Will United play 3-5-2 again versus Liverpool?

Manchester United remain the only side to take points off Liverpool in the Premier League this season.

That 1-1 draw at Old Trafford was secured with United using a 3-5-2 formation, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sprung a surprise on Jurgen Klopp.

Solskjaer has largely returned to a four-man backline, but will he try the shift to try and surprise Klopp again?

Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images

Warning from Mourinho’s final game

The corresponding fixture last season was Jose Mourinho’s final match in charge of United.


He tried to spring a surprise by switching to a back three for the trip to Anfield but United were comprehensively outplayed and lost 3-1.

Solskjaer’s experiment worked far better at Old Trafford but Mourinho’s struggles may act as a cautionary tale regarding trying the switch at Anfield.

Mo Salah was also missing for the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, but is expected to take to the field on Sunday.

Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

3-5-2 could help United cope without Rashford

Marcus Rashford limped out of United’s 1-0 midweek win over Wolves and is a serious doubt for the Anfield trip.

He scored United’s goal in the 1-1 draw, partnering Daniel James up front in the absence of Anthony Martial.

But if Solskjaer goes with that system again, Martial can swap in for Rashford and theoretically offer United the same threat through the middle.

Another option is for Mason Greenwood to come in for James too.

Klopp will no doubt have pored over the footage of the Old Trafford draw to see how United stifled his team that day, and there’s no guarantee the same formation will work again.

But Solskjaer may just elect to try and shock the Reds again and get another result from the European champions.

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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.