Manchester United are the only club to take points off runaway leaders Liverpool in the Premier League this season and they will try and do so again in Sunday’s match at Anfield.
Even the dreamiest of dreamers from the Old Trafford Theatre of Dreams would recognise, however, that it would be against the odds to come away from Merseyside with another positive result after the 1-1 draw in October.
One of the fiercest rivalries in English football has been one-sided of late.
Liverpool, the European and world club champions and on course to become Premier League invincibles, have won their last 18 matches at Anfield and not lost at home in the top flight since April 2017.
The Reds have 61 points from a possible 63 and are on a club record 38-match unbeaten run –= their last defeat coming in January last year against Manchester City.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have also scored in every league match this campaign, equalling the club’s best streak from the start of a season while going 585 minutes without conceding – six successive clean sheets.
United have lost six times this season and are fifth in the league, 27 points adrift of their arch-rivals having played one game more.
Klopp, however, is preparing for another tricky challenge.
“The rest of the season is still quite long and we have a lot of tough games to play, the next one especially tough, and we have to make sure we are ready for that,” he said after Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 on Sunday.
United striker Marcus Rashford, who scored against Liverpool at Old Trafford, started Wednesday’s FA Cup third-round replay against Wolverhampton Wanderers on the bench but he was sent on in the second half and lasted only 15 minutes before leaving the field due to injury.
That will be a major concern for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who said United were heading into the clash at Anfield full of confidence despite losing 3-1 on their last visit.
“The last two performances we’ve had against Liverpool, we’ve drawn twice (at home) and been closest to winning both those games,” the Norwegian added.
“That’ll give us belief that if we perform to our best we’ve got a chance of winning. It’s a great challenge for our players, again, to play against the league leaders. We’ve just got to prepare as well as we can.”