There are big expectations on Bruno Fernandes this weekend when Manchester United take on Liverpool.
This is Fernandes’ first game against Jurgen Klopp’s side for United, although he did score one and create another for Sporting against Liverpool in a pre-season game in 2019.
Fernandes has been United’s most consistent player for the past 12 months and scored two on his previous league visit to Merseyside when United beat Everton 3-1.
To get a picture of how important Fernandes is to Manchester United’s team, you need only compare his output with those in Liverpool’s midfield.
Outscores Liverpool’s midfielders
Even taking away penalties, Fernandes has scored more Premier League goals this season than all of Liverpool’s midfielders combined.
Fernandes has 11 Premier League goals in total (and 16 in all competitions).
Of these 11 goals, six have been from open play and five have been penalties.
Discarding all the spot-kicks and just using the open play goals, Fernandes still has scored more league goals than all of Liverpool’s midfielders combined.
Liverpool’s midfielders have scored only three Premier League goals, one from Jordan Henderson, one from Georginio Wijnaldum and one from Takumi Minamino.
An area United are superior
United have more depth in this area. Scott McTominay has two league goals to his name, as does Paul Pogba. Between them alone, they have more than Liverpool’s. Donny van de Beek also has one league goal.
It is fair to argue the lack of goals from midfield makes Liverpool a little predictable. It is still very hard to stop their attacking options, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah have combined to score 29 league goals between them.
This is far better than United’s attackers who have only combined for 14 league goals by comparison.
But at least United know where the threat is coming from. United’s goals are spread around and this is what makes the team so dangerous, that everybody is chipping in.
United also have players like Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood who have only scratched the surface of what they are capable of this season and by the end of the campaign, the gap between our attack and Liverpool’s goalscoring output may not be so stark.
Fernandes is the big contributor for United. The difference he provides compares to any of Liverpool’s midfielders is striking, even without the penalties.
He has seven league assists to his name this season, while Liverpool’s midfielders have only two (one from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and one from Jordan Henderson).
We feel very thankful Fernandes is playing on our side and not theirs.
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