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Liverpool legend makes hideous prediction for Man Utd game

Manchester United return to Premier League action on Saturday as we travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool in the opening game of the weekend following the international break.

We start the weekend joint-top of the Premier League, already seven points ahead of our North West rivals, only seven games into the 2017-18 season.

Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson has given his prediction ahead of this weekend's rivalry game.  Whilst we can respect that he has to back the team he is most famously associated with, he still managed to come out with a bizarre prediction for the game.  Thompson said:

"My prediction is that Liverpool will win and keep a clean sheet, because that is what Liverpool do in big games."

Because Liverpool keep clean sheets in big games?  Eh?

Let's see if Phil Thompson is right there.  Big games for Liverpool have to include rivals Everton, and Champions League contenders - Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.  Is that a fair assumption?

Here's how Liverpool have fared in those games since the start of last season:

9 September 2017: Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool
27 August 2017: Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal
1 April 2017: Liverpool 3-1 Everton
19 March 2017: Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool
4 March 2017: Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal
11 February 2017: Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur
31 January 2017: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
15 January 2017: Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool
31 December 2016: Liverpool 1-0 Manchester City
19 December 2016: Everton 0-1 Liverpool
17 October 2016: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United
16 September 2016: Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool
27 August 2016: Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Liverpool
14 August 2016: Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool

Of those 14 fixtures Liverpool have only won 25% of them to nil.  They came at home to Arsenal, home to Tottenham, and away to both Manchester City and Everton.  I'm not quite sure this counts as winning big games to nil as "what they do" but hey-ho.

Liverpool have also conceded 12 goals in their opening seven Premier League games so far this season - only West Ham (17) and Crystal Palace (13) have conceded more heading into the weekend.

Phil Thompson is regarded as a Liverpool legend having won the European Cup on three occasions with them, as well as seven top flight titles, two UEFA Cups and one FA Cup during the 1970s and 80s.  He played more than 300 league games for the club before ending his career with two seasons at Sheffield United.

For the sensible people out there, you can get our exclusive 40/1 odds on Manchester United beating Liverpool on Saturday.