Manchester United v Liverpool
Liverpool head to Southampton tonight, but they will undoubtedly have an eye on a pivotal game against Manchester United next Sunday at Old Trafford.
Manchester United made it nine wins in a row against Hull in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night and this looks set to be a remarkably different game to the one that saw the sides draw 0-0 at Anfield.
In October, Jose Mourinho was criticised for parking the bus at Anfield when Liverpool were arguably at their free flowing best.
Man United slight favourites
Now it looks like Manchester United are the team in form and they have a brilliant opportunity to firmly propel themselves in the Premier League title race with a 10th win in a row.
The maths at the top of the Premier League looks pretty clear ahead of Manchester United v Liverpool.
Win on Sunday and Manchester United are two points behind Liverpool having trailed them for so long.
But, were Liverpool to win they would be eight points clear of Manchester United with the latter surely out the title race.
Manchester United v Liverpool stats
With the help of data courtesy of EA SPORTS, we aim to highlight how Liverpool are one of the best attacking teams in the Premier League, how Manchester United have turned their season around and why the fierce rivals are two of the nation’s best sides on the ball, in what should be a cracking match between two giants of English football.
Liverpool are not only the top scorers (48) in the Premier League so far this season, but have also created more chances than any other Premier League team so far in this campaign, under the exciting brand of football brought to Anfield by Jurgen Klopp.
Manchester United have created the fourth most chances in the league so far, so you can expect both sides to be creative in the opposition half in this must win fixture for both of the rival teams.
Not only have Liverpool scored the most goals and created the most chances, but have also had the second most shots on goal in the league so far this term, so expect more of the same this weekend.
United have also had the third most shots in the league have average a goal every 11 shots, whereas Liverpool are averaging a goal every 7.3 shots so far this season.
You can also expect quality when both sides are on the ball, as Liverpool have completed more passes than any other side this season, having become the first Premier League team to surpass the 10,000 passes milestone.
Whilst Mourinho’s United have only completed the fourth most passes in the Premier League, they have the highest passing accuracy of any Premier League team, having completed 85.13% of their passes so far this season.
When looking at passing in the opposition half, you get a similar idea of just how good both teams are on the ball.
Manchester United are, again, the most precise of any Premier League team having completed 80.71% of passes in the opposition half.
United have also completed the fourth most passes in the opposition half so far this season which is, however, almost 350 passes less than the marginally less accurate Liverpool.
Three of the Premier League’s top five passers will in fact be on display at Old Trafford on Sunday, in the form of Jordan Henderson, Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera. Henderson has completed significantly more passes (1,436) than any other Premier League player so far this season, whilst Paul Pogba has completed more passes in the opposition half (826) than any other Premier League player.
Deeper lying Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has become crucial to Untied this season, and his influence is illustrated by having completed the fourth most passes in the league, as well as having made more interceptions (53) than any other Premier League midfielder.
One big area of strength for Manchester United is getting to the byline and delivering good quality crosses. United have put the most crosses into the box, completed the joint most crosses in the league and have the second highest cross completion rate (26.2%) of any Premier League side.
Liverpool will need to be cautious of United’s wider players and full backs getting forward, as Mourinho will most certainly want his team to get to the byline and deliver quality. One player crucial to this tactic is Antonio Valencia who has completed the most crosses (25) of any Premier League player so far this season.
Data Courtesy of EA SPORTS, the Lead Partner of the Premier League.