Manchester Utd vs Liverpool
| Thursday, May 13th |
Premer League | Old Trafford
8:15PM BST /3:15PM EST
Midweek football is back! But only because fan protests over terrible club owners saw the fixture pushed back from its original date.
For Manchester United, then, the game theoretically comes at an inopportune time, only two days after their previous match, but then again, they rotated their entire team and rolled over for Leicester on Tuesday, and are just about guaranteed second place in the league anyway, so there never really was much at stake.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær has ridden double digit penalties and stumbling competition to a comfortable second place finish this season, and will undoubtedly be looking towards the Europa League final against Villareal and competition savant Unai Emery two weeks from now, but understands the importance of the fixture as well as any manager in the league, and will have his lads up for it.
Utd will have to do without club captain and World’s Most Expensive Defender Harry Maguire tomorrow, as the Englishman joins Anthony Martial on the injury list, but can otherwise call on a healthy, if somewhat jaded squad.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Williams, Phillips, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago; Firmino, Mané, Jota; Salah
For the Reds, there are predictably more injuries in defense, as Ozan Kabak is set to miss out again, suggesting another outing for Rhys Williams alongside Nat Phillips at centre-back, with Billy Koumetio featuring on the bench again.
In midfield, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed that Jordan Henderson will not feature again this season, and the XI will largely be dictated by how aggressively the manager wishes to line up. A double pivot of Fabinho and Thiago is about as likely as the duo being partnered by Georginio Wijnaldum.
Up top, all of Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah are fit and available, and could be in line to feature from the start.
With Leicester winning last night, Liverpool are running out of opportunities to catch the Foxes, and will need to win four in a row to stand even an outside chance of making the top four, starting tomorrow.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “Now we need help from other teams; obviously we have to win our own games but we need help as well. That’s not the situation you want to be in, but it’s the best we could get and now we deal with that.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjær: “It’s about managing the squad now and building momentum, building confidence, making sure we get enough points to get second and then going into the final confident.”
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistant referees: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
Fourth official: David Coote
VAR: Paul Tierney, Timothy Wood
Kickoff is set for 8:15PM GMT/3:15PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, 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.