Liverpool and Manchester United are, historically, the two biggest sides in England. No team has won more league titles than either club, but it has been 12 years since they both finished in the top places in the Premier League. This Sunday they will clash at Anfield as the two teams highest in the table, while the winner will take a huge step toward lifting the trophy again in May. Read the SBA match guide to the game.

Liverpool have the advantage in recent meetings

Twelve years have passed since these teams last met while in the Premier League top two. That day saw Steven Gerrard inspire Liverpool to a famous 4-1 win at Old Trafford. Following a period of dominance for United, recent derby results have not been in their favour. They have not beaten Jurgen Klopp’s men for almost three years, while the hosts have won each of the past two meetings at Anfield. In fact, it was their 3-1 win there in 2018 that saw Jose Mourinho sacked and replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Almost exactly a year ago they met again at Anfield, with Liverpool 2-0 winners.

Liverpool last lost a league game on home turf in April 2017, 67 games ago. They have won 32 of their last 34 games at Anfield in the Premier League, while this season they have netted 21 times in just eight games there. So far, another home win seems likely.

However, their latest results have been below the standard they set as champions last season. They have gone three league matches without a win for the first time since May 2018. Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, who have 178 Premier League goals between them during their careers in England, have both proven that they are among the best players in the world. Klopp will be grateful that they will have the benefit of a long period of rest before the derby.

Manchester United make comeback

In contrast, United will have just five days following their game at Burnley on Tuesday. Then again, it might be that Solskjaer wants to keep playing while his side’s confidence is high. They were the in-form team in the Premier League toward the end of 2020 and, despite their elimination by neighbours Manchester City in the EFL Cup semi-finals last week, they are still playing their best football in years.

Despite the world-class attacking talent on display, this fixture is rarely a high-scoring one; seven of the last ten league meetings have featured Under 2.5 Goals. With both sides fearing defeat, might this be a more cautious game than we expect?

What do you think the score will be?

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