Liverpool and Manchester United meet each other at Anfield on Sunday in the biggest game of the 2020/21 Premier League season so far.
United leapfrogged Liverpool into first place on Tuesday night by winning their game in hand against Burnley, and it is arguably the most meaningful clash between these two rivals in more than 10 years.
Liverpool have been the more dominant in the rivalry in recent seasons and when the teams take to the pitch this weekend it will be five years to the day since United last won at Anfield.
That day was 17 January 2016 and the game was settled by a single goal from Wayne Rooney with just over 10 minutes to play. It was also a record breaking strike for the most Premier League goals for a single club – a tally he eventually took to 183.
Liverpool and United were both in very different places back then. It was still Jurgen Klopp’s first season in charge at Anfield, having replaced Brendan Rodgers three months earlier, while United were struggling to find an identity under Louis van Gaal.
Five years is a long time in football and the teams on display in 2016 are almost unrecognisable now and there are only three survivors left from each side.
Simon Mignolet (GK) – 2015/16 was the goalkeeper’s last as undisputed number one before Klopp start looking for replacements. Left Liverpool for Club Brugge in 2019.
Nathaniel Clyne (RB) – Injuries ultimately wrecked his Liverpool and his declined was accelerated by the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold. He’s now at Crystal Palace.
Mamadou Sakho (CB) – The French centre-back is another to have gone from Anfield to Palace. Initially joined the Eagles on loan in 2017 but then signed permanently for a whopping £30m.
Kolo Toure (CB) – The veteran defender was nearly 35 at the time of this game and it proved to be final season in England, before reuniting with Brendan Rodgers at Celtic.
Alberto Moreno (LB) – Liverpool had high hopes for the Spanish full-back when he arrived. However, things didn’t exactly go to plan for Moreno, and after a long spell on the periphery of the squad, he finally left the club in 2019.
Jordan Henderson (CM) – The 2015/16 campaign was an injury hit one for Henderson. Lifted last season’s Premier League trophy.
Lucas Leiva (CM) – Always a cult favourite among Liverpool fans, the Brazilian midfielder moved on from Anfield after 10 years in 2017, and has played over 120 games for Lazio.
Emre Can (CM) – Definitely had potential under Klopp but opted to run down his contract and joined Juventus on a free transfer in 2018. Now with Borussia Dortmund.
James Milner (RW) – Has played just about everywhere for Liverpool since joining as a free agent from Manchester City in 2015, and a key player in the squad despite being 35 years old.
Roberto Firmino (ST) – The first of Liverpool’s current front three to arrive and the only one not signed by Klopp. Didn’t thrive until Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah joined.
Adam Lallana (LW) – Injuries saw the former Southampton star left behind by a developing squad after 2016/17, having arguably been Liverpool’s best player prior to that. Joined Brighton in 2020.
David de Gea (GK) – The only real survivor from United’s last Premier League title win has been on a rollercoaster over the last few years but is rediscovering his best form again.
Ashley Young (RB) – The experimentation at full-back prolonged his United career far longer than it should have. Eventually became club captain, but joined Inter last year.
Chris Smalling (CB) – 2015/16 was probably the centre-back’s best season with United, staying injury free and playing 55 game in all competitions. He was sold to Roma last summer.
Daley Blind (CB) – Another who thrived in 2015/16, despite lacking the obvious physical attributes for a centre-back. Was deemed surplus to requirements in 2018 and re-joined Ajax.
Matteo Darmian (LB) – The Italian never properly established himself at United. Joined Parma in 2019 and now with Inter.
Morgan Schneiderlin (CM) – The Frenchman was one of countless players who never hit their potential with United in the mid-2010s. Joined Everton after only 18 months at Old Trafford.
Marouane Fellaini (CM) – Became a symbol of the problems in the recruitment department. Made the switch to China in 2019.
Ander Herrera (CM) – Always a fan favourite with United and many were sad to see him join Paris Saint-Germain for free in 2019 when he failed to agree a new contract.
Jesse Lingard (RW) – This was only his 10th Premier League appearance for United after finally making the breakthrough in late 2015. His days at Old Trafford are numbered.
Wayne Rooney (ST) – Scored the winner at Anfield in what was his penultimate season at United. Left as the club’s all-time top scorer and has now made the switch into management with Derby.
Anthony Martial (LW) – Bought from Monaco the previous summer in a deal initially worth £36m. Rediscovered his mojo last season and has played close to 250 games for the club.