Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side will welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford this weekend. Mourinho’s side has overcome some hiccups from earlier in this season to put together a streak that’s seen them go undefeated in 15 games across all competitions. United’s good form has seen them surge up the table to sixth place, just three points behind Manchester City in fourth place and two behind Arsenal in fifth.
United’s ascendancy has coincided with a return to form for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker got off to a strong start to life in the English Premier League but went off the boil during the fall. However, the former AC Milan and PSG man has rediscovered his scoring touch and is now United’s leading scorer with 13 goals in the Premier League, just one less than league-leading scorer, Diego Costa of Chelsea.
Ibra’s good form aside, United have also benefitted from the integration of Henrikh Mkhitaryan into the side. In 10 appearances with United, Mkhitaryan has scored only twice. But the player who was last season’s leading assist-maker in the Bundesliga has added a fluency to United’s attack that was lacking in the season’s early going.
A win at home on Sunday would extend United’s undefeated streak to 16 and would be their 10th consecutive win in all competitions. However, standing in Mourinho and company’s way is Jurgen Klopp’s red-hot Liverpool side.
Despite having their seven-game undefeated streak snapped by Southampton in the EFL Cup earlier this week, Klopp’s team is regarded as the biggest threat to league leaders Chelsea. Liverpool will head to Old Trafford sitting in second place, just five points behind Antonio Conte’s ascendent Blues.
Liverpool have benefitted from the sparkling form of Adam Lallana. The midfielder has seven goals and seven assists in the Premier League this season. The Reds may also benefit from the return to action of Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian No. 10 has been recovering from an ankle ligament injury but came on as a second half sub in the loss to Southampton.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson would also be in line for his first appearance since injuring his heel against Manchester City on New Year’s Eve.
The last time the two sides met, in October at Anfield, things finished 0-0. But Mourinho’s team was still finding its feet back then and seemed to be set out to stifle Liverpool, rather than to attack. We should be in for a different affair on Sunday as a more confident United welcome a Liverpool side that has outscored every other team in the Premier League over the course of the past 12 months.
Tune in for Manchester United vs. Liverpool this Sunday, January 15 at 10:55 a.m. EST on NBC Sports.