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Liverpool can extend 30-year dominance as Van Dijk eyes career first at Anfield

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Liverpool host Sheffield United in the Premier League this evening and the Blades will be looking to end a 30-year barren spell at Anfield.

The Reds face another huge game in the title race, as top takes on bottom, but stranger things have happened than Jurgen Klopp‘s men dropping points.

United last won at Anfield way back in April 1994, however, when they came from behind to win 2-1, with a second-half brace from Jostein Flo sealing the victory after Ian Rush had given Liverpool a fourth-minute lead.

That is United’s only win at the ground in their last 15 visits, in all competitions, and in the last 12 in the league.

The Blades have lost 21 of their last 26 league visits, with three wins in that spell.

Their last victory over Liverpool was in a League Cup semi-final at Bramall Lane in January 2003, as Michael Tonge scored twice for the hosts after Neil Mellor’s first-half opener.

 

Milestone possibilities

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 21, 2024: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk celebrates after scoring the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Luton Town FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Should he score, Virgil van Dijk, for the first time in his Liverpool career, will register goals against the same opponent in both league fixtures of a single season.

The Reds require five goals to reach the landmark of 700 in all league games under Klopp, only Bill Shankly (1,034) and Tom Watson (1,123) have more as a Liverpool manager.

Liverpool can surpass last season’s points tally (67) with eight games to spare against the Blades, having equalled the total in the win over Brighton on Sunday.

 

Blades’ Premier League woes outlined

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Friday, February 4, 2022: Middlesbrough's manager Chris Wilder during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Manchester United FC and Middlesbrough FC at Old Trafford. The game ended 1-1 after extra-time. Middlesbrough won 8-7 on penalties. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On the road this season, United have taken only six points, winning once at Luton in February (3-1) and drawing three times, at Brighton and Aston Villa (both 1-1) and 2-2 in their last away outing at Bournemouth.

The Blades have scored seven times in their last four away games in the league after netting five in the opening 10 on the road.

Their tally of 12 away league goals this season is the lowest in the top-flight and they have lost 10 of their 14 away league matches, the heaviest of those coming at Arsenal and Burnley (both 5-0).

United have conceded 77 goals this season, too, which is more than any other top-flight team, and 11 of those have come in the last three outings.

 

Resilient Reds so hard to beat

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have won 26 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, which is a division high.

They have failed to score in only one of the last 57 matches in all competitions, too, which was at home to Man United last December.

Liverpool have lost just two of their last 40 league outings, both of which were in north London, away to Tottenham and Arsenal this season.

Of the six league games played since the defeat at the Emirates, they have won five and drawn at home to Man City.

 

Further proof of Liverpool’s dominance in the fixture

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 6, 2023: Liverpool's Dominik Szoboszlai (R) celebrates with team-mate captain Virgil van Dijk after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Should Liverpool win on Thursday they will record a third successive league double over United for the first time in their history.

They have met 11 times in the Premier League era, with the Reds winning seven and drawing two of those fixtures.

Liverpool have won each of the last six league meetings – a club record against United – in a run stretching back to 2007, and they are undefeated in the last seven.

At Anfield, the Merseysiders have won each of the last three league clashes and seven of the last eight.

They have lost one of the last 12 encounters with the Blades, winning 10 of the others.

 

This season’s scorers

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2024: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring his side's winning second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool: Salah 22, Nunez 17, Jota 14, Gakpo 13, Diaz 12, Szoboszlai 7, Jones 5, Mac Allister 5, van Dijk 4, Elliott 3, Gravenberch 3, Alexander-Arnold 2, Danns 2, Endo 2, Bradley 1, Clark 1, Koumas 1, Quansah 1, Robertson 1, own goals 6.

Sheffield United: McAtee 5, McBurnie 5, Archer 4, Brereton Diaz 4, Hamer 4, Osula 3, Ahmedhodzic 1, Bogle 1, Norwood 1, Robinson 1, Souza 1, own goals 3.


* Stats courtesy of LFC statistician Ged Rea (@ged0407).