bruno fernandes, ole solskjaer, jurgen klopp, mohamed salah

PREVIEW: MANCHESTER UNITED VS LIVERPOOL, SOLSKJAER'S MEN LOOKING TO THROW WATER ON LIVERPOOL'S UCL HOPES

United’s young team fell to their fifth home defeat of the season against Leicester on Tuesday night, which hurt double as it ensured  that Manchester City were crowned champions again. They will look to move past it quickly and would love the chance to deny their opponents, , a place amongst Europe’s elite. 

 

Moreover, with the first team regulars expected to return for this clash, Solskjaer and co. have the tools to take the game to the Reds. Mason Greenwood has been in red-hot form in front of goal, notching up his eighth goal in his past 11 matches against the Foxes, while ’ linkup play with new star striker Edinson Cavani will once again be a potent threat.

 

 

Liverpool, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their last five league matches which has helped them close the gap to fourth placed Chelsea to seven points. Klopp’s team have a game in hand over the other Champions League chasers and he will not want to let it slip. With games against teams in the bottom half after this, they will look to end their campaign on a high after a very underwhelming defence of their title. 

 

 

Their weekend win against Southampton was just their second at Anfield since the turn of the year in the league, while United’s defeat on Tuesday night confirmed their status as ex-champions officially. Though they have found some momentum, a win over their bitter rivals in enemy territory will be the clearest indicator of the old Liverpool slowly returning.

 

TEAM NEWS

Harry Maguire will continue to sit out, having been spotted in a leg brace on Tuesday night. Anthony Martial and Phil Jones remain the other long term casualties.

 

Probable Lineup: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani

 

 

Liverpool have had a nightmarish run with injuries to their defensive men, as Ozan Kabak became the latest to go down. With Phillips continuing his run in the team, Klopp might just go back to Fabinho in the centre of defence for this crucial clash.

 

Liverpool Probable Lineup: Alisson; Robertson, Phillips, Fabinho, Alexander-Arnold; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jota; Mane, Salah, Firmino

 

GAME CHANGERS

Bruno Fernandes has been nothing short of a revelation since his move to Old Trafford. This season, Fernandes became the first midfielder since Frank Lampard in the 2009/10 season to score 27 goals for a club in all competitions. He has been in terrific form, with his crosses and long-range efforts causing plenty of grief to opponents. 

 

 

The Portuguese has also racked up 11 assists, becoming the go-to man whenever the Red Devils need inspiration. With the possibility of Klopp coming out with another defensive combination, Fernandes knows he will have chances to add to his contributions as Solskjaer looks to seek a quick reversal in their fortunes at home.

 

Mohamed Salah is having another fine personal season at Liverpool and sits second on the top scorers list this season, trailing Harry Kane by a single goal. He has already notched up another season of more than 25 goals in all competitions, and even during Liverpool’s poor season, has been finding the back of the net. 

 

 

The Egyptian has four strikes over the past month and will look to add more to his tally against a United defence bereft of their captain. Klopp will be desperate to win and knows that Salah will be the best bet in doing that, even though the usual front three are all slated to start.

 

PREDICTIONS

Approaching the end of the season, both teams will go hammer and tongs for the win and close out their campaign on a high. Though there is more at stake for Liverpool, Solskjaer and his team will not be pushovers, having been the comeback kings over the past year. FootTheBall predicts a 2-1 win for Manchester United.

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