Manchester United vs Liverpool: Preview and Prediction

Manchester United and Liverpool will be eager to clinch all three points when they clash at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The curtains will fall on Gameweek 32 of the 2023/24 Premier League season on Sunday, with the day bringing us three matches. The action kicks off with the marquee fixture of the matchday, with Manchester United welcoming Liverpool to Old Trafford.

Manchester United saw their horrendous 2023/24 campaign continue earlier this week. The Red Devils were two goals down inside 20 minutes against Chelsea but produced a solid showing to lead 3-2 heading into the final minute of injury time. However, two eleventh-hour strikes by Cole Palmer crushed the hearts of the United fans, with the result hampering the team’s chances of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.

As for Liverpool, they are in contention to win two trophies heading into the final weeks of the 2023/24 season. The Reds sit atop the Premier League table heading into Gameweek 32 and will know if they can extend their lead, with Manchester City and Arsenal playing on Saturday.

The reverse fixture ended in a goalless stalemate, with Liverpool dominating the proceedings without finding a way past Andre Onana. Manchester United and Liverpool have also clashed in the FA Cup this season, with the Red Devils coming from behind to clinch a 4-3 win. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Manchester United

Erik ten Hag has new injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Liverpool on Sunday, the Manchester United manager will be bereft of the services of at least five first-team players, with four others facing a race against time to be available.

The Dutch tactician is sweating over the fitness of Altay Bayindir, Raphael Varane, Jonny Evans, and Casemiro, with the latter three picking up their issues earlier this week against Chelsea. But Luke Shaw (hamstring), Lisandro Martinez (calf), Victor Lindelof (thigh), Tyrell Malacia (knee), and Anthony Martial (groin) remain on the sidelines.

Andre Onana will retain his usual spot between the sticks, with Manchester United lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Liverpool. The backline should see the highly-rated Willy Kambwala making a rare start, joining Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Diogo Dalot in the defensive quartet.

As for the midfield unit, Mason Mount should replace Casemiro, joining Kobbie Mainoo in the double pivot after a decent cameo against Chelsea. Bruno Fernandes will reprise his usual no. 10 role, with Alejandro Garnacho and Marcus Rashford being the two wide attackers. So, Antony will drop to the bench despite an impressive showing against Chelsea. Finally, Rasmus Hojlund will lead the line for the home side on Sunday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Kambwala, Dalot; Mount, Mainoo; Garnacho, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund


Unlike his counterpart in the Manchester United dugout, Jurgen Klopp has greeted a positive update on the team news front ahead of the trip to Old Trafford. The Liverpool manager will be without six first-team players.

Wataru Endo should be fit and available after missing the game against Sheffield United with a knock. Alisson Becker (hamstring), Trent Alexander-Arnold (knee), and Diogo Jota (knee) are closing in on returning to action.

But Sunday’s game has come too soon for the trio, and they will likely return next weekend at the earliest. However, Joel Matip (knee), Thiago Alcantara (hamstring), and Stefan Bajcetic (muscle injury) will unlikely feature again this season.

Liverpool will line up in a 4-3-3 formation against Manchester United, with Caoimhin Kelleher taking his spot between the sticks. The backline should feature Conor Bradley, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk, and Andrew Robertson, with the latter replacing Joe Gomez.

As for the midfield unit, Wataru Endo should sit at the base, with Alexis Mac Allister also returning after his exceptional impact off the bench against Sheffield United. The duo will join Dominik Szoboszlai in the middle of the park. Finally, Darwin Nunez should lead the line for Liverpool, with Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz completing the numbers in the attack.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Kelleher; Bradley, Konate, van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Endo, Szoboszlai; Salah, Nunez, Diaz

Key Stats

  • Manchester United have won just one of their last 11 Premier League games against Liverpool (D4 L6), although it was in the corresponding fixture last season. The Red Devils can win consecutive home league games against the Reds for the first time since September 2015.
  • Manchester United have lost 17 of their 42 matches in all competitions this term (W21 D4). They last lost more matches in a season in 1977/78 (19). The Red Devils have equalled their club record for Premier League losses in a single campaign (12 in 2013/14 and 2021/22). Both the previous times this happened saw the incumbent manager losing his job.
  • Liverpool have won 16 matches and scored 59 goals in all competitions in 2024, more than any other side in Europe’s top five leagues. Jurgen Klopp’s men have scored 26 top-flight goals this season in the final 15 minutes of matches, ten more than any other team.
  • Manchester United have faced 225 shots in 2024, more than any other side in Europe’s top five leagues.
  • Mohamed Salah can become the first opposition player to score in four consecutive Premier League matches at Old Trafford. Salah has found the back of the net 13 times in 14 appearances against Manchester United for Liverpool, including eight in his last five at Old Trafford in all competitions. He is level alongside Alan Shearer with 10 goals as the leading Premier League goalscorer against the Red Devils.

Player to Watch

Alejandro Garnacho

Embed from Getty Images

Bruno Fernandes showed some positive signs in the final third against Chelsea but has not been heavily involved on the goalscoring front. Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford has still not found his mojo despite the prospect of getting galvanised after the FA Cup win over Liverpool. Mohamed Salah will perennially be under the spotlight in Liverpool games. So, we have gone ahead with Alejandro Garnacho as our pick for his section.

The Argentine international has been one of the positives in a dreadful 2023/24 campaign for Manchester United. He had seemingly helped Manchester United beat Chelsea after coming from two goals down before Cole Palmer’s late rally.

Meanwhile, Garnacho is the first teenager to score two or more goals in three Premier League matches in a single season since Michael Owen in 1998/99. With the youngster showing excellent form in the final third and backing it up with superb output, he will be Manchester United’s best bet to get something out of the game.


Manchester United 1-3 Liverpool

The home side will take heart from the fightback against Chelsea and in the now-famous FA Cup win over Liverpool. However, lightning seldom strikes twice, and Manchester United do not have the form or momentum to topple Liverpool, especially in a Premier League setting where they have not brought their best.

The Red Devils will still take the game to the Reds, giving them a run for their money. However, apart from a few flurries of positive moments, it will be a long day at work for Manchester United, with The Hard Tackle predicting a 3-1 win for Liverpool.

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