Defending champions Liverpool will lock horns with in-form Manchester United in a much-awaited Premier League clash in game week 18 at Anfield. The visitors currently sit on the top of the table with 36 points, 3 points clear of Liverpool. Klopp’s side has won 90% of their last 20 home league games. Man Utd has lost 15% of their last away league games.
When these sides met last time at Anfield, Van Dijk and Egyptian International helped their team in a convincing 2-0 win. Considering the inconsistent form Liverpool is in now, it would be a bit different scenario this time. Red Devils would come in the back of a 1-0 win over Burnley on Tuesday where-as Liverpool suffered their second straight defeat to Southampton.
Tactical analysis of Manchester United vs Liverpool
United has somehow managed to score a solitary goal against the top 6 clubs so far. Fernandes scored though penalty in a humiliating 1-6 defeat against Hotspurs. The games against Chelsea and Man City yielded a goalless draw whereas a 0-1 defeat against the Gunners. Liverpool is definitely going through a purple patch. But still, it won’t be that easy for United to break the shackles against the defending champions.
United has the extra bit of advantage as their heart of defense will still be out of action due to ACL injury. Jota who made an impressive start for his new club will be out too. Liverpool has failed to win a single match in their last 3 encounters. And not only that, they have managed to found the back of the net once ever since the 7-0 win over Crystal Palace. Man United would like to make that 3 wins in a row when they visit Anfield on the 17th of January.
As we are going to witness an open play game, the forward players of United will have to make a statement this time. Both the teams would play for a win and grab those crucial 3 points in order to stay in the title race. And United have performed better in comparison to the teams that have a heavy defensive line.
How Manchester United can line-up against the defending champions.
Solskjaer needs to be more tactful with his team formations and selection. United slightly has failed to win crucial matches against big guns. They even failed to qualify for the Round of 16 of UCL after back to back defeats against PSG and RB Leipzig. So it is going to be a real test for the Norweigan this time.
Paul Pogba made the only difference between the two sides at Turf Moor with a good volley finish. He may feature against the Reds in the midfield which means Van de Beek has to wait for his opportunity. The former Ajax player was quite impressive in his last match against Watford in the FA Cup. Even if he does not starts, he should definitely be subbed on. His last match statistics were quite staggering.
If United had a good pair of center-backs in their squad then Ole could have gone for a 4-3-3 with Van de Beek, Pogba, and Fernandes in the midfield. It will be Fernandes’s first-ever match against the mighty Liverpool as all the fans are excited about the epic clash.
But Man Utd should make sure that his teammates should not rely on Bruno all the time. The match against Man City in the Carabao Cup was a perfect example where nothing went right for the Red Devils. One match off for Bruno and the whole match looked dull as far as a prominent attack is concerned. Man Utd has managed just 2 shots on target in the entire game.
United’s forward players need to fire the cylinders this time.
They have to bring their A class game against Klopp’s side to come over the winning line. Red Devil’s forward has not been that threatening so far in this season. Rashford was not that creative against Burnley. He sometimes fails to deliver when his team needs the most. But he will be the key man again for United as he has some good records against Liverpool. The English forward is the only player who has 7 goals in his name. The majority of the goals have come from the midfielders, Bruno Fernandes to be more precise.
This won’t be surprising if Cavani starts in front of Martial. El Matador has more goals than the French International despite playing fewer games than him. Ole can even play his three forward players just like he did against Burnley. But Rashford was not looking comfortable down the right flank in the last match. This thing Ole must chalk out.