Manchester United welcomes Liverpool to Old Trafford in the biggest game of their Premier League season on February 24.
Manchester United vs Liverpool preview
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stands on the brink of the game that could officially seal his place on the Manchester United bench next season. Considering the job he has done thus far if he can pull one over Jurgen Klopp's men, he will leave the United hierarchy with no other option but to make him the permanent manager of the Red Devils.
United has been completely rejuvenated under the Norwegian manager since his arrival following the sacking of Jose Mourinho. But the caretaker manager has not been given nearly enough credit for United's turnaround. The common perception has been that he has put smiles back on the players' faces and with an arm around their shoulders, asked them to go express themselves. That is only one part of the story. Except for the game against PSG, Solskjaer has tactically outsmarted every manager in the big games – Arsenal at Emirates, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and even Tottenham at Wembley to some extent.
The game against Liverpool will be his toughest test bar the Parisian visit and Klopp will be eager to correct the one wrong he has consistently had throughout his tenure at Merseyside. The German manager is yet to win at Old Trafford and at the Theatre of Dreams, his feared front men are yet to cause the havoc they are famous for. On Sunday, Klopp will have the services of his favoured front three, unlike his opposition manager who will have to call upon back up in the absence of Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial.
The two wide forwards picked up injuries against PSG and although they have returned to training, it is almost certain they will miss out on the big game. Thus, the onus will once again be on Paul Pogba. The French World Cup winner has been reborn under the new management and is having his best season despite having fallen completely out of favour only two months ago.
The United defence though will have to be on top of their games to make sure the Red Devils can strengthen their grip on the fourth spot. It will be interesting to see who Solskjaer opts for, to partner Victor Lindelof in central defence. Chris Smalling had a good game against Chelsea but against pacy forwards, the management might give the nod to Ivorian defender Eric Bailly.
Manchester United: David De Gea; Ashley Young, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw; Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba; Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku
Liverpool: Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil Van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum; Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane
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