LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool host old rivals Manchester United on Saturday in one of the Premier League’s most eagerly anticipated games of the season.
United have won three of their last five league visits to Anfield and a victory would give Jose Mourinho’s side a record 22 points after eight games.
Liverpool, who are desperate to get back to winning ways, will be without Sadio Mane after the Senegal forward suffered a hamstring injury during international duty.
Meanwhile, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick may all be ruled out for United.
Here is what the fans have to say about their respective clubs:
Peter Phillips, Producer, @The_Kop_Table Podcast
“I am feeling a mix of excitement and nervous tension ahead of the game against Manchester United. Historically, Liverpool v Manchester United has always been a hotly contested fixture and I expect much of the same this Saturday.
“My score prediction may surprise a few people but I’m going to say Liverpool will win this game 3-1. I think all the bad press Liverpool have received lately is quite undeserved to some extent.
“Sooner or later Jurgen Klopp’s luck will change and I believe that will happen this weekend.
“This fixture is notoriously fierce due to the clubs being only 30 miles apart and the trophy-laden history of both clubs serves as an inspiration to both sides to try and outdo each other.
“It’s a bitter rivalry and I think it is one of the biggest games in world football.
“United are in good form but they have lost a few players through injury which will go in our favour. I believe that their good start will be halted by Liverpool, who are like a wounded animal at the moment.
“Klopp’s side have a big point to prove both to those watching in the stands and at home, and themselves. Klopp had Joel Matip with him during the international break and it has given them time to iron out a few issues.
“Last season, Dejan Lovren played Romelu Lukaku off the park in the derby game against Everton, so he certainly knows how to deal with the Belgian striker.
“You may think I’m going mad but I am confident that we will show a strong defensive display on Saturday.”
Robert Meakin, Co-Host, Manchester United Redcast - UnitedRedcast.com
“I expect this game to be the toughest test yet.
“Manchester United have had a great start to the season, but there’s no denying we’ve had a fortunate fixture list early on. We should be getting a real indicator of where we are as a team during the Liverpool game.
“United are presently the better side on paper. I’m going to go for a narrow 2-1 win to United. Our strike force can punish them, no question.
“Providing we continue to create a decent amount of chances — I’m confident we will — there’ll inevitably be goals.
“Anfield is one of the best and most atmospheric stadiums in the country — and also the most hostile if you play for United. It’s always among the very toughest places to visit, regardless of Liverpool’s form at the time.
“The hostile rivalry seems to date back to the 1970s.
“At the time, Liverpool were emerging as top dogs while United were regarded as a sleeping giant. Naturally, Liverpool fans were keen to rub United’s noses in it throughout the Seventies and Eighties.
“Beating them felt like the be all and end all. The modern-day rivalries with Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal are huge, but the Liverpool game still somehow tops it.
“The central midfield area could be a concern with Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini being absent. I would have been more than happy to see Fellaini sold a few months back but Jose Mourinho’s been getting the best out of him.
“It’s very early days to be thinking about the title, but it’s great to be one of the front-runners again. I have to say I think it could be between us and City. I don’t see Liverpool being title contenders this season.”
Reporting by Claire Bloomfield; Editing by John O'Brien