With the Premier League title race in their hands, will Jürgen Klopp’s Reds emerge from Old Trafford unscathed? We look ahead to Sunday’s game with our Manchester United vs Liverpool prediction and preview.

Manchester United vs Liverpool Stats: The Quick Hits

  • The Opta supercomputer gives Liverpool a 44.0% chance of avenging their FA Cup loss to Manchester United with a win, with the Red Devils’ likelihood of victory rated at 27.9%.
  • Man Utd have faced more shots than any other side in Europe’s top five leagues in 2024 (225). With 255, Liverpool have attempted the most. 
  • Mohamed Salah has scored in his last three away Premier League games against Man Utd, netting five goals in total. No visiting player has ever scored on four successive trips to Old Trafford in the competition.

Match Preview

Undeterred by midweek wins for their rivals, Liverpool returned to the Premier League summit on Thursday with a 3-1 win over a gutsy Sheffield United at Anfield, keeping the title race in their hands. On Sunday, Arsenal and Manchester City will find themselves in the peculiar position of desiring a favour from Manchester United, as Jürgen Klopp’s men look to avenge last month’s FA Cup exit at the hands of the Red Devils.

On paper, a trip to Old Trafford looks to be among the more daunting fixtures awaiting Liverpool before the end of the season, but United are once again in turmoil after being stunned by two late shows in their last two matches.

Five days after Kristoffer Ajer’s 99th-minute equaliser saw them surrender a 1-0 lead at Brentford, United went from 3-2 up to 4-3 down in the blink of an eye against Chelsea on Thursday, Cole Palmer converting a penalty 10 minutes into stoppage time then completing his hat-trick 81 seconds later to spark pandemonium at Stamford Bridge. United led with 99 minutes and 17 seconds played – the latest any team has ever led a Premier League match they went on to lose.

Though Erik ten Hag insisted United had done enough to come away with three points, the Dutchman is under increasing pressure to stop their continual flow of chances conceded. United have now faced 225 shots in the Premier League in 2024, more than any other team in Europe’s big five leagues. Liverpool have attempted the most, firing off 255.

As if Ten Hag didn’t have enough problems on his hands, Raphaël Varane and Jonny Evans were forced off against Chelsea and are doubtful for Sunday’s game. With Lisandro Martínez and Victor Lindelöf already sidelined, 19-year-old Willy Kambwala may be drafted in to partner Harry Maguire.

Bright performances from Alejandro Garnacho – who netted twice – and Antony offered some consolation for Ten Hag, who must now decide whether to reintroduce Marcus Rashford. The England international has scored seven goals for United against Liverpool in all competitions, the latest of those coming in last month’s cup classic. Only George Wall, Sandy Turnbull (both nine) and Stan Pearson (eight) have bettered that tally for the Red Devils.  

United do have a knack for pulling out a big result just as the pressure begins to mount. They have won four of their five home Premier League games against teams starting the day inside the top four under Ten Hag (one defeat), most recently beating Aston Villa 3-2 on Boxing Day.

Remarkably, Ten Hag also has the best home win ratio of any permanent manager in United’s history, winning 38 of his 53 games on home soil (71.7%) to sit just ahead of Sir Alex Ferguson (71.2%).

United’s last home match, of course, saw them end the quadruple dreams of Liverpool, who will be in no mood for a repeat result after taking control of the title race with a run of six wins in seven Premier League games (one draw).

The Reds threatened to drop points on Thursday as Conor Bradley’s own goal cancelled out Darwin Núñez’s freak opener to drag Sheffield United level, but Alexis Mac Allister’s thunderous effort was followed by Cody Gakpo’s header as they re-established their two-point lead at the summit.

Klopp’s men seem to be gathering momentum as they look to provide the German with a dream send-off, winning more matches (16) and scoring more goals (59) across all competitions in 2024 than any other team from Europe’s top five leagues.

That is despite them being without the likes of Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota for an extended period. They are all likely to miss Sunday’s game, though Klopp expects Wataru Endō to be available after missing Thursday’s match with a knock.

Núñez’s opener on Thursday made him just the sixth Premier League player to record 30 goal involvements across all competitions this season (18 goals, 12 assists), and the second Liverpool player after Mohamed Salah (22 goals, 12 assists). Both could have big roles to play on Sunday.

Darwin Núñez Goal Involvements Liverpool

Núñez has been involved in eight goals in his last nine away games in all competitions (seven goals, one assist), while Salah has scored in each of his last three away matches against United in the Premier League (five goals in total). No visiting player has ever scored on four straight trips to Old Trafford in the competition.

Manchester United vs Liverpool Head-to-Head

The last meeting between the sides will live long in the memory, with United sealing a 4-3 extra-time win in an FA Cup quarter-final thriller last month.

Antony’s 87th-minute strike forced extra time at 2-2, then Harvey Elliott restored Liverpool’s advantage, only for goals from Rashford and Amad Diallo to fire the hosts into the last four.

Manchester United vs Liverpool stats FA Cup xG race

United could now win two home games against Liverpool within the same season for just the third time, previously doing so in 1998-99 and 2010-11.

The Red Devils also managed to hold their rivals to a goalless draw at Anfield in this season’s reverse fixture. Liverpool haven’t failed to score in both league meetings with United since the 2007-08 campaign, when they suffered 1-0 and 3-0 defeats.

However, United have won just one of their last 11 Premier League matches against Liverpool (four draws, six defeats), though that lone victory did come in this exact fixture last season – a 2-1 success that was also Ten Hag’s first Premier League win. They last won consecutive home league games against the Reds in September 2015.

Recent Form

Having gone unbeaten through their first five league games of 2024 (four wins, one draw), United have only won one of their last five (one draw, three defeats), beating Everton 2-0 last month.

Thursday’s defeat was United’s 12th in the Premier League this season. They have never suffered more in a single campaign in the competition, also losing 12 times in 2013-14 and 2021-22.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have won six of their last seven away Premier League matches (one defeat). Their previous six road victories in the competition came over a span of 19 games (seven draws, six defeats).

The Reds have also scored in 26 consecutive away games across all competitions, only once enjoying a longer run in their history, netting on 28 straight road trips between January and December 2021.

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 kick-off at Old Trafford this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Manchester United vs Liverpool Predicted Lineups

Liverpool Predicted Lineup vs Man Utd
Manchester United vs Liverpool Predicted Lineups

Manchester United vs Liverpool Prediction

Across 10,000 match simulations conducted by the Opta supercomputer ahead of kick-off, Liverpool took a crucial three points in 44.0% of scenarios.

That does mean United are given a 56.0% chance of denting Liverpool’s title hopes by taking something from the game, winning in 27.9% of simulations and earning a draw in 28.1%.

Ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, the supercomputer put Liverpool’s chances of winning the Premier League title at 45.0%, making them clear favourites ahead of City (33.6%) and Arsenal (21.4%).

United have seen their hopes of a top-four finish – which would guarantee UEFA Champions League qualification – drop to just 0.6%. They are seen as more likely to finish in the bottom half (1.1%) than the top four, but sixth (52.2%) remains their most common position in our projections.  

Man Utd vs Liverpool Prediction

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