The Red Devils needed another comeback to grab all three points and it took a little bit of the pressure of the manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer…momentarily. There is a tough fixture list around the corner, and they come no tougher than the 2019/20 Premier League winners in Liverpool. This game will be completely different to both Atalanta and Leicester City but how will United manage to compete?
It is time for these United players to stand up and be counted. They showed that in the second half midweek, but they cannot afford to go two goals down against Liverpool because they will not leave themselves as open trying to keep scoring. Ole needs to find a winning formula against Liverpool as United are at risk of losing ground on the top spot and even the top four places.
United have not got the best of records in recent times and you must go back to March 2018 for the last league victory against Liverpool; this was under Jose Mourinho. Last season United did manage to win a classic FA Cup game against their bitter rivals 3-2 in a real ding-dong match. With both sides winning 3-2 midweek, the neutrals will be hoping for a goal-fest, when in reality it could be a low scoring match.
The big rivalry games tend to be a damp squib and particularly under Solskjaer who likes to counterattack. His record against the top 6 last season is impressive in defence but not great at taking that final chance with an awful lot of 0-0s since the humiliating 6-1 defeat against Spurs.
Unbeaten. The one word you want to hear eight games into the season. Jurgen Klopp’s men are firing incredibly well as predicted as they are the top scorers in the league with 22 goals already which really is phenomenal. They have scored three goals or more in five of their league games this season. The usual front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah are once again causing the nuisance upfront, and have been for years, they are relentless and prolific which will certainly be a concern for Solskjaer who is still without Varane.
Liverpool have really returned well after a mixed season last year. A late surge managed to help them grab the top four and they look back to their best with Virgil Van Dijk fit and commanding the backline. Andy Robertson is as consistent as ever and Trent Alexander- Arnold is carrying on his late-season form.
Liverpool’s Team News
It could be business as usual for Liverpool really. The 4-3-3 is Klopp’s favoured formation and it works as Robertson and Alexander-Arnold are allowed to venture forward knowing Fabinho and captain Jordan Henderson will do the leg work for them.
Against Watford Liverpool played possibly their strongest team, except for Fabinho who is expected to return into the midfield three alongside Henderson. That third spot will likely go to Naby Keita to really exploit United who can be weak in the centre of midfield; please see the Leicester game as an example of this!
Compared to last season Liverpool have a mostly injury free squad. Last season Liverpool were hit with injuries hard, especially at center back, going into the match only Thiago will likely be out.
The main problem will come from Salah. He is in red hot form and is the top goal scorer in the league with seven goals. He will look to attack Luke Shaw and drive into the box at any opportunity. With Shaw, an attacking full-back it could leave United quite exposed down the right-hand side and Ole must have a plan to fill that hole.
Sometimes in the derby, it can all go out the window. Liverpool are in form, United are under pressure and we are expecting goals! You just do not know how this game will go but it will be a huge result for either side this early in the season. Old Trafford will be bouncing and United need to be clinical with their chances. Roll on Sunday.