Man Utd host Liverpool at Old Trafford in the FA Cup on Sunday evening. The Red Devils are looking to win their first FA Cup since 2016 under Louis Van Gaal whilst you have to go back to the “Steven Gerrard final” in 2006 for Liverpool’s last success. These sides drew 0-0 a week ago in the Premier League but this match could see two much-changed lineups. Liverpool are under extreme pressure to turn things around after a midweek loss to Burnley.
Man Utd Form
United sit atop the Premier League table thanks to a run of ten wins and three draws in their last 13 matches. The only match lost in their last 12 in all competitions was to Man City in the Carabao Cup semi-final but they are unbeaten since the 1st of November in the league.
Of late, Man Utd have been grinding out results. They scored in injury time to beat Wolves 1-0 at home, needed a Bruno Fernandes penalty to beat Aston Villa 2-1 and scored with 20 minutes to go to win 1-0 at Burnley.
Liverpool and Man Utd played out a cagey 0-0 last week in the league before Man Utd went to Fulham and won 2-1 courtesy of goals by Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba.
Man Utd Team News
Solskjaer has a tough selection decision in this match. He will want to win but his side face Sheffield United and Arsenal in the six days after this match and will need to rotate to protect some players. Dean Henderson should play in goal, Alex Telles will be at left-back and Axel Tuanzebe will hope to start in defence too.
Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Donny van de Beek should make up the midfield whilst the attack could see Marcus Rashford recalled perhaps alongside Mason Greenwood and Juan Mata.
Man Utd Motivation
This game is simply lower priority than the Premier League matches coming up this week. Man Utd have a real chance of challenging until the end in the league and that makes the FA Cup third in the list of importance.
Solskjaer will look to attack though as extra time would be draining for the players and a big disruption to preparations for Wednesday’s match against Sheffield United.
Jurgen Klopp’s team have gone five league matches without victory. They drew 1-1 at home to West Brom, drew 0-0 away at Newcastle, lost 1-0 on their travels to Southampton and then drew 0-0 at home to Man Utd and lost 1-0 to Burnely at Anfield of all places.
Without a goal scored in four matches, the attackers look a long way below their best of late. Prior to this poor four match run, Liverpool blew away Leicester 3-0, Wolves 4-0 and Crystal Palace 7-0.
Liverpool Team News
Klopp played a very strong team in the last round of the FA Cup but that was to retain match fitness and avoid a 13 day gap between facing Southampton and taking on Man Utd. He rested the likes of Mo Salah and Bobby Firmino but they both came on in the loss to Burnley. The squad will be under pressure after such a quick turnaround time from Thursday to Sunday.
The FA Cup clearly isn’t a priority for Klopp with the league and Champions League to worry about. Especially after the Burnley loss, Klopp want to get back into winning ways in the league so might rest some players. Liverpool travel to Spurs on Thursday night and only have two rest days after playing against Burnley too, so expect Klopp to really not be very bothered with this match.
He will be very eager to avoid extra time and the extra fatigue that brings though, even for his squad players. Liverpool will therefore be quite attacking and look to either big win, or lose, in regulation time.
Man Utd have won 10 of their last 13 PL matches (D3)
Man Utd have scored 2 or more goals in 8 of their last 12 matches
Man Utd have conceded 20 goals in their last 12 matches
Man Utd have scored 27 goals in their last 13 PL matches
Liverpool have lost 1 of their last 14 PL matches (W6, D7)
Liverpool have won 6 of their last 14 PL matches
Liverpool have won 2 of their last 8 away matches
The Reds have kept 2 clean sheets in their last 8 away matches
This should be an exciting match with both sides making a plethora of changes to their starting XI but still being able to put out very strong lineups. Man Utd are perhaps the more likely to win considering their depth in midfield and Liverpool’s weakened defence.