LIVERPOOL VS. MANCHESTER UNITED
| Sunday, March 5th |
Premier League | Anfield
4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST
Liverpool host Manchester United on Sunday afternoon. This game is always important, but if Liverpool hope to sneak into the top four this season, they need every point they can get from now until the end. The last time Liverpool faced their rivals at Old Trafford all the way back in August, the Reds came away the losers.
Now Liverpool are 10 points and three places behind United on the table. Despite four clean sheets in a row in the Premier League, an inconsistent Liverpool have not particularly impressed. They will need to put in a much improved performance if they hope to keep the likes of Marcus Rashford and Casemiro from scoring and earn the three points on Sunday. Rashford is on fire recently, and has scored in his last five games. He’ll be looking to make it six at Anfield, so the Reds will need to be prepared to deal with that threat.
The good news is that Jürgen Klopp’s side has no new injury concerns, a problem which has plagued the team all season. In fact, the freshly returned players Virgil van Dijk and Diogo Jota have had a chance to play themselves back into fitness. Jota in particular played very well against Wolves. It’s likely that we’ll see him used as a sub on Sunday after three successive starts.
Their boost to sixth place following winning their game in hand against Wolves mid-week will hopefully be the boost in confidence they need. Mohamed Salah will be chomping at the bit to score his 128th Premier League goal against their old rivals, which will put him on level terms with God himself.
And perhaps, just perhaps, we’ll get some Bobby Firmino magic in his last Manchester United game before leaving this summer. Give me a no-look back heel Bobby goal past David de Gea, and I can die happy.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Bajcetic; Salah, Gakpo, Nunez
As said, there are no new pressing injury concerns for the Reds. Only Naby Keïta’s knock against Wolves needs to be assessed, but he was unlikely to start this game anyway. Other players still out include Joe Gomez, Thiago Alcantara, Luis Díaz, Arthur Melo, and Calvin Ramsay.
Harvey Elliott could keep his spot after impressing mid-week. A harder sell would be Kostas Tsimikas, who performed well in Andy Robertson’s stead on Wednesday.
For United, Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen, and Mason Greenwood are all confirmed absences.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “They have turned into a results machine. They are squeezing results out with some really good performances. Top football, and if it is not going so well they still get results. That’s why they are there. They are fully in a fight to win the league. That’s not really important for Sunday because we are there as well when we try to be at our best.”
Erik ten Hag: “I’m looking forward to it, the ambience, the atmosphere,” Ten Hag said. “It will be great, it will be hostile against us, but we like that. For me it’s no different. The pitch is the same size everywhere, there are three referees, there’s a fourth [official], the ball is round, there is air in the ball, huh?”
Referee: Andy Madley. Assistants: Adam Nunn, Harry Lennard. Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh. VAR: David Coote. Assistant VAR: Timothy Wood.
Kickoff is set for 4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST tomorrow. Stick with The Liverpool Offside team to keep yourself up to date with team news and match buildup, live updates, and post-match reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.