Liverpool vs Manchester United
| Tuesday, April 18th |
Premier League | Anfield
8PM BST / 3PM EST
11 games from glory. It’s a torrid pace over the next six weeks, but — assuming they can get past Villareal in the Champions League semi-final — Liverpool will play 11 times in the next 40 days, at the end of which lies a place in legend.
That run begins with a visit from arch rivals Manchester United tomorrow night, in a clash that has somehow gone under the radar. The mancs are struggling to place in the top four this season, and have everything to win at Anfield on Tuesday, but they also haven’t beaten the Reds in the Premier League for over four years, and will have their work cut out for them.
19 points back of tomorrow’s hosts, United are dueling Tottenham and Arsenal for the final Champions League spot, and manager Ralf Rangnick confirmed today that Fred, Scott McTominay, Raphaël Varane, Luke Shaw and Edinson Cavani will all miss out, although Bruno Fernandes is available despite a car crash on Sunday.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Henderson; Mané, Jota, Salah
Jürgen Klopp boasts a full and healthy squad, but don’t expect this to be the game in which he rings the changes, as a full-powered XI seems all but certain.
Joël Matip has arguably been the best centre-back in the Premier League this year and will likely get his place back despite Ibrahima Konaté goalscoring exploits in recent weeks, featuring alongside Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson in defence.
Jordan Henderson’s captainly presence will probably be reinstated, alongside the Fabinho and Thiago double pivot that has proved so effective this season, with Naby Keïta being given a rest, and Curtis Jones, James Milner and Harvey Elliott kept in reserve depending on what the game requires.
Up top, expect Mohamed Salah to be given another shot at breaking his goal drought — he scored a hat-trick at Old Trafford back in October, as you’ll recall — alongside the red hot Sadio Mané, while Diogo Jota replaces Luis Díaz, hungry to celebrate vociferously in front of another group of angry away fans.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “They will go for it and we have to make sure if they want to qualify for the Champions League they have to do it without our points. But between now and then, an intense 90 minutes – 95 probably – will have to be played.”
Ralf Rangnick “We need to be more aggressive, more on the front foot but make sure we have all the players behind the ball, this is what we need to show against one of the best teams in producing chances and creating moments.“
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistant referees: Constantine Hatzidakis, Richard West
Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh
VAR: Paul Tierney, Harry Lennard
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM 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.