Venue – Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee – Craig Pawson
Date & Time – Sunday, January 24th @ 17:00
Current Odds – Manchester United 8/5, Draw 12/5, Liverpool 13/8
Liverpool and United meet again this Sunday. This time it’s the FA Cup and Liverpool will make the short journey to Old Trafford.
Both managers have some big decisions to make. Neither will want to surrender the tie, going out of the cup and giving their rivals a psychological boost, yet, on the other hand, neither will want to risk injury to any first-team players with such a tight Premier League title race still to run between now and May.
Manchester United Form
United are one of the form teams in the UK at the moment. Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side has lost just once in their last 12 games. They are currently top of the Premier League table.
Last weekend, Manchester United avoided defeat at Anfield, drawing 0-0 and maintaining their impressive unbeaten away record in league football which dates back to their 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in January 2020. On Wednesday night, The Red Devils came from behind to win in trademark fashion at lowly Fulham.
Liverpool are struggling right now. There’s no denying that fact. However, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom for The Reds. A turnaround in form is one excellent performance away.
Liverpool haven’t won in five league games and failed to score in the last four of those matches. In that time, Jürgen Klopp’s men have lost their grip on the Premier League top spot and suffered their first league defeat at Anfield in almost four years when Burnley won there on Thursday night.
A win at United on Sunday could be just the tonic Liverpool need to kick-start the second half of their season.
Manchester United Team News
Ole Gunnar Solskjær may give starts to Dean Henderson, Brandon Williams, Eric Bailly, Alex Telles, Donny van de Beek and Mason Greenwood on Sunday.
United will probably stick with their 4-2-3-1 formation with Greenwood leading the line in attack.
Like Liverpool, United will rotate some while still aiming to maintain a ‘strong enough’ starting lineup.
Liverpool Team News
There are likely to be plenty of changes to Liverpool’s lineup from their game against Burnley.
Of course, we are still without Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Diogo Jota, Kostas Tsimikas and Naby Keïta.
Elsewhere, Joël Matip will not be risked for this clash, I’d expect.
Jordan Henderson had a minor fitness issue that kept him out of Thursday’s defeat to Burnley.
Jürgen Klopp will likely give more first-team experience to Caoimhin Kelleher between the sticks. Neco Williams and Nat Phillips could also start at right-back and centre-half respectively.
Klopp may go quite strong in midfield, starting Jordan Henderson (if fit) and Thiago Alcântara with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming in for Gini Wijnaldum.
Roberto Firmino may be rested and that would give Takumi Minamino the opportunity to start up front alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané.
Manchester United XI (4-2-3-1) – Henderson; Williams, Bailly, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, Van de Beek; Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford; Greenwood
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Kelleher; Williams N, Phillips, Fabinho, Milner; Henderson, Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Minamino, Mané
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Last Sunday, the sides played out a drab 0-0 draw at Anfield in the Premier League.
Liverpool’s last visit to Old Trafford was ended 1-1 last season with Marcus Rashford giving Manchester United a first-half lead only for Adam Lallana to cancel it out with a late equaliser for Jürgen Klopp’s side.
MANCHESTER UNITED 1 – 1 LIVERPOOL
Expect another tight game with both sides probably fielding slightly ‘weaker’ starting lineups. I expect (I hope) at least some goals in this one, however. If it does go to extra-time and penalties, it’s anyone’s guess who comes out on top then. Of course, the Premier League title is the main concern for both clubs but a victory on Sunday would taste very, very sweet indeed.