Liverpool out to halt United's charge in Anfield showdown

Liverpool out to halt United's charge in Anfield showdown

LONDON –Reuters
Liverpool out to halt Uniteds charge in Anfield showdown

Liverpool and Manchester United's globe-trotting squads must shake off the effects of international duty for one of English football's most eagerly-anticipated clashes on Oct. 14.

According to Sky Sports, their players clocked up 139,000 miles taking part in World Cup qualifiers since the last Premier League action, but all roads lead to Anfield as the English top flight resumes after a two-week hiatus with a potential cracker.

The stoppage was badly-timed for United, which won its last three Premier League games with nine goals scored and none conceded, albeit against sides in the lower half of the table.

Jose Mourinho's side, joint leader on 19 points from seven games with Manchester City, will hope to continue that momentum in what will be its biggest test of the season to date.

Liverpool's form has been less impressive and Jürgen Klopp's side, beset by defensive problems, is seven points off the searing pace being set by the two Manchester rivals.

It is also without a Premier League victory over bitter adversaries United in their last six meetings but Mourinho says recent history will have no bearing on Oct. 14.

"These kind of matches, every single moment plays a part," Mourinho told Sky Sports. "We are playing against a good team with very good players. Form doesn't matter, the moment doesn't matter. It's a match of three points."

City, which has built up a goal difference of plus 20 during a stunning start to the campaign, hosts Stoke City with striker Sergio Aguero possibly in contention for a squad place after recovering from injuring his ribs in a car accident last month.

Tottenham Hotspur, in third place, will attempt to lay their Wembley jinx in the league at the fourth time of asking as it hosts Bournemouth, while fourth-placed champion Chelsea, beaten by City before the international break, visits Crystal Palace.

Toothless Palace is the first top-flight side to lose its opening seven games since Portsmouth in 2009 and the first in 129 years of the Football League to do so without scoring.

Fifth-placed Arsenal is at Watford, while Burnley, the surprise package so far in sixth, will fancy its chances of when they tackle West Ham United at Turf Moor.

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has leapfrogged Everton's Ronald Koeman as favorite to be the next managerial casualty after his side's woeful start.

Koeman's side travels to Brighton Hove Albion on Oct. 15 hoping to avoid only a second loss in 20 against newly-promoted teams in the Premier League.