Manchester United face the first real test of their Premier League title ambitions on Saturday against Liverpool at Anfield.
United sit second in the table – level on points with leaders Manchester City – after a superb start to the season, winning six of their seven opening games and scoring 21 goals in the process.
But Jose Mourinho’s side are yet to face any other realistic title contenders, and Liverpool will be desperate to make a statement against the Red Devils.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have been thrilling and infuriating in equal measure, with the brilliance of Liverpool’s attack being hamstrung by a soft defence to sit seven points off the pace.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 14, 2017
Still, form counts for little whenever United head to Anfield, and Liverpool know a win in their famous ground against Mourinho’s men will send a message to the rest of the top flight.
Klopp has been dealt a huge blow with the news that Sadio Mane is out for six weeks. Midfielder Adam Lallana (thigh) is running outside again but is still several weeks from a comeback while right-back Nathaniel Clyne is also recovering well from a back injury.
Mourinho is still without Paul Pogba after confirming that he thinks of the midfielder as a “long-term” injury problem, while Marouane Fellaini will also miss out after damaging his knee ligaments on international duty for Belgium.
Michael Carrick is out in a further midfield setback, but Romelu Lukaku has recovered.
Liverpool XI: Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Can, Salah, Firmino, Coutinho
Subs: Karius, Milner, Sturridge, Klavan, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Solanke, Alexander-Arnold
Man Utd XI: de Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Darmian, Herrera, Matic, Young, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Lukaku
Subs: Lindelof, Mata, Lingard, Blind, Rashford, Romero, Tuanzebe
Referee: Martin Atkinson
© Evening Standard