Liverpool are going to face Manchester United at Anfield in a Premier League match on Sunday. Liverpool is currently in the sixth place with 39 points from 23 games. United, meanwhile, is third with 49 points from 24 matches.
The Reds are two points behind fifth-placed Newcastle, and will look to ensure at least one point from the match on Sunday. Jürgen Klopp’s side is virtually out of the UEFA Champions League and will try to avoid the catastrophe of being unable to feature even in Europe next season.
United is fresh from their Carabao Cup title triumph last Sunday and a 3-0 win over Leicester in the league prior to that. Erik ten Hag’s side also beat West Ham 3-1 in the FA Cup match on Wednesday. They will eye a victory against Liverpool to keep the pressure on Arsenal and Manchester City. Anything less than a win is not likely to satisfy Erik ten Hag on Sunday.
On that note, we will take a look at two things to watch for in the match
Liverpool defense might find it difficult to withstand Manchester United’s pressure
Manchester United is almost spoiled for choices in their attack. With Marcus Rashford in sublime form and Jadon Sancho back in the side from an injury, the Liverpool defense might find it difficult to handle the pressure.
The likes of Alejandro Garnacho and Anthony Elanga are ready to make impact as substitutes. Furthermore, Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro pulling the strings from the midfield will make it difficult for Liverpool to stop the flow of attacks. Rashford’s battle with Trent Alexander-Arnold might go a long way in determining the fate of the match.
The ever reliable Virgil van Dijk has not been in good form of late. As a result, it might add to Klopp’s worries ahead of Sunday. It remains to be seen whether ten Hag decides to start with Wout Weghorst as the centre-forward and have Rashford on the left flank.
The onus will also be on Fabinho to perform, with the 29-year-old Brazilian linked with a move to Real Madrid next season. Fabinho and Jordan Henderson should be ready to absorb a lot of pressure. As such, their battles with Casemiro and Fred, respectively, will be very critical.
Liverpool’s new attacking players doing justice to their signings by troubling the United defense
Liverpool will also look forward to improved performances from their attacking players. Both Darwin Nuñez and Cody Gakpo are enjoying their first season for the Reds and have not yet performed up to the level of expectation of the supporters.
While Nunez has scored 12 goals in 29 matches, Gakpo has only scored twice in 10 games. That is well below the expectations of the supporters. Liverpool is still largely dependent on their talisman Mohamed Salah to provide the creative spark. However, that has not happened often this season.
This means that the void created by the departure of Sadio Mane has not yet been filled. Such has contributed significantly towards Liverpool’s below-par showing this season. Manchester United’s back-four will fancy themselves to deal with Liverpool’s attack successfully.
Both Raphaël Varane and Lisandro Martinez are in good form. Along with Casemiro’s assuring presence ahead of them, they might think of pulling off yet another clean sheet. United is tied with Arsenal in the second in terms of clean sheets this season with 10 of them in 24 matches.
Overall, Manchester United is performing as a unit this season. While all of that is very good, one sudden defeat can affect the momentum. Therefore ten Hag will have to be aware of that.
Hence, Manchester United can afford no complacency and should go all guns blazing in their pursuit of yet another victory.