Predicted Manchester United line-up v Liverpool
Manchester United face what seems like an impossible task tonight, to try and get three points away at Liverpool.
United did actually hold Liverpool to a 0-0 draw at Anfield last season, but a lot has changed since. And in between, Jurgen Klopp’s side won 5-0 at Old Trafford.
The first task tonight is to avoid humiliation, which is easier said than done. To do so, there is a chance Ralf Rangnick adjusts formation.
Playing three at the back would help United avoid getting cut apart as easily as we were at Old Trafford.
Change formation to try and keep it tight
United cant afford to get hammered by Liverpool, and if the team defend like they did against Norwich, that is what will happen.
Playing three centre-backs will limit the space available to Liverpool’s attackers, and ensure there is an extra man to cover of one of United’s defenders is dragged out of position.
This plan is complicated by Raphael Varane being out injured. Eric Bailly would join Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire at the back. This would be Bailly’s first United start of 2022. It’s not a foolproof plan, but United surely have a better chance of success against Liverpool this way.
Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles would play at wing-backs, able to get forward without as much fear, if there is an extra centre-back available.
Midfield and attack
Nemanja Matic was left out against Norwich, likely with an eye on this game. Fred and Scott McTominay are out injured.
Paul Pogba will partner Matic in midfield, with Bruno Fernandes tasked with helping United to create.
While we had expected Cristiano Ronaldo and Anthony Elanga to lead the line as a two, the death of Ronaldo’s child means it is likely he will not be involved.
This could provide a chance for Marcus Rashford to team up with Elanga and use their pace to try and make an impact.
Jadon Sancho would drop out of the starting XI, to return at the weekend away at Arsenal.