MANCHESTER United are struggling in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first full campaign as manager while bitter rivals Liverpool are flying at the top of the table after making a perfect start. It gets worse for Man Utd fans.
The Red Devils are languishing down in 12th place in the league after only winning twice in their first eight matches.
It has been a shocking sequence of results and a painful indicator for all those related to the club to witness how far we have fallen down the pecking order. Our tally of nine points after eight games is the lowest since the 1989-90 season, when we were a point worse off.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have won just five times at Old Trafford in the Premier League era while Solskjaer’s team have won the fixture 16 times, but the gulf in quality between the sides has widened significantly in recent years with the German the main reason for this.
Liverpool have been a delight to watch over the years and, together with Man City, have dominated the English game, coming mighty close to winning that elusive Premier League title after 30 years last season.
On the contrast, United have been in free fall since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013 and it could take a good five to 10 years for them to have a sniff at the league title.
United’s troublesome season continued before the international break when struggling Newcastle beat them 1-0 and the worrying fact is that Solskjaer’s boys looked lost and devoid of ideas especially in front of goal.
This has been the trend in their recent games as they have struggled to carve out clear-cut chances in the final third of the pitch.
Marcus Rashford, as hard as he tries, is not the finished product and has received very little service. Injuries have also played a big part in United’s alarming dip in form as the likes of Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Jesse Lingard Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof have all been out injured.
The only bright spark for United this term is the emergence of youngsters like Mason Greenwood, Axel Tuanzebe and Tahith Chong together with regulars Scott McTominay, Daniel James and Wan-Bissaka.
The manager’s belief in youth must be commended as he reiterates that the team is in transformation.
Tomorrow’s task against the league leaders will be made even tougher with news that first-choice goalkeeper David De Gea is doubtful after injuring himself on international duty with Spain.
Argentine Sergio Romero is expected to stand in for De Gea and can expect a busy time against Liverpool’s fearsome attack.
On the positive side, Martial, Wan-Bissaka and Shaw are expected to be available for selection.
The form book will count for nothing in this encounter between these fierce rivals but Liverpool will rightly start as favourites as they aim for an 18th consecutive Premier League win, a total that would equal the record held by Man City.