Manchester United welcome fierce rivals Liverpool to Old Trafford, this weekend for what is always an eagerly anticipated encounter. The clash will be the 200th meeting between the two sides in all competitions – and 52nd in the Premier League era – in what has been a fierce and passionate rivalry stretching over 124 years.
United have won 79 of the previous 199 encounters, while Liverpool have won 65 and there have been 55 draws. The last four meetings have ended in draws and United have not been beaten by the Merseysiders in the league since March 2014.
If Liverpool continue their impressive start to 2019/20 with a win on Sunday, they will equal both the best start to a Premier League season and a top-flight record set by Manchester City.
Three points for the Reds at Old Trafford would equal Chelsea’s nine-match winning streak from the start of 2005/06, the longest perfect run at the beginning of a Premier League campaign.
The record set by Jose Mourinho’s side was a precursor to Chelsea’s successful defence of their title that season. The west Londoners drew with Everton in the 10th fixture before falling to their first defeat two matches later against Sir Alex Ferguson’s Man Utd.
A win for Liverpool this weekend would also make it 18 consecutive Premier League victories going back to last season, equalling the top-flight record of successive wins set by Man City in 2017/18.
Between August and December 2017, the reigning Premier League champions won 18 back-to-back fixtures—more than any side has managed since the division’s inception—yet Liverpool, on 17 across last season and this, are on the brink of matching that feat.
Eight of Liverpool’s 17 consecutive wins have come this term, as Klopp’s team has scored 20 and conceded just six so far this season.
They’ve established a comfortable lead at the top of the table and currently sit eight points ahead of City as they seek to win a first title in three decades.
It’s an unfamiliar position for this Reds side, and indeed, the last time they travelled to Old Trafford as league leaders was back in October 1996, when a David Beckham strike proved the difference between the old foes.
There’s a reason to believe their winning streak could end this weekend, even considering United’s underwhelming start to the season. United haven’t lost in their last five home league games against Liverpool, winning three and drawing two. In fact, this is their longest run without defeat at Old Trafford against their nearby rivals since they went unbeaten in 10 games against the Reds between February 1991 and March 2000.
History suggests, however, that the omens are not good for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Klopp has never beaten Manchester United at Old Trafford, while Liverpool have not won on any of their previous five league visits there. Their last success there came in March 2014 courtesy of a Steven Gerrard double and a Luis Suarez strike.
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