Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes Manchester United have the upper hand going into the fixture against Liverpool as Romelu Lukaku is in red-hot form and the Reds will be without their main goalscoring threat in the form of Sadio Mane.

There will be more pressure on Mohamed Salah going into the game owing to Mane's injury. The Senegal forward suffered a hamstring injury while on international duty and is expected to be out for at least six weeks.

United are currently seven points ahead of Liverpool going into the game and a win here will help keep the pressure on Manchester City, who are top of the table on goal difference but play later in the day.

Merson told Sky Sports: "This is a massive game, but I just don't see how Liverpool win without Sadio Mane. I half-fancied them with Mane, but I can't see it now. It will be interesting to see how United approach it. You would like to think, with the squad and firepower they have got, that they will have a go."

The former midfielder insists that all eyes will be on Lukaku who is yet to score a single goal against the Reds in seven appearances thus far. United have been in unstoppable goalscoring form this season, netting 32 goals in nine games across the Premier League, Champions League and Carabao Cup with Lukaku helping himself to 11 in 10.

This would be United's first true test of the season when they travel to Anfield, having not met a single team in the top six thus far, with the Reds hoping to end Jose Mourinho's undefeated start to the season.

"But we have said that before and they have parked the bus, so we will have to see what happens. It's a big game for Romelu Lukaku. Now he is with one of the big boys he has to perform against the big boys. Manchester United are a better team but Liverpool's home advantage should help them get a draw," Merson added.

Sadio Mane
Mane could miss up to six weeks of action.Getty Images