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FootballNewsLiverpool head for Old Trafford seeking return to form on ‘big four’ seesaw

Liverpool head for Old Trafford seeking return to form on ‘big four’ seesaw

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By Brian Sears

18 September 2010

The “big four” in the Premier League contest 12 League games against each in total each season. The first of 2010-11 was the 1-1 draw between Liverpool and Arsenal on the opening day and the second is tomorrow, when Liverpool play at Old Trafford looking for an upswing in their fortunes in “big four” action.

In 2008-09, when Liverpool pushed for the title and ended up as runners-up, they topped the “big four” table with four wins, two draws, no defeats and 14 points from six games against Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Last season they finished bottom of the table with one win (against United) and five defeats from their six games against the same trio. That sorry state of affairs encapsulates their slump.

In the same period, Chelsea went from bottom of the “big four” table in 2008-09, to the top with a perfect record last season. The details are in the tables below, which also show United topping the all-time “big four” table when only games against each other are considered.

Liverpool travel to United tomorrow knowing they’re won four league games there in the Premier League era from 18 visits; only Chelsea with five wins can claim more. All four of Liverpool’s wins (1-0 three times and 4-1 two seasons again) have come in the past 10 seasons. Their first eight Premier League visits yielded four points from four draws and four defeats.

The all-time “big four” table is perhaps closer than some people would imagine, given United’s dominance in title terms in the Premier League era. They have 164 points, 19 clear of Arsenal in second, but only eight points separate Arsenal (145), Chelsea (143) and Liverpool (137).

In the whole Premier League era, now 18 full seasons plus a few games old, United have lost just 100 games in total anywhere, and 32 of those have been against Chelsea (12), Arsenal (10) and Liverpool (10) combined.

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