount, though Victor Lindelof could return. Fernandes is suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card of the season in the Bournemouth defeat, while Jadon Sancho remains frozen out in the cold after a public quarrel with Ten Hag.
For Klopp, the defeat to Union Saint-Gilloise fortunately wasn’t a bruising one, suffering no further injuries to his lineup. Joël Matip, Thiago Alcântara and Andrew Robertson won’t be back until next year, while Diogo Jota is not expected to return until after Christmas. Alexis Mac Allister remains a doubt after suffering a leg injury in the recent win at Sheffield United.
Liverpool vs Manchester United Head-to-Head
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League home games against Manchester United (W4 D3), winning the last two by an aggregate score of 11-0. They last had a longer run without a league defeat at Anfield against their great rival between 1970 and 1979 (nine).
Man Utd have failed to score in their last four Premier League away games against Liverpool. They last had a longer run without an away league goal against an opponent between 1969 and 1974 (six vs Everton).
The last meeting between the sides last season was a memorable one for Liverpool, smashing United 7-0 at Anfield back in March. Cody Gakpo, Darwin Núñez and Mohamed Salah all scored braces, before fan favourite Roberto Firmino capped the victory not long before his departure from the club.
Liverpool’s defeat to Union Saint-Gilloise was their first since a 3-2 away loss at Toulouse in the Europa League back in November. Those two European reverses are the only games Liverpool have lost in their last 15 in all competitions.
Klopp’s side followed up their 1-1 draw with Manchester City after the last international break by beating Fulham, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace.
Man Utd’s defeat to Bayern Munich was their third in four games in all competitions, with Ten Hag’s men winning just one of their last five fixtures, though that was an impressive 2-1 victory against Chelsea.
Liverpool are averaging three goals scored per game at home in the league this term (21 goals from seven games), their most in a single season in the competition. Only Aston Villa (25) have scored more home goals so far this term.
Liverpool vs Manchester United Opta Player Ratings
Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:
Dominik Szoboszlai: 77.6 (out of 100)
Alisson Becker: 77.4
Mohamed Salah: 76.9
Virgil van Dijk: 74.0
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 72.2
Diogo Dalot: 75.5 (out of 100)
André Onana: 72.6
Scott McTominay: 65.8
Victor Lindelöf: 64.9
Bruno Fernandes: 64.3
These Opta Player Ratings also power our set of brand-new, free-to-play gaming experiences, which you can play on Opta Analyst all season long.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of Sunday’s kick-off, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides:
Liverpool vs Manchester United Prediction
Liverpool are predicted to compound a bad week for Manchester United by taking the three points on Sunday, winning 53.7% of the 10,000 Opta supercomputer simulations conducted ahead of this weekend.
Ten Hag’s men get back to winning ways 20.7% of the time, while the teams taking a point apiece is rated at a 25.6% probability.
Despite Liverpool’s fantastic start to the campaign, they are still not considered favourites to win the Premier League title come the end of the season. That honour remains with reigning champions Man City, who win the league 48.6% of the time, compared to 31.4% for Liverpool, though the gap has closed significantly since the start of the campaign. The Reds are still ahead of Arsenal (15.3%) and Aston Villa (4.5%) with regards to chance of topping the league table come May, however.
Man Utd have a fight on their hands to even qualify for Europe, finishing in the top four of the standings in just 1.5% of simulations and they are deemed most likely to finish eighth as it stands, behind the likes of Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion.