Soccer

Man United Vs Liverpool: Preview

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 24: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool and Luke Shaw of Manchester United during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 24, 2021, in Manchester, England. (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Man United Vs Liverpool is the blockbuster of English soccer. Trophy laden to the extent other English clubs gaze on admiringly, these institutions of the sport also retain the largest fanbases. Liverpool (2nd, 18 pts) travel down the M62 (English highway) on Sunday morning to take on Man United (6th, 14 pts) at Old Trafford. It will be the 202nd meeting between the clubs. Although both clubs come into the game off the back of midweek 3-2 Champion League victories. Man United has struggled for form as of late. Having begun the season unbeaten for the first 5 games, the Red Devils are winless in their last 3 league matches. Liverpool comes in looking to extend their current English record of 8 consecutive away games with 3 or more goals scored. The Merseyside club remains the only unbeaten English side in all competitions.

Recap of the last round of fixtures here

How They Will Line Up

Man United

Raphael Varane will not feature for United. The $47 million summer signing picked an injury over the recent international break and isn’t expected to return until November. Victor Lindelof will continue to deputize alongside Harry Maguire in his absence. Picking a midfield capable of thwarting the potent Liverpool attack could prove difficult for Solskjaer, However. Both Fred and Bruno Fernandes are doubtful for the match having picked up slight knocks against Atalanta midweek. Paul Pogba’s positive substitute performance against the Italians stakes a claim for him to start alongside Scott Mctominay in the center of the park. Unfortunately, this pairing has shown defensive frailties in the past. Knowing this, Solskjaer could opt to partner Matic with Mctominay if he looks to deploy a more defensive tactic.

Solskjaer, like England Manager Gareth Southgate, commits a crime every time he picks a team. With such a top-heavy squad, world-class attackers are left on the subs bench weekly. $100 million summer signing Jadon Sancho has yet to register a goal or an assist on the season. Marcus Rashford remains doubtful for the match (dead leg), but his form since returning from shoulder surgery certainly puts him ahead of Sancho if available.

Cristiano Ronaldo will partner Mason Greenwood up top. Paul Pogba could lineup in an attacking position if Fernandes is absent due to injury.

Liverpool

Thiago Alcantara and Harvey Elliott are the only players expected to be unavailable for Liverpool. Also, Curtis Jones, who was unfit for the midweek match at Atletico, should be available for selection. Fabinho is expected to start having been on the bench for the trip to Spain. Consequently, Naby Keita will drop to the bench. The Guinean scored a screamer midweek, but poor defensive output saw him substituted at halftime. Diogo Jota began the season as Liverpool’s striking option, but Firmino’s hat-trick against Watford last matchweek notches him ahead in the pecking order.

Predictions

Man United Vs Liverpool. Klopp vs Ole. Ronaldo Vs Salah. This match is riddled with narrative.

According to Sky Sports, Liverpool have the 3 most in-form players in the league. Having won the last trip to the Theatre of dreams 4-2 in May, bookies have Liverpool odds-on to win the match. This match was played without fans, however. Like Guardiola at Anfield, Klopp has never won a trip to Old Trafford when fans have been present. Pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be sky high should his team fail to perform. I expect a scored draw as Liverpool underwhelm, and United rise to the occasion. The inevitable, omnipotent, Salah to score, of course.

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