The first of the traditional heavyweight clashes of the Premier League season is set to take place late on August 22nd, with Liverpool and Manchester United locking horns at Old Trafford. 

This tie last season will be remembered by fans of both clubs for contrasting reasons- as a Mo Salah inspired Liverpool ravished Manchester United 5-0, with only mercy stopping the Merseysiders from dishing out further embarrassment to the hapless Red Devils who ended the match with 10 men, courtesy of a Paul Pogba sending off. The return leg at Anfield didn’t offer much respite either as Liverpool took that game 4-0 at a trot, to wrap up an emphatic 9-0 aggregate scoreline against United.

At the outset, the signs are ominous for United this time around as well- with the Red Devils struggling to find their feet under new manager Eric Ten Haag. The club fell to one of the most embarrassing defeats of its illustrious history when it lost 4-0 at Brentford last weekend, thus settling in at the absolute bottom of the table with 2 losses out of 2. Facing Liverpool in these circumstances might’ve been the last thing on the club’s wishlist. 

However, Liverpool has its own set of issues to deal with. The 2021-22 FA Cup and Capital One Cup winners are also winless in the league so far, having played out 2 hard-fought draws, but what is most concerning for the Merseysiders will be the squad depth going into the Northwest derby. 

Jurgen Klopp joked on the back of the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace that Liverpool might have been cursed by a witch—such was the team’s precarious situation with injuries, and now suspension thrown in as well.

Indeed Liverpool shall visit Old Trafford without the services of Thiago Alcantara, Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones, Diogo Jota, Ibrahima Konate, Caoimhin Kelleher, and Calvin Ramsay, all of whom are injured. To make matters worse, the club’s record signing Darwin Nunez was sent off for violent conduct against Crystal Palace for an ill-advised headbutt, which means he shall miss the Reds’ next three games as well.  

In a way, this situation might make for a more even contest as United might be able to impose themselves more in the game with many of Liverpool’s stars absent, but that will come as little consolation to Liverpool fans, who could see their club fall behind Man United in the table if the latter ends up winning the upcoming fixture.