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Match Preview: Liverpool vs Manchester United

Liverpool vs Manchester United

Liverpool vs Manchester United | Premier League | Anfield Stadium | KO 16:30 GMT | Sky Sports

Manchester United are top of the Premier League, are three points clear of Liverpool, and look like real title challengers for the first time in years.

If you were to offer United fans that situation at the start of the season, they would have bitten your hand off.

On their eighteenth match of the season, The Reds travel to Anfield to face current champions Liverpool, in a classic six pointer that could swing the pendulum of momentum in the favour of the winning side. 

This fixture has always had a lot riding on it, but Sunday afternoon’s clash offers more to each team than any match between the two in the past decade.

How do Manchester United Look?

Manchester United enter the match with a number of injury issues, “as many injuries as them [Liverpool]” according to boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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Both Anthony Martial and Nemanja Matic were forced off in the 1-0 midweek victory against Burnley, and will need to prove their fitness to Solskjaer, before they will be up for selection against Liverpool.

Phil Jones, as has been the case for months, is definitely out, as is Brandon Williams.

Victor Lindelöf is a doubt, having missed the past few games with a back injury, suggesting that Eric Bailly may be allowed to continue growing his partnership with Harry Maguire.

Solskjaer has utilised a number of formations during his reign at Old Trafford, and will have to decide which he wants to use to better Liverpool on Sunday.

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Should he want to play on the counter attack, he could use five at the back, to deal with the pressure that Liverpool’s attack would put on the United defence. Doing so would rely on fast wing play in the transition, that could catch the home side’s makeshift defence on the break.

A midfield diamond has also been used by the boss to dominate the midfield, but doing so against Liverpool would leave United exposed on the wings, the area that Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander Arnold excel in, so it may not be advised.

Alternatively, United could focus on their own strengths, as opposed to beating Liverpool’s weaknesses, and go for a more familiar 4-2-3-1, with a duo of Fred and McTominay performing particularly well as midfielders in this formation.

Opposition: Liverpool

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Liverpool, who enjoy to complain about the number of injuries they have, are without just two starting eleven players when United visit on Sunday.

Defenders Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez are the pair missing from Liverpool’s starting eleven, meaning they will have to play two of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Joel Matip, Nico Williams or Nathaniel Phillips, which is plenty of choice for Jurgen Klopp.

Other than that, emergency backup forward Diogo Jota is also out.

Key Stats

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Liverpool are unbeaten at home in 67 games, whilst Manchester United are unbeaten away from home in almost a year.

United last lost away from home on January 19th 2020, which was at Anfield against Liverpool.

Prediction

Liverpool 0-1 Manchester United. A Bruno Fernandes penalty.

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