London March 2 (BNA): It has been a long time since Manchester United made a trip to Liverpool with a justified sense of superiority but they head to Anfield on Sunday for a Premier League clash.
United’s struggles in recent seasons have coincided with Liverpool’s rise under Jurgen Klopp, and their fans have had to endure watching the Merseysiders win the Champions League, Premier League, domestic cups and more.
Aside from winning the FA Cup and League Cup last season, Liverpool pushed Manchester City all the way in another giant title race and finished 34 points clear of United.
But what difference does it make each year.
While Liverpool appear to be on the wane, Dutchman Erik ten Hag has inspired a renaissance at Old Trafford.
United won their first trophy since 2017 last Sunday by defeating Newcastle United in the League Cup final, reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in the middle of the week, and were in the round of 16 of the European League and on the sidelines of the title race.
United have lost only once of their last 11 Premier League matches, and since the tournament resumed after the World Cup, no team has had more points (23).
A first Premier League title in 10 years remains elusive, 11 points behind leaders Arsenal and six behind Manchester City, albeit with both having a game in hand.
But victory at Anfield will fuel the belief that should City and Arsenal falter, United are ready to pounce.
It’s a big deal, but wherever United end up this season and whoever owns them, there is a sense that the club is on an upward trajectory on the pitch.
United have unbeaten Liverpool in their last six league visits to Anfield and will face a side desperate for a win to boost their hopes of finishing in the top four.
Liverpool’s 2-0 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday raised sixth place, six points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, with a postponed match.
After a difficult season, Klopp said after this victory that the old feelings of playing at Anfield were beginning to return.
“I thought Anfield proved a point again tonight, it was fantastic and a lot of fun. We were all together – I loved it,” said the German coach. “That’s what we need again on Sunday, but of course it will be difficult.”
The weekend begins with champions Manchester City at home to fifth-placed Newcastle who will be looking for a boost after losing the League Cup final last weekend.
Anything other than a City win would give Arsenal a fantastic chance to extend their lead by five points when they host second-placed Bournemouth later on Saturday.
Tottenham have moved ahead of Newcastle with four wins in their last five league matches, although they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Second Division side Sheffield United on Wednesday.
They travel to the Wolves on Saturday.
Struggling Chelsea will try to snap a run of two wins in their last 15 league games and take some of the pressure off manager Graham Potter when they host Leeds United.
Leeds are one point above the relegation zone in a battle for survival involving at least nine clubs.
Southampton host bottom club Leicester City hoping to avoid a sixth successive home defeat as 18th-placed Everton travel to struggling Nottingham Forest on Sunday.