Three emerging questions Manchester United have to answer at Anfield

Manchester United have a huge game at Anfield against Liverpool to look forward to on Sunday.

The buildup to Liverpool v United games is usually over the top but this time it’s justified.

United have the chance to go six points clear at the top of the table. Getting to the summit got fans excited and extending the lead would send the frenzy to another level again.

That means that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has some big decisions to make this weekend.

Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Does Matic start?

Solskjaer has preferred Scott McTominay and Fred in central midfield for big games this season.

But Matic was hugely impressive at Turf Moor on Tuesday night, commanding in the air and making crucial interceptions on the ground.

McTominay and Fred offer energy which could be crucial against Liverpool’s high-tempo attack.

But Matic’s performance against Burnley may just make Solskjaer think about using his experience on a huge afternoon.


Change of formation?

Solskjaer has played with a three-man backline at times against Liverpool.

That system got a 1-1 draw against Jurgen Klopp’s side at Old Trafford last season.

The last time Solskjaer switched to a back three for a big game, United crashed out of the Champions League against RB Leipzig.

It would be a huge call for Solskjaer to revert back to that formation, but if he thinks it’s the best way to nullify Liverpool, he might do it.


Where does Pogba fit in?

Pogba partnered Matic in a deep midfield role at Burnley but Solskjaer may well want a more disciplined pairing in there on Sunday.

He has played on the left at times lately, but Trent Alexander-Arnold likes to bomb on and Pogba isn’t the best at tracking runners.

A midfield diamond is another option. But Solskjaer has a conundrum over where to deploy Tuesday’s match-winner.

Liverpool are ravaged with injuries at the heart of their defence and whatever Solskjaer does has to be geared towards exposing that weakness.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.