Everything you need to know about Sheffield United versus Liverpool

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp will find it difficult to second guess each other’s teams as they prepare for tonight’s showdown at Anfield.

Saturday, 24th October 2020, 11:45 am

Both have lost key players to serious injury. Both have seen their squads, by their own respective standards, make disappointing starts to the new season.

James Shield, The Star’s United writer, looks ahead to the match at Anfield and analyses some of the things we definitely do know about this Premier League game.

The Possible Teams: Liverpool - Adrian, Robertson, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Milner, Salah, Firmino, Mane. United - Ramsdale, Basham, Egan, Robinson, Stevens, Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Lundstram, Brewster, McBurnie.

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The Referee: Mike Dean will take charge of the game, while Andre Marriner, who oversaw United’s game against Fulham last week, is on VAR duties at Stockley Park. Dean, who averages 2.3 cautions per game in domestic competition this season, also oversaw United’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers last month. John Egan and Oli McBurnie were among three players booked during that match.

The Form Guide: After beginning the season with four straight defeats, United ended their losing run when they drew 1-1 with Scott Parker’s side six days ago. The second-half penalty Billy Sharp converted following Ademola Lookman’s opener was only the second goal they have scored in league competition this term. Defending champions Liverpool opened their title defence with three straight wins, netting nine times in the process, before being thumped 7-2 by Aston Villa and then drawing with neighbours Everton.

The History Lesson: United have lost their last three meetings with Liverpool. But they have won just under a third of their previous 133 encounters, with just less than a quarter of those ending in a draw. United last beat their latest opponents in January 2003, when Chris Wilder’s predecessor Neil Warnock was in charge. That EFL Cup semi-final tie was their first contest since April 1994 - when United registered their most recent win at Anfield. However, they have clashed only six times since then.

The Last Time Out: Goals either side of the break from Mo Salah and Sadio Mane saw Liverpool claim all three points when United travelled to Anfield nine months ago. A defensive slip presented Salah with the opener after only four minutes before Mane was also on target just past the hour mark. Liverpool also profited from an error when they triumphed at Bramall Lane earlier that term.

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) and Sheffield United's English manager Chris Wilder during January's match at Anfield: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

The Dangermen: Rhian Brewster will be hoping to make an impact against the club he left earlier this month, after completing his high-profile move to United. The centre-forward’s fourth and final appearance for Liverpool came during this season’s Community Shield game against Arsenal. Salah has scored six times in his last six league outings for Liverpool and, like Roberto Firmino and Sade Mane, was withdrawn during the second half of their win over Ajax earlier this week.

The Coverage: Liverpool versus United, Anfield, kick-off 8pm. The match is being broadcast live on Sky Sports Box Office, with free up to the minute coverage and post-match analysis available via The Star’s website.

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Referee Mike Dean will take charge of Sheffield United's visit to Liverpool in the Premier League tonight: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images