Man Utd host Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday evening in the English Premier League. Second takes on sixth in this North West derby with Jurgen Klopp’s side needing a victory to keep their top four hopes alive. A defeat for United could hand Manchester City the title.
Man Utd Form
Man Utd are ending this season in fine form with one defeat in their last 22 matches across all competitions and with nine wins in their last 12 matches. Their backline has been less secure with just thee clean sheets in their last eight matches but they have been scoring freely with 19 goals scored in their last seven.
After their struggles at Old Trafford at the start of this season, United are now 11 home matches unbeaten with five wins in a row in all competitions including a superb 6-2 home win against Roma on Thursday. In the league alone, they’ve lost one of their last 12 home matches with nine victories.
Man Utd Team News
Man Utd are still without Anthony Martial in attack but that is their only injury concern besides fringe player Phil Jones. Having played on Thursday night, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may feel he needs to freshen his side up a little but the bench isn’t all that strong. Mason Greenwood is an obvious selection with Marcus Rashford or Edinson Cavani getting a breather on the bench.
Nemanja Matic is an option, as is Eric Bailly, but Solskjaer will likely play them in Rome next week instead and use his best XI in this match. The one question is whether David De Gea or Dean Henderson play in goal and it seems more likely to be the latter.
Man Utd Motivation
It will be a typical big match approach from Solskjaer. He will have a solid midfield and play in transitions. With just two rest days and facing a massive rival without much to play for in the Premier League, Man Utd would probably be quite satisfied to take a draw from this match as losing is unthinkable.
Liverpool find themselves on an improved run of form of late having seen a terrible seven week run of form with eight defeats in 12 matches. Since a 1-0 home defeat to Fulham, Liverpool have won four and drawn three of their last eight matches with the sole defeat being a 3-1 loss at Real Madrid.
Away from Anfield, Klopp’s team have looked much more comfortable and confident in playing with more space. They have won seven of their last ten matches on the road including winning at Tottenham, RB Leipzig twice and at Arsenal. Their last two away results were the defeat to Madrid and a 1-1 draw at Leeds after conceding in the 87th minute. Their last match saw a 1-1 home draw with Newcastle as they conceded deep into injury time.
Liverpool Team News
The Reds remain with their three long term injury victims in central defence whilst Jordan Henderson and Divock Origi remain absent in midfield and attack respectively. The one other major injury doubt is over Nat Phillips at centre back with a hamstring complaint. If he misses out, then Fabinho would partner Ozan Kabak.
Klopp selected all four of his attackers against Newcastle with Diogo Jota joining the usual front three. He may need to leave one on the bench for this match with either Fabinho reverting to midfield or James Milner coming in to start.
Liverpool needs a win. A draw does not end their top four hopes but it would mean they are relying on other teams to take points off Chelsea and West Ham. They, therefore, need to go all for three points in this match.
Klopp’s side are likely to play on the front foot as Man Utd look to cede the ball in the big games but they will be wary of being caught on the counter attack. Therefore, three central midfielders sitting deep to protect the backline will be seen in all likelihood.
Man Utd have lost 1 of their last 22 matches (W13, D8)
Man Utd have won 6 of their last 7 matches
Man Utd are 11 home matches unbeaten (W8, D3)
Mason Greenwood has scored 6 goals in his last 8 appearances
Liverpool have drawn 3 of their last 4 PL meetings with Liverpool
Liverpool have won 7 of their last 10 matches away from Anfield
Liverpool have kept 5 clean sheets in their last 7 matches on the road
This is a difficult match to predict due to Liverpool’s inconsistency and Man Utd’s lack of recovery time since playing in the Europa League. Solskjaer won’t want to lose this match whilst Liverpool need a victory. A draw is probably the best bet to go for, but a narrow win for Klopp’s team on the road could be a good alternative for the value on offer.