in

Manchester United vs Liverpool Preview

cover photo for manchester united vs liverpool preview

Manchester United is having a tough time in the Premier League. They’re currently not in the top four, so they might miss out on qualifying for the Champions League. Their sole chance at silverware this season lies in the FA Cup. With home advantage at Old Trafford, they’ll rely on the passionate crowd to boost their performance

On the other hand, Liverpool are soaring in the Premier League title race. Led by Virgil Van Djik their defensive juggernaut, they aim to make Jurgen Klopp’s farewell season memorable. The historic rivalry is set to drama with Manchester United having won their most recent FA Cup match in 2021

North-West Derby

“When the fixtures come out every year, this is the fixture that everyone’s eyes are on” ~Mohak

While the Man City game has become a big deal for Liverpool fans recently, this match still holds its weight. It’s a Premier League classic, an English football classic. In the FA Cup, these two powerhouse teams are going head-to-head. Get ready for an epic clash!

This FA Cup match is a quarterfinal, so it’s hugely important. United has been knocked out of all other cups recently. They’re struggling to even finish in the top 4 of the Premier League to qualify for the Champions League. This FA Cup is their last shot at winning something this season.

Meanwhile, Liverpool just won the Carabao Cup and are favorites to win the Premier League and Europa League titles too. They’re on a roll and will be tough to beat. 

Possible Record-breaking Clash

“in 100 years, Liverpool has never beaten at Old Trafford in a cup competition….law of average has been long overdue” ~Mohak

Lots of records are on the line today. E.g. In 100 years, Liverpool has never beaten United at Old Trafford in a cup match. If they haven’t done it till now, this could be their moment to finally break that record. Especially Under Ten Hag, where all of United’s proud records were broken one by one.

Ten Hag has struggled against Liverpool so far. Remember that brutal 7-0 thrashing last year? No matter how well he does against them in the future, that 7-0 beating will always leave a mark. 

An Underdog charge?

“in 100 years, Liverpool has never beaten at Old Trafford in a cup competition….law of average has been long overdue” ~Mohak

Remember last season when we faced Liverpool after losing the first two games? We were underdogs but managed to beat them at Old Trafford against all odds.

This year, Liverpool was flying high when we played them. We were missing key players like Lisandro Martinez. Everyone predicted another 7-0 or 5-0 thrashing. But United held them to a draw. 

That match was Andre Onana’s sole clean sheet against Liverpool this season was also the only match where they failed to score in all competitions.

That shows this United team can pull off something special against Liverpool tonight if they bring their A-game.

Playing 11 & Changes

“There is a huge squad boost for Man-Utd as Wan Bissaka, Harry Maguire & Rasmus Hoijlund are coming back” ~Mohak

With Wan-Bissaka back, I’d want to see him take on Diaz one-on-one rather than Dalot. Play Dalot at left-back instead of Lindelof there. 

For center-backs, if Maguire is fully fit, pair him with Varane. Don’t want to risk Lindelof against Liverpool’s dangerous attack.

Imagine Darwin Nunez sprinting with the ball, while Victor Lindelof stands bewildered, unsure how to respond. It’s like Liverpool is bullying us.

For midfield, it’s pretty straightforward. Mount might be available, but even if he is, I’d stick with a four-man midfield. To avoid exposing our midfield as United can’t afford to give Liverpool extra space by playing an additional forward.

The midfield lineup includes Koby Mainoo, Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, and an extra midfielder, Scott McTominay, & if the game state allows it will be easier for us to bring Christian Eriksen into the systemUp front, I’d go with Rashford and Hojlund as the two strikers. That likely means dropping Garnacho.

If Hojlund isn’t fully fit yet to start, then Garnacho partners with Rashford. Rashford always shows up for the big games. No matter what, you know if he gets a chance, he can bury it.

Hojlund’s return is timely for us against a tough Liverpool side. But Rashford has to start – he’s our big game player.

Coming to Liverpool, they have some absences, but their attack is still lethal with Salah, Diaz, and the in-form Nunez back. They recently thrashed Sparta Prague in the Europa League. Players like Quansah are also performing well.

We don’t know about Konate’s fitness yet as I write this. Liverpool may field some academy graduates, but their system is so good that even the young players slot in seamlessly.

Non-Clinical United vs A Relentless Liverpool

“Liverpool press every game  like it’s the last one….meanwhile United’s players are running like headless chickens” ~Mohak

We know Liverpool are masters of the high press, and United have struggled against teams that press hard – look at the Newcastle, Brighton, Man City, and Spurs games. Their weakness gets exposed.

Right now, Liverpool’s press is the most intense and organized in the league, as we saw against City.

On the other hand, United’s main creative outlet is Bruno. Even when he supplies chances, our players are often wasteful and don’t bury them.

Think of the City game – Rashford should have killed it in the first half when we had plenty of chances. But we didn’t take them, let City back in, and paid the price.

Same against Liverpool at Anfield last time – Garnacho and Hojlund had great one-on-one chances but couldn’t convert. If those kinds of opportunities come again, we simply have to score.

What can United do Here?

“For Ten Hag, this game is a do-or-die. If Ten Hag suffers a heavy defeat in this game, then it could be difficult for him to keep his job” ~Mohak

There’s only one way to beat Liverpool – outscore them. You can’t just defend for 90 minutes and hope to nick a 1-0 win. It won’t happen.

Liverpool will score a couple of goals minimum. The question is – can United score 3 or take it to extra time when Liverpool’s players may get frustrated if the game stays tight?

The simple formula is – don’t concede in the first half, especially the opening 20-25 minutes. Because, as soon as you go behind, your heads drop. Stay level until halftime at least.

From there, you have a chance to catch Liverpool cold and hit them with a few goals when their confidence is high. But going behind early is curtains.

The 12th Man effect

“Old Trafford tonight cannot go silent even for a minute” ~Mohak

If we want to beat Liverpool today, the Old Trafford crowd can’t go quiet even if we’re not playing well. They have to keep backing the players and manager all the way.

Because once you let Liverpool get on top and the noise dies down, our players will shrink and Liverpool will pounce ruthlessly. We could end up with another embarrassing scoreline like last year’s 7-0 thrashing.

Remember under Ole we lost 5-0 to them, and then 4-0 under Rangnick, Old Trafford had gone silent, this time, There will be immense pressure on us. Let’s see if our players can handle it this time.

The fans need to be the 12th man and not let the team’s confidence drop no matter what. That’s crucial against a team like Liverpool.

Conclusion

“We need to learn from Coventry who defeated wolves the other night” ~Mohak

We’re going into this as underdogs, while Liverpool are the heavy favorites. But we’re still Manchester United. Ten Hag needs to remind the players that last season, as underdogs, we beat Liverpool at Old Trafford. 

 Look at Coventry defeating Wolves recently – if they can do it, we’ve got enough quality too. I know the psychological pressure of facing Liverpool is massive. And the fact that we haven’t beaten any big team this season doesn’t help. 

But the manager has to instill the belief that we’re capable of an upset on our day. All it takes is one big performance to turn the season around against our biggest rival.

What do you think?

Written by ONE MUFC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How Much Do Referees Get Paid in Football?

How do ISL Clubs Make Money?