Manchester United need a captain’s performance from Harry Maguire in today’s blockbuster clash against Liverpool.

With just one clean sheet in 20 games, United’s defence has been all over the place and the backline desperately needs to be resolute against a rampant Liverpool side.

With no Raphael Varane to call upon, Maguire is going to have to lead from the back and produce a dominant and commanding performance that inspires his fellow teammates.

Maguire’s going to be coming up against one of the most in-form teams and strike forces around, but he will have to be vocal, aggressive and smart when coming up against Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Battle with Van Dijk

Liverpool FC v Manchester United - Premier League
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

The former Leicester City man who was signed for £80m (BBC Sport) will be coming up against the £75m (BBC Sport) Virgil van Dijk, the two most expensive defenders of all time.

Whilst neither player will be going into the game thinking about the burden of the price tags, they have been bought to dominate and decide these games.

With United looking suspect from set pieces, van Dijk who scored in his last game against United will smell blood.

It will be up to Maguire to ensure that doesn’t happen and potentially be the matchwinner at the other end with his aerial ability.

Maguire has looked jittery at times following his European Championship exploits, but he can ill-afford anything else then being at top of his game at the Theatre of Dreams.

Manchester United v Atalanta: Group F - UEFA Champions League
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

The 28-year-old is yet to beat Liverpool in four league games as a United player and today would be the perfect start to put an end to that record.

There will be times when we come under increased pressure, but unlike in recent weeks, Maguire is going to have rally his troops and ensure they and himself stand up to the challenge.

United could reignite their title-winning credentials with a big performance against Liverpool, and it could well be up to Maguire to lay down an early marker in today’s game to show Klopp’s men we mean business.

With clashes against Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City ahead, if Maguire can lead his team through this tricky run of fixtures then he will grow in stature and so will the team’s belief.

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