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Everything that you need to know ahead of Jurgen Klopp's side's Premier League encounter with their old rivals at Old Trafford on Sunday

Jurgen Klopp has tasked Liverpool with striking back strongly against Manchester United at Old Trafford as they go in search of a first victory in 2017.

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The Reds, who have enjoyed a stellar start to the season, were defeated 1-0 at Southampton in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final on Wednesday night.

That was preceded by the youngest-ever team in the club's history being held to a goalless home FA Cup draw by Plymouth, before Sunderland held them 2-2 in a top-flight fixture at the Stadium of Light.

The attack has been laboured rather than luminary but Liverpool have the perfect stage to remedy a mini-slump and make their first major statement of the year in the 50th Premier League meeting with their adversaries from down the M62.

Jose Mourinho has overseen a United resurgence though, with his side on a nine-game winning spell in all competitions.


LIVERPOOL INJURIES


Jordan Henderson's absence through a heel issue has undoubtedly weakened the Reds, with Emre Can and Lucas both failing in their attempts to deputise as the club's metronome in the No.6 position. The skipper provides the platform for Liverpool's dominance of the ball and space, while organising their protection against counters.

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He was scheduled to be back in full team training on Thursday and, should he receive the all-clear to start on Sunday, it would be a sizeable lift for the visitors. 

Joel Matip, nursing an ankle problem, is also closing in on a return and will hope to feature in the blockbuster match.

Philippe Coutinho, meanwhile, should get a run out from the off after been afforded just over 30 minutes at St Mary's Stadium. The Brazilian sat out the club's previous nine fixtures due to ankle ligament damage but instantly elevated Liverpool's play after being introduced.

Marko Grujic, who has been sidelined with a tendon complaint, "is not injured anymore but he is not match fit" as per Klopp's last update.


LIVERPOOL SUSPENSIONS


Sadio Mane is away on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Senegal, while Eric Bailly will be missing for United as he is also at the continental showpiece with Ivory Coast.

Neither side have any suspension concerns to combat.


LIVERPOOL POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP


If Henderson is sharp enough to feature, he should form part of the first XI with Coutinho returning to spark the front three. 

Matip's fitness levels will be assessed and his involvement may come as a substitute.

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As was the case against Manchester City, Klopp could choose to use Roberto Firmino as the focal point with an extra midfield presence to offer greater protection for Liverpool's front-foot play.

Otherwise, the German must decide between Divock Origi or Daniel Sturridge for one of the attacking slots, with the Belgian likely to get the nod.

Loris Karius turned in a brilliant display at St Mary's but Simon Mignolet is expected to return between the sticks, with the goalkeeper performing admirably since returning to the side in December.


MAN UTD DOSSIER


Quite a departure from the side who adopted a stifling approach when these two last met in a goalless draw at Anfield in October, United have displayed a winning resolve and have scored twice or more in their last seven fixtures. 

Their nine consecutive triumphs have allowed just three combined goals from the opposition, with their discipline and organisation intact while their offensive game has flourished. Paul Pogba's chemistry with Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been especially pleasing for Mourinho, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata also starring.

As was a trademark of the Alex Ferguson era, United have conjured late wins against Crystal Palace, Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

They are evolving into the fearsome outfit that their manager had envisioned, however, it must be noted that the only truly challenging test during their upturn in form was at home against Tottenham. 

The Red Devils are still sixth despite their streak and, while their rivals have stumbled recently, it would be foolish to expose themselves too considerably against the division's top scorers.

Liverpool know from experience, though, that getting the better of David de Gea can be a mountainous task.


BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS


  • Jurgen Klopp has lost just one of his six meetings with Jose Mourinho (W3 D2 L1)

  • Only Steven Gerrard (eight) has scored more goals in this Premier League fixture than Wayne Rooney (six - level with Robbie Fowler).

  • Manchester United had just 35 per cent possession vs Liverpool at Anfield in October, their lowest total in a Premier League match since Opta began recording this data in 2003-04.


TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME


Kick off is at 4pm, with the match televised live on Sky Sports.

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