MX23RW : Friday, June 18 13:07:32| >> :120:14285:14285:
May 13, 2021 at 8.15pm UK at Old Trafford
Man UtdManchester United
Fernandes (10'), Rashford (68')
Bailly (48'), McTominay (79'), Cavani (85')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Jota (34'), Firmino (45+3', 47'), Salah (90')

Preview: Manchester United vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Premier League clash between Manchester United and Liverpool, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Before both are forced to watch Manchester City walk up to the Premier League trophy, Manchester United welcome recently-dethroned champions Liverpool to Old Trafford for Thursday's rearranged encounter.

The Red Devils' 2-1 defeat to Leicester City on Thursday night confirmed what had been a foregone conclusion for the past couple of months, as City were crowned champions while Man United are now playing for second place.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are still considered rank outsiders for a Champions League berth, but a 2-0 win over Southampton at the weekend at least boosted their chances of a top-four ranking.

Match preview

Manchester United fans protest against their owners before the Manchester United v Liverpool Premier League match© Reuters

The fallout from the doomed European Super League quite literally spilled out onto the pitch before Man United's proposed meeting with Liverpool, as Red Devils supporters gathered in the masses to protest against the Glazer family both inside and outside Old Trafford last weekend.

The demonstration against the American-led regime sparked mixed reactions from all corners of the game, with some condemning the supporters' actions as violence ensued and a police officer needed emergency treatment, while others echoed the views of infuriated supporters at the way in which the club has been run under the Glazers.

In doing so, Man United players were unable to safely travel to the stadium from their hotel and must now gear up for a third match in the space of five days following the original fixture's postponement, and Solskjaer understandably made a raft of changes for Tuesday's visit of Leicester.

The stars of tomorrow in Amad Diallo and Anthony Elanga both enjoyed their first-ever Premier League starts out wide, and the former claimed an assist for his fellow teenager Mason Greenwood's goal on the night, but it was not to be for a second-string United XI.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pictured on April 29, 2021© Reuters

Leicester had initially drawn first blood on the night through a sumptuous volley from Luke Thomas - another teenager being tipped for a bright future after a spectacular first Premier League goal - and the Foxes dominated the second half despite being pegged back by Greenwood's equaliser, as Caglar Soyuncu rose highest to head home from a corner in the 66th minute.

Defeat to a near full-strength Foxes side made it impossible for Man United to usurp their local rivals at the top of the standings, as the Red Devils are 10 points behind the champions with only nine left to play for, so securing second spot is all that Solskjaer can ask for before the Europa League final takes precedence.

Tuesday's loss to Leicester ended a five-game winning run across all competitions at Old Trafford for Man United, who also saw their 14-game unbeaten run in the top flight come to an end, but as Solskjaer alluded to, the crammed schedule meant he simply had to make changes in the double figures for Leicester's visit.

A strong end to the campaign should be in order, though, as the Red Devils face Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers in their final two Premier League games of the season, and Solskjaer's men will then aim to sink the Yellow Submarine in Villarreal as Solskjaer eyes that elusive first piece of silverware in Gdansk on May 26.

 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates after the match on May 8, 2021© Reuters

Liverpool have rediscovered their golden touch at just the right time before they prepare for another trip to their arch nemesis, but their hopes of securing a top-four finish and another stint in Champions League football rest on their rivals slipping up in the final few weeks.

After the heartbreak of succumbing to Real Madrid's superiority on the European stage, Liverpool appear to have snapped their unfamiliar habit of losing games in the Premier League, as Jurgen Klopp's side travel to Old Trafford on a six-game unbeaten run in the top flight.

The shock home defeat to now-relegated Fulham on March 7 represents the last time that the Reds failed to take at least a single point from a Premier League fixture, but it is simply too little too late as they prepare to witness Manchester City lift the trophy aloft this time around.

On another day, Southampton may have made their trip to Anfield worthwhile, but goals from in either half from Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara - the latter's first goal in a Liverpool shirt - propelled the Reds to a 2-0 victory on Saturday evening as they kept their slim Champions League hopes alive.

Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring against Southampton in the Premier League on May 8, 2021© Reuters

It is impossible for the sixth-placed Reds to break back into the top four in Manchester, but West Ham United's slight downturn in form means that fifth spot is in touching distance. However, a spot in the Europa League is hardly what the Anfield faithful crave amid a dramatic campaign on and off the pitch.

Friendly-looking fixtures with West Bromwich Albion, Burnley and Crystal Palace represent magnificent opportunities for Klopp's side to finish the campaign with a flourish, and having taken 14 points from the last 18 on offer, the wind is firmly in Liverpool's sails.

A 1-1 draw at Elland Road on the night of the European Super League debacle prevented Liverpool from registering a quartet of victories away from home - with Sheffield United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal falling to defeat without registering a goal against Liverpool - and the Reds travel to Old Trafford having lost just two of their last 14 on the road in the top flight.

There may be no better time for Liverpool to overcome their adversaries at Old Trafford as Man United juggle one of the most hectic periods of their season, and while Man United and Liverpool fans never normally see eye-to-eye, the Anfield faithful may have understood the motivations of last week's protest as they seek answers from their own executives.

Manchester United Premier League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Manchester United form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Liverpool Premier League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

Liverpool form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W

Team News

Manchester United's Harry Maguire goes off injured against Aston Villa in the Premier League on May 9, 2021© Reuters

Manchester United have confirmed that Harry Maguire suffered ligament damage to his ankle when he was forced off against Aston Villa, and the centre-back will aim to return for the Europa League final later this month.

The former Leicester man is joined in the treatment room by Daniel James, Phil Jones and Anthony Martial, but the latter is making good progress in his recovery from a knee issue and could return before the season ends.

Solskjaer elected to make 10 changes for the visit of Leicester so will welcome back most of his big-hitters here, starting with Dean Henderson coming back in for David de Gea in goal.

Victor Lindelof, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw will be recalled to the rearguard, while Fred and Scott McTominay ought to form a midfield partnership against Klopp's side.

A new-look attack should see Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani all handed starting roles, especially seeing as Greenwood featured from the first whistle against Villa and Leicester.

Meanwhile, Liverpool's injury list is piling up again, with long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Jordan Henderson being kept company in the treatment room by several of their teammates.

James Milner and Ozan Kabak were both ruled out of the win over Southampton with muscular problems, and Klopp has admitted that he cannot put a timeframe on their returns to action.

With Ben Davies also out of contention, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams ought to continue as the Reds centre-back pairing, while the luckless Naby Keita has suffered yet another setback in his return from injury.

The midfield trio should therefore remain unchanged, meaning that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - soon to become a father - will be restricted to another substitute outing.

Roberto Firmino is eyeing a place at the forefront of the attack over Diogo Jota, and Mane - who by his own admission had has the "worst season" of his career - will aim to hit double figures for the Premier League campaign here in terms of goals.

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba; Cavani

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Williams, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane

Head To Head

Thursday's game represents the 235th meeting between Man United and Liverpool in all competitions, with the Merseyside giants boasting 77 wins compared to Man United's 89.

The Red Devils overcame Liverpool 3-2 in the FA Cup earlier in the season, but they are winless in five against their opponents in the Premier League - drawing three and losing two to Klopp's men since December 2018.

However, Liverpool have failed to win at Old Trafford in the Premier League since the 2013-14 season, with three of the last four top-flight encounters on Man United's turf ending level.

SM words green background

We say: Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool

Man United and Liverpool have made a bit of a habit of playing out rather drab stalemates in seasons gone by, and we are not expecting much different this week.

The beleaguered hosts will revert back to their strongest lineup as they bid to consolidate their hold on second spot, while Liverpool have much more to play for as they look to sneak back in to the Champions League positions, so we can envisage another share of the spoils between the two arch-rivals.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on January 4, 2021
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