LIVERPOOL VS. MANCHESTER UNITED
| Sunday, January 17th |
Premier League | Anfield
4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST
It feels like it’s been a very long time since we all got to watch Liverpool play football. It’s been even longer since we’ve been through a game against Manchester United. But on Sunday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men will arrive at Anfield sitting above Liverpool at the top of the table.
Liverpool have had a poor run of recent form thanks to several key injuries, particularly in the defense. A loss against Southampton in the league was a blow that cost them their hold on the top spot. However, the Reds rarely lose twice in a row, and they’ll understand how much of a morale-booster it would be to break their winless streak against their bitter rivals.
Jürgen Klopp has not ruled out Joel Matip to play alongside Fabinho in the heart of the defense. However, it remains to be seen if Matip really is fit to play a whole game, or if we’ll see another game with Rhys Williams in the line up.
Whoever does earn the right to start with face a tough test against Manchester United’s in form players like Fernandes and Marcus Rashford.
Good news on the horizon for Liverpool, however, is that Thiago Alcantara should slide right into the midfield for his Anfield debut, which will be a huge injection of talent into a side that has been waning in the last month or so.
This game will be Klopp’s 200th match in charge of the team, and he’ll want to cap off that milestone with a win.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Gonna be conservative about the odds of Matip starting, but I’d love to be wrong. If anything, he’ll may be on the bench. Diogo Jota, Kostas Tsimikas, Joe Gomez, and Virgil van Dijk are all long term absences. Naby Keita will sit this one out as a precaution. I know I should be used to seeing all of those names on the injury list, but it’s still daunting looking at it written out like that.
For Man United, Anthony Martial is looking at a late fitness test to determine if he can play. Brandon Williams, Phil Jones, and Victor Lindelof are all missing from the defense.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jürgen Klopp: “But it’s an open game – it was always an open game. Very often when we played United with different managers we had to be dominant in the games, especially when Jose was there. Now with Ole, we will see exactly. Usually they change systems against us and played now I think 10 times or so with four in the back. Against us, PSG and Leipzig and so on, they still played with five in the back. Maybe they will change.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “I think football and the results in general have sown how important the fans are. We have not lost away in the league since Anfield last year - that is a lot to the fans not being there. It is not home or away advantage. Compared to normal it is a bit of an advantage, it is not just a cliche that you need your supporters.”
Referee: Paul Tierney. Assistants: Lee Betts, Constantine Hatzidakis. Fourth official: Craig Pawson. VAR: Stuart Attwell. Assistant VAR: Stuart Burt.
Kickoff is set for 4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.