Liverpool – Manchester United is always circled on the Premier League fixture list regardless of the tone and tenor of the combatants’ seasons, but it’s bolded, underlined, italicized, and starred right now.
Manchester United beat Burnley 1-0 on Tuesday to run its unbeaten league run to 11 matches and climb atop the Premier League table.
That run, combined with Liverpool’s three-match winless skid, means Paul Pogba and the Red Devils head to Anfield on Sunday with a three-point lead on the table (Watch live at 11:30 am ET streaming online via Peacock Premium).
“We have to keep calm, now it is the big moment,” Pogba said. “We will see what is going to happen. … It will be a beautiful game for everyone. A big game coming up so let’s get ready for it.”
United had 63 percent possession and held the Clarets without a shot on frame which, pun intended, misframes the 13-12 slim shot advantage.
The Red Devils put seven shots on Nick Pope, forcing some wonderful saves, and Pogba was a force.
The World Cup winner completed 7-of-9 long passes, winning 12-of-14 duels, and claiming five clearances, two interceptions, and two tackles with a key pass amongst his 104 touches.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is praising Pogba’s performance ahead of Sunday’s big game.
“He’s a good character in the dressing room, he’s someone the lads look to, he’s a world champion,” Solskjaer said. “We’re seeing the best of Paul at the moment. He’s been injured and he’s had Covid so it’s natural to need to get back to fitness after that.”
Solskjaer also knows plenty of good vibes and momentum will be undone with a poor performance at Anfield, where Liverpool has been downright unbeatable.
“Of course we know we’re going to the champions they’ve had an unbelievable three seasons so we’re ready for it,” he said. “But we’re ready and we’re excited, we’re hungry for it and it’s a test of character and quality again. We’re in a good position going into it.”
United badly needs a statement win, having failed to beat a single traditional big six rival this season despite all four matches coming at Old Trafford.
Liverpool needs to reset its title defense after a woeful end to the Festive Fixtures.
Is it Sunday yet?