Liverpool – Manchester United Preview: Reds could take fifth successive league win for first time since 2009

Liverpool host Manchester United on Sunday looking to record a fifth successive Premier League win for the first time since May 2009.

Brendan Rodgers’s side have followed up their strong finish to last season by winning their opening two games of the new campaign against Stoke City and Aston Villa but, despite their good form, extending this sequence against their arch-rivals at Anfield will not be an easy task, as they have not beaten the Red Devils in their last four league meetings and lost the corresponding fixture 2-1 last season.

That victory was the first time that United had won at Liverpool in five attempts, though, and new boss David Moyes heads back to Merseyside looking for his first ever victory at Anfield.

The Scot masterminded just three wins in 22 matches against Liverpool during his 11-year stint in charge of Everton – with all of those successes coming at Goodison Park.

Captain Steven Gerrard and in-form striker Daniel Sturridge are the men to whom the hosts will look to for inspiration in the absence of Luis Suarez, who serves the seventh game of his 10-match suspension.

Gerrard has scored four goals in his last six league appearances against United – including a goal in each of the last two encounters at Anfield – while Sturridge has netted 10 goals in his last eight appearances in all competitions.

Robin van Persie is likely to be the main threat for the visitors. The Dutchman, who has finished as the Premier League’s leading goalscorer for the last two seasons, has netted four times in his last three top-flight appearances against Liverpool.

Rodgers will be without new signing Aly Cissokho as the 25-year-old is expected to be out for between four and six weeks after suffering an ankle injury during the Capital One Cup clash with Notts County.

However, close-season signing Kolo Toure, who also went off in Liverpool’s second-round win over the League One outfit, could be fit after recovering well from a groin problem.

United have doubts over Rafael and Chicharito (both hamstring), while Portugal international Nani continues to struggle with a groin injury. Darren Fletcher is unavailable indefinitely due to a bowel condition.

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