Liverpool Manchester rivalry to claim spotlight in Premier League

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-14 19:50:18|Editor: mym
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LONDON, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- There is one standout game in the Premier League this weekend as perhaps the two biggest rivals in the English game go head to head when Liverpool entertain Manchester United at Anfield.

This season the rivalry is more traditional than sporting, given that Liverpool are currently top of the Premier League and unbeaten in 16 league games, while United are down in 6th place, 16 points behind Jurgen Klopp's men and troubled by stories of divisions between the squad and between the squad and coach Jose Mourinho.

Liverpool got through their difficult Champions League game at home to Napoli on Tuesday to progress to the last 16, but missed the sort of chances they won't be able to forgive against a defensively minded United.

Mourinho's men had already assured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League before their trip to Valencia on Wednesday, but produced the sort of display in a 2-1 defeat that will probably assure they don't get any further and which would probably earn them a serous correction at Anfield if repeated on Sunday.

A look at recent results should do a lot to raise morale among United supporters. The past eight league meetings have seen Liverpool fail to beat their rivals, with three draws and Manchester United winning five times, although you feel that something special will have to happen for them to take all three points this time around.

The round of matches in the Premier League kicks off with another Liverpool-Manchester clash as Manchester City look to bounce straight back from last weekend's defeat to Chelsea with a home game against a solid Everton.

David Silva is out for Manchester City, but there is a chance that Kevin de Bruyne could make his comeback and Kun Aguero should also be in shape to lead the City attack.

Tottenham entertain Burnley fresh from their Camp Nou heroics, although it remains to be seen how much their efforts against Leo Messi and company have taken out of Manuel Pochettino's side, who are currently third on the table.

Chelsea and Arsenal both play on Sunday after Europa League action, with Arsenal travelling to face relegation threatened Southampton, whose coach Ralph Hasenhuttl is making his home debut desperately needing to end a run of 14 games in all competitions without a win.

Chelsea also travel to the south coast to face Brighton and with club officials no-doubt keeping their fingers crossed there are no crowd incidents after the abuse hurled at Raheem Sterling last weekend and the anti-Semitic chants from some of their fans in Hungary on Thursday.

In fairness to Chelsea, they have acted quickly in the face of both incidents, issuing strong statements and bans to offenders, but the club's image would well do without any further problems.

Other games at the weekend see a weakened Crystal Palace at home to Leicester City, while Huddersfield will try to get over the loss of the influential Aaron Mooy when they entertain Newcastle United.

It promises to be a tough, physical game as Watford entertain Cardiff City at Vicarage Road, while the game between Wolves and Bournemouth promises attacking football and goals.

Finally there is a London derby between Fulham and West Ham United which will test the Claudio Ranieri effect at Craven Cottage after away defeat to Tottenham and Manchester United.