In the first real big fixture so far this season, Liverpool host an unbeaten Manchester United at Anfield with more than just three points at stake.

Bragging rights and pride will no doubt be driving factors when the players take to the field but it’s the managers who may want to use this match as a chance to make a statement.

Jürgen Klopp has come under intense scrutiny after winning just one his last seven matches in all competitions. For fans it must have been like groundhog day throughout the month of September, just watching the team make the same mistakes against different opponents.

The goals dried up, just eight in those seven fixtures, a clear drop off from the 14 goals in the first five games of the season. The Reds had 52 shots in the matches against Burnley and Newcastle United but, for all their efforts, they added just the two goals to their season tally.

To make matters worse, the defence continues to be breached at an alarming rate; the personnel changes but the same problems persist.

During those aforementioned seven matches they conceded 14 goals despite the opposition rarely dominating the game, with the exception being the 5-0 loss to Manchester City.

Klopp has the opportunity against United to show he’s not blind and that he does realise changes need to be made if they’re to have a successful season. What better way to show that than by giving their fierce north west rivals their first taste of defeat all season.

He's unable to call upon the services of Sadio Mané but Liverpool planned for this eventuality this summer. The loss of the Senegalese speedster during the 2016/17 campaign for various periods nearly derailed the entire season.

The recruitment team on Merseyside looked to address the over reliance on the former Southampton man by signing Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The former has stepped up but the latter is still finding his feet. Now might be the time for him to kick on and show exactly why Klopp spent the best part of 12 months courting him.

Mourinho looking to prove a point

To many it may not appear as though José Mourinho has anything to prove this season.

His United side are joint top of the Premier League and have a goal difference of +19. They're undefeated in their 10 matches this season, winning nine of those. It's been as close to perfect as you could ask for.

The criticism of the Red Devils last year stemmed from the fact they weren't scoring goals, with Bournemouth finishing the season having struck more than the Mourinho's men.

The Portuguese responded to this by signing spending £75million on Romelu Lukaku and they've now scored four or more goals in six of their matches this season.

So the two-time Champions League winning manager has shown that he knows what he's doing. However, there are still people who doubt him because United haven't come up against a traditionally big team so far this campaign.

Current champions Chelsea have already played Spurs, Arsenal and City, with Liverpool also coming up against the latter two. City share top spot with their neighbours and have scored one goal more even after facing two of last season's top four in the opening seven matches.

Everton are the highest placed team from last season to come up against Mourinho's men, and they're in perhaps their worst run of form under Ronald Koeman.

There are some suggesting that United are flat-track bullies, but in their defence they can only beat what's put in front of them.

However, beating Liverpool at Anfield would go a long way to enhancing their title credentials, especially if they're to do it without Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini.

Where can you watch it?

The Reds host the Red Devils with kick-off scheduled for 12:30pm on Saturday, October 14. The match will be televised live on Sky Sports' Main Event and Premier League channels, with coverage starting from 11am.

Stats

  • Manchester United are undefeated in six Premier League matches against Liverpool. Their last defeat came when David Moyes was in charge and Liverpool were awarded three penalties at Old Trafford.
  •  Liverpool have won just two of the last 10 matches against their rivals in the Premier League. 
  • The Reds have managed just two goals in open play in their last five matches against United in all competitions. Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho with the strikes.

Premier League