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THE ARCHNEMESIS : THE REDS VS THE RED DEVILS

You better clear your schedule for this Sunday as Manchester United are going to play against Liverpool in their 18th Premier League game this season. Manchester United are finally on top of the table after 9 years and they are not going to go down easily. Liverpool is currently 3 points behind United and a win will get them back on top. The competition this season has been intense as all the top teams of the league are neck and neck which makes a win over the title contender very crucial for both the sides. The two teams are one of the biggest rivals in the league’s history and the intercity battle between them has been going on for decades. Manchester United used to be the dominant of the two during the Ferguson Era but they have lost their edge in these few years as the champions of Anfield have been playing tremendously under their German manager.

Jürgen Klopp is regarded as one of the best managers in the world and has revolutionised Liverpool in his 5 years over there. His intensive pressing gameplay has reaped amazing results and he has led his side to both Champions League and Premier League supremacy. He is a hero for the fans and has the complete faith of his players.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has been the manager of United only for a couple of seasons now but it hasn’t been great for him. Although he hasn’t been bad and the club is performing pretty decently, there are always speculations regarding Ole’s future at the club. Managing a powerhouse team like United and meeting with the fan’s high expectations isn’t easy but it looks like Ole is starting to get the hang of it as the team’s been performing comparatively well this season. Ole has also signed amazing talent in the past two transfer windows and it looks he is here to stay.

Both clubs are standing at the top of the league and have the potential to lift the title this season. Form wise United has been better than Liverpool. In their last 5 games in the league, Liverpool has only gained 8 points with 2 draws and 2 wins whereas United has only lost 2 points out of the 15 with 4 wins and a draw which is impressive. Liverpool hasn’t been the same dominating side in the past few weeks, they recently lost a game against Southampton and have been drawing most of their matches.

Liverpool needs to up their game if they are aiming to win the title, they luckily got a nine-day break before this big game and hence with their well-rested and highly determined players they are ready to go all out on Sunday. Manchester United have lately been on a roll. Although they lost 2 goals to nil against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final, they played well in their drawn game against Leicester and also in their previous fixtures against Leeds and Everton.

TEAM NEWS

Manchester United’s Centre Back, Victor Lindelof suffered a back injury in their game against Leicester and chances are he will be on the bench. Eric Bailly seems like the one who will play if Lindelof doesn’t. Ole doesn’t have a fixed formation for his team but United has been playing 4-2-3-1 in their recent games. United also likes to play 4-4-2 Diamond against top clubs and they might go for it.

Assuming they go with the former, their line up will most likely be – De Gea, Wan Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Mc Tominay, Fred, Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Martial. Martial will be playing in the centre but if Ole decides to play Cavani, Martial will play left and Pogba will be on the bench.

Liverpool’s season has been full of injuries and with Van Dijk and Gomes injured, they have been playing Fabinho in the Centre Back position. Matip recently got injured and he might not play. Henderson was playing as the Centre Back in the Southampton game with Fabinho and we might see that again. Williams and Phillips are the youngsters who are the backup Centre Backs for Liverpool but Klopp playing them against a strong club like United is highly unlikely. Jota is still injured and hence Firmino will play the Centre Forward.

Klopp always sticks to his 4-3-3 formation and this might be the line up for them – Allison, Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Fabinho, Robertson, Chamberlain, Thiago, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane.

GAME CHANGERS

Bruno Fernandes is an essential part of the squad and has significantly contributed to United’s success this season. He is an amazing playmaker who can create a myriad of chances for others to score. He has a total of 11 goals and 7 assists this season and is a massive threat and Liverpool needs to take care of it. Martial and Rashford have amazing chemistry and if both of them started getting comfortable, they will surely score a goal or two.

Salah is their main goalscorer and has scored 13 goals and is the highest goal scorer of the Premier League this season. He has pace, great dribbling skills, fantastic finishing and is the perfect forward. Stopping him from scoring is extremely tough but even if they did he is not the only danger-man. Firmino has scored 5 goals and has 3 assists to his name and Mane has 6 goals and 2 assists. Jordan Henderson’s passing skills is too good and no matter which position he plays tomorrow, he will surely create some chances for the attackers.

PREDICTION

Although United is in better form and also has most of its starting 11, Liverpool is just too good and one cannot predict them losing only because they have players out injured. Liverpool’s defense might be weaker than usual and hence they will concede goals but they will also score. The front line has been playing together for more than 2 seasons now and it is highly efficient. Both the teams are going to struggle defensively and hence the game will be decided on who has control over the mid-field. United is not good at holding possession and hence they might lose control of the game. This game is too tough to call but we believe that Liverpool will win the game 2-1 and get back on the top of the table.

The post THE ARCHNEMESIS : THE REDS VS THE RED DEVILS appeared first on FootTheBall.

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