Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann believes Liverpool may find it difficult to contain Manchester United when the Reds visit Old Trafford on Sunday, 15 January. The Red Devils are in brilliant form, winning six on the bounce in the league and are looking to make a late bid for the title with a host of players finding form.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are going through a bad patch, failing to beat Sunderland in their last Premier League fixture and following that up with another insipid performance against Plymouth in the third round of the FA Cup.

They come into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton in the first leg of the semi-final of the EFL Cup at St Mary's where they were completely overpowered by the Saints, who were unlucky to have won the game by only a solitary goal.

On the flip side, United had won their game against Hull City with consummate ease, with Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini scoring in the second half to take a 2-0 advantage to the second leg away from home. All things considered Hamann believes that United have an edge going into the fixture where taking full points will close the gap with the Reds to two points.

"I think Manchester United found a bit of form in recent weeks," the German told Sky Sports, as quoted by Liverpool Echo. "They seem to be a bit more settled and the camp a lot more happy than it was at the start of the season.

"And in Mane, one of the most influential forward players for Liverpool, will be missing, so I think Manchester United — who nullified Liverpool very well when they played at Anfield — may have the edge on Sunday.

Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho has recovered from the ankle he suffered against Sunderland in November Getty

"You have to treat it as a game like any other. It's only three points but obviously it means a lot for the supporters because they're the two most successful clubs in recent history. But I think as a manager you've got to find a happy balance between getting the players up for a game — which usually takes care of itself — and calming them down.