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Liverpool must give Man City reminder against Man United to keep Champions League hopes alive

Liverpool have the chance to make a significant statement on Sunday, despite their contrasting form this season compared to Manchester United, with their top-four hopes just about alive.

Heading into next season, the two clubs will hope, along with one or two other sides, to be in Premier League title contention along with Manchester City, but there is much still to be decided before then.

Manchester United are currently 13 points ahead of Liverpool in the standings, but Jurgen Klopp and his Reds players know partly why that is.

Injuries tell the majority of the story as to their troubles this season, and with key men returning in time to begin 2021/22, they will instantly improve.

They will not be able to call on any of those on the sidelines at Old Trafford here, though, with the objective simply to pull themselves back into Champions League contention again – tightening the gap to 10 points is irrelevant.

“This is the best Manchester United side since Alex Ferguson, but I still think Liverpool are a better team,” said Josh Williams on the Analysing Anfield podcast.

“Liverpool have just lost all practicality at the moment but United have a lot of practicality at the business end of the pitch.

“Liverpool are better coached and can dominate the game, but maybe without winning the game, which makes that a little bit pointless!

Listen to the latest Analysing Anfield podcast by clicking HERE

“This is a good United side, but they are not second in the league good – the underlying numbers suggest third or fourth.

“They have the fifth-best expected goals excluding penalties per match, so the fifth-best attack, and on the defensive side, fifth-best again.

“In terms of shots, they are fourth in shots taken and seventh in shots faced, so the numbers are not great, but they have better individuals than most teams.

” Paul Pogba or Bruno Fernandes can win games on their own and they have a few forwards who are quite skilled at winning penalties – and there is a bit of skill attached to it.

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“But this is not a team Liverpool should be fearful of.”

The numbers suggest that Manchester United should not be as high up the table as they are this season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

They also suggest that once Liverpool have something more like a normal team again, the gap between the sides will exist no longer and could well be reversed.

If Liverpool’s top-four hopes are still to be alive come Sunday night, however, then they will need to start showing that the numbers stack up ahead of next season with four matches still to go in this campaign.

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