There is no place for Simon Mignolet in the starting lineup for Liverpool this afternoon as Brendan Rodgers finally appears to have lost patience in the keeper following a poor run of form.
Liverpool make three changes, bringing in Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana in his comeback from injury for boyhood fan Rickie Lambert and Lucas Leiva. In goal, former Middlesbrough man, the Australian Brad Jones comes in to replace the Belgian.
Mario Balotelli in Liverpool's starting lineup this afternoon after a controversial week in which the troubled striker decided not to contest his FA charge.
It's an offensively-minded team, as Lallana, in his comeback from injury replaces Lucas, who drops to the bench. But both fit, recognised strikers are on the bench, suggesting a change of tactics for a team who have looked a wooden imitation of last season's dynamic attacking force.
Manchester United vs Liverpool: Combined XI
Manchester United vs Liverpool: Combined XI
1/8 David De Gea (Man United 1 Liverpool 0)
Has arguably been United's best player this season, with a number of impressive performances and great saves that have earned his side crucial points. Simon Mignolet, on the other hand, looks like he could be replaced in January, with Liverpool linked to numerous goalkeepers.
2/8 Antonio Valencia (Man United 2 Liverpool 0)
A problem position with the two sides playing very different formations, Valencia gets in ahead of Glen Johnson because he is a bigger attacking threat - both are terrible defenders.
3/8 Kolo Toure (Man United 2 Liverpool 1)
Kolo Toure's presence in this team shows just how far these two sides have fallen, as well as the defensive injury crisis currently engulfing United. His opposite number Paddy McNair has potential but was so bad against Southampton he was replaced after 37 minutes, with Michael Carrick dropping into defence.
4/8 Martin Skrtel (Man United 2 Liverpool 2)
Again, Skrtel has been far from impressive this season, though he is the best of a bad bunch. Jonny Evans is arguably his equal but will be starting his first match since September; the Slovakian just shades it.
5/8 Marcos Rojo (Man United 3 Liverpool 2)
Rojo not enjoyed the greatest of starts at Old Trafford but Albert Moreno, though impressive at times, has also struggled and lapses in concentration have cost Liverpool goals.
6/8 Steven Gerrard (Man United 4 Liverpool 3)
Gerrard has endured a poor season and is lucky to be in this team - the man opposite him is Marouane Fellaini, one of the worst signings of the last couple of years. Gerrard's sparkling form from a year ago has deserted him and he's badly in need of a rest - despite his wonderful free-kick against Basel. Liverpool are so bad without him Brendan Rodgers can't afford him one.
7/8 Juan Mata (Man United 5 Liverpool 3)
Choosing between Mata and Jordan Henderson is probably the toughest decision to make in this team. It is a matter of opinion and tactical preference whether you go for the crafty, attacking talents of the Spaniard or the high-energy Englishman. Henderson, like Gerrard, has not been as good as last year and Mata just shades it on current form.
8/8 Raheem Sterling (Man United 5 Liverpool 4)
Another Liverpool player who has failed to hit the heights of last season. However, Sterling remains the side's most potent attacker with Daniel Sturridge out and Luis Suarez departed. Ashley Young has done a good job at wing-back for Louis van Gaal, but Sterling is a potential match-winner.
Manchester United's three changes all come in defence, as Paddy McNair, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo all drop to the bench to be replaced by Phil Jones after a calf injury and Jonny Evans. James Wilson is the final change, an attacking one, replacing the Argentine defender.
Rojo had been scheduled to play but picked up an injury in training, causing Jones to be drafted in at late notice.
Falcao is on the bench following Van Gaal's proclamation that he was only ready for 20 minutes of football.
Man United: De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Evans, Young, Carrick, Fellaini, Mata, Rooney, van Persie, Wilson
Subs: Lindegaard, McNair, Blackett, Herrera, Fletcher, Januzaj, Falcao
Liverpool: Jones, Skrtel, Lovren, Johnson, Moreno, Henderson, Allen, Gerrard, Coutinho, Lallana, Sterling
Subs: Mignolet, Toure, Lambert, Lucas, Can, Balotelli, MarkovicReuse content