The Falling Rivalry? - Liverpool vs Manchester United Preview

There are plenty of intriguing rivalries in world football, Real Madrid vs Barcelona, Inter vs Milan, Arsenal vs Tottenham, yet none have the drama that Liverpool vs Manchester United has had over the years. However, in recent years, the two teams have both fallen off the pace.

Whilst Liverpool are gaining momentum and are successfully rebuilding their team, Manchester United are massively struggling in the league, and have plenty of problems on and off the pitch. In recent years, this role has often been reversed, with Manchester United being the better of the two sides and Liverpool verging on mid-table mediocrity.

Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, this fixture has rarely been crucial to a title-chasing team, but this year, with Liverpool hot on Manchester City's tail, this rivalry has a bigger sense of excitement towards it.

Anfield has been the venue for plenty of heated encounters between the two sides, with Steven Gerrard being sent off after playing less than a minute, the Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra controversy, and the Juan Mata volley that silenced the stadium.

This match is set to be a big one even though Manchester United are struggling, since even during their toughest of times, United have often gone to Anfield and put up a real challenge, whether it being by dominating the match or by setting up to defend and hit Liverpool on the break.

There have been a total of 84 league meetings at Anfield between the two sides, with Liverpool winning 39 of them, United winning 25, with there being 20 draws. Whilst overall Liverpool have had much more success at home, United are currently unbeaten in their last four league visits to Anfield, and they will be determined to make it five.

Liverpool will be keen to retain their unbeaten start to the season, yet United will be much more determined to be the ones to put a stop to their unbeaten streak.

Manchester United's manager, Jose Mourinho, has reportedly dubbed Liverpool as "the lucky ones" of the two sides, as they have been getting the better rub of the green. He went on to say that "They have this feeling that I also had when my teams were top of the league and it looks like everything goes in your direction." Mourinho said this after Liverpool got a lucky winner against Everton, an offside goal that was wrongly allowed against Bournemouth, and they were also saved in the final minutes of the match against Napoli by Alisson.

Liverpool midfielder and newcomer, Fabinho, has said that "it is the biggest rivalry in English football", and he is "definitely looking forward to it."

Whilst Manchester Untied are struggling, Liverpool cannot afford to take the Red Devils lightly, as they have often come to Anfield and snatched a win. With United coming back off of a 4-1 win against Fulham and a 2-1 loss against Valencia, you do not know what to expect from Mourinho's men.

Liverpool on the other hand are coming back from a 4-0 thrashing against Bournemouth and a 1-0 win against Napoli that secured them qualification to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.

The fixture will be played on Sunday at 5pm (GMT+1), as both sides look to come out on top in this heated match.