United heads to Anfield for massive Liverpool showdown

Liverpool, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Manchester United and Liverpool will renew their rivalry at Anfield on Sunday for a contest with massive Champions League implications.

The Red Devils enter the weekend clinging to the final Champions League spot, occupying fourth place on 56 points.

But Liverpool is breathing down their necks, rattling off five straight wins to stay within two points of Louis van Gaal's men.

Liverpool's last Premier League defeat came at the hands of United as the Reds suffered a humiliating 3-0 loss at Old Trafford.

The result, however, has been a turning point for Brendan Rodgers' men as they've pieced together a 13-match league unbeaten run, including wins over Manchester City, Southampton, Tottenham and Swansea City.

United has been in fine form, as well. Winning six of its last eight in league play has kept the club in the top four, but it was United's last outing that has offered the greatest amount of optimism.

After a string of disappointing performances, Manchester United produced its finest display of the season, dominating from start to finish in a 3-0 demolition of Tottenham on Sunday.

United has kept a clean sheet in each of its last three Premier League matches, which bodes well for the Red Devils as they prepare to face a Liverpool side that only managed to claim a 1-0 win over Swansea on Monday thanks to a fortuitous second-half deflection off of Jordan Henderson.

A win for Liverpool would see the club jump one point ahead of United and into the top four, but the Red Devils will be eager to give themselves a bit of breathing room as they continue their pursuit of European football for next season.

Manchester City will hope to halt its sputtering form on Saturday when the club plays host to West Bromwich Albion.

The Citizens have lost two of their last three in league play to slip further away from first-place Chelsea, and with three wins from its last five, West Brom will be aiming to pile on some additional misery.

Arsenal, meanwhile, will be hoping to improve its position in the table. The Gunners find themselves in third place on 57 points after a five-game winning run, and should City drop points, a victory at Newcastle United on Saturday would send Arsene Wenger's men into second place.

Sunderland will embark on its first match without Gus Poyet at the helm on Saturday when it heads to Upton Park to face West Ham United, and Tottenahm will attempt to get back into the Champions League race with three points against lowly Leicester City at White Hart Lane.

Also on Saturday, Aston Villa will hope to keep rolling against Swansea at Villa Park, Southampton will take on Burnley at St. Mary's and high-flying Crystal Palace will head to the Britannia to face Stoke City.

First-place Chelsea has drawn two of its last three league contests, and with the Blues out of Europe, Jose Mourinho's men will be keen to get their title pursuit back on track against Hull City at the KC Stadium on Sunday.

Rounding out Sunday's action, Everton will go for a second straight win when it travels to Loftus Road to face QPR.