The stats do not lieThis rivalry doesn't just exist on the pitch, the cities of Liverpool and Manchester have long-held dislike for each other, fuelled by the close proximity of both cities and their historic industrial battles over the centuries. It was during the heydays of both clubs however, the 1970s and 1980s for Liverpool and 1990s and 2000s for Manchester United, that this rivalry really began to boil as the two clubs endured great spells in each other's shadows as each dominated the football pyramid for close to two decades each. There is no denying the success of these sides, they hold the title for most successful English teams in every area, domestic, European and globally with 39 league titles, 9 European Cups/Champions Leagues, 19 FA Cups, 13 League Cups, 4 UEFA Cups/Europa Leagues between them plus so much more! As can be seen from the head-to-head stats, both clubs can claim some form of territory over the other - United have a claim to most successful club in the Premier League with their 20 league titles (last won in 2012/13) slightly eclipsing Liverpool's 19. Most Manchester United fans will remind you at this point that 18 of Liverpool's League Titles were won before the launch of the Premier League with the club winning just once since 1989-90 with the victory for Jurgen Klopp's men in 2019-20. Liverpool on the other hand can rightfully hold their crown as the United Kingdom's most successful team in Europe with 6 glorious European Cups/Champions League wins, having lifted the trophy twice since 2005 (2005 and 2019) and also finishing second twice in that time (2007 and 2018). On top of this, Liverpool have also lifted the UEFA Cup on 3 occasions and the UEFA Super Cup on 4. Manchester United, while completely dominant in the league from the early 90s, have won just 3 European Cups (their last being in 2008), once lifting the Europa League (2017) and one UEFA Super Cup alongside a victory in the long-lost European Cup Winner's Cup.
Moving on from historySince the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, things have not been all rosy for Manchester United. Having won 5 Premier League titles between 2007 and 2013, the club has failed to lift the ultimate prize since and have been through 4 full-time managers in that time. There was great excitement upon the introduction of former club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjær in 2018 with him winning 14 of his 19 matches in charge - but very little has happened on the field since with 3 semi-final defeats in the 2019-20 season and a defeat in the UEFA Europa League final to Villareal in 2020/21 the only glimpses of possible success. Ole has however given the club their first back-to-back top 4 finishes in the Premier League since Ferguson's departure with a 2nd place finish last time out guaranteeing Champions League football this season. With the high profile and long-awaited purchases of Jadon Sancho, Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo, expectations are high for this season, but the club is struggling to perform as expected - they go into this game having failed to win in the Premier League since 19th September and currently sit in 5th place. The situation at Liverpool is a stark contrast, having pained their way through nearly 2 decades of disappointment, failure and underachievement, Jurgen Klopp has spearheaded an incredible resurgence for England's historical great. Slowly building a team over the last 6 years that not only maintains financial stability for the club (after being literally hours from death), but is consistently challenging at the top table, widely regarded as one of the greatest teams in the world currently. The smart introductions of Allison Becker in goal, Virgil Van Dijk in defence, Fabinho in a CDM role and the truly world-class front three of Mane, Salah and Firmino has turned this Liverpool team around. Having lost in the Europa League final in 2016, the club has since gone on to win the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA World Club Cup and finally their first Premier League since 1989/90. After a disappointing campaign last year, due to a team decimated with injury, they bounced back to finish a highly respectable third place and go into this fixture second in the league and the only undefeated team in the competition.
Derby Days Podcast
This week, We Love Sport's Joe Forrester sat down with Gareth from The Anfield Wrap and Andy from The Stretford Paddock to discuss all things Manchester United vs Liverpool in the latest episode of the We Love Sport Derby Days Podcast. At the end of the episode, Joe tasked Gareth and Andy to come up with their current mixed Starting XI - with some perhaps debatable answers.
You can listen to the full episode for all the debate on how this team was built - but here is the final team, they selected.Listen to the full episode of Derby Days: Manchester United vs Liverpool on all major Podcast providers or click the image below to watch on YouTube. The We Love Sport App is the go-to destination for all things pub sport. Download the app now to book your seat for the big fight in your local venue, access all our latest blogs and fixture updates from across the sporting world.
How Do I Download The We Love Sport App?
If you're reading this on your mobile, click this link: https://bit.ly/welovesportapp
If you're on a desktop/tablet - open the App Store on your phone and search for We Love Sport.
Or, simply scan the QR code below using your mobile!