The oldest rivalry in England will be rekindled as Manchester United play host to Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
The encounter will bear added significance so much for the past rivalries of the opposing managers as it is for the quest to attain Champions League qualification.
The Merseyside club may be going into the fixture with the luxury of sitting fourth in the Premier League standings- with a 5-point cushion over their hosts- but it is United that have the upper hand being the most in-form team in the league.
As such, here are three things to expect from Sunday’s encounter at Old Trafford.
For a washed up 35-year old whose best playing days were against farmers and bus ticket cutters, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been in scintillating form since moving to England in the summer.
Albeit registering a slow start during his first few outings as a Mancunian, Ibrahimovic has grown into the rigors and demands of the English game, becoming United’s leading goal scorer with 18 goals- 13 of which have come in the Premier League.
Save for the slight illness that left him sidelined during the Red devils 2-0 victory over Hull in the EFL Cup [vintage Jose Mourinho tactic to rest him for the derby], the Swede should be back firing on all cylinders against Klopp’s army.
Breathtaking attacking display
Both sides were forced to share the spoils during the reverse fixture at Anfield last October- largely because of Mourinho’s masterstroke to stop Liverpool from having the ball: but Sunday’s fixture promises to be a breathtaking display of attacking football from both sides.
Although Manchester United have more attacking firepower, the one thing certain is that David De Gea and Simon Mignolet will be the busiest players on the pitch.
Old Trafford in full voice
Whether at the Theatre of Dreams or on the road, Manchester United supporters are some of the loudest, most ardent football followers in the country.
However, Jose Mourinho was driven to imply their support was not felt during the midweek victory over Hull City.
In truth the fans at Old Trafford were mere observers on the night, but hell hath no fury like a scorned United supporter when Liverpool are in town.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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