Clash of the Titans: Liverpool vs Man Utd
This is still the stand out fixture on the Premier League calendar, one which pits English football’s two most successful and illustrious sides against one another. TV rights and record-breaking viewership numbers are often built upon and negotiated over, based in part on the meetings of these two juggernauts of the modern game. Sports washing entities and certain clubs that ignore the rules of profit and sustainability, have only ever achieved silverware through underhanded tactics, with particular groups likely to see much of their undeserved success stricken from the record books.
‼️ Tony Evans: Man United Will Always Be Reds’ Biggest Rivals
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— AnfieldIndex (@AnfieldIndex) December 15, 2023
Liverpool and Manchester United will stand the test of time and emerge as the franchise assets (alongside Arsenal and Spurs) within world footballs greatest commodity, which is of course the English Premier League. Super Sunday returns in full force this weekend, with huge anticipation surrounding the historical game.
Key Absences: United’s Player Availability
For Manchester United, Tyrell Malacia, Carlos Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen, Jadon Sancho, Amad Diallo Traore, Harry Maguire, and Luke Shaw are all ruled out for the trip to the Premier League leaders. Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, and Victor Lindelof should be back, with Mason Mount possibly ready for a place on the bench. Bruno Fernandes is suspended after accumulating five yellow cards.
A predicted lineup for the away team is listed below:
- GK – André Onana
- RB – Diogo Dalot
- RCB – Raphaël Varane
- LCB – Jonny Evans
- LB – Sergio Reguilón
- CM – Scott McTominay
- CDM – Sofyan Amrabat
- ACM – Alejandro Garnacho
- RW – Marcus Rashford
- CF – Rasmus Højlund
- LW – Antony
In a 4-3-3 system, the away side will aim to stay compact and resilient, looking to counter a team that plays a famous high line, banking on the overconfidence of their adversaries.
Liverpool’s Lineup and Strategy
The 1st placed reds will be overjoyed at their current standing in the Premier League table. Though the Merseyside giants may have been displaced by the time they kick off, a win will see them finish the weekend where they started. In terms of those available, the Spanish pair of Thiago Alcântara and Stefan Bajčetić remain sidelined until late January, which is the timeline set out for Andy Robertson also.
Diogo Jota could be out until the new year, whereas Joël Matip appears to have played his last game for the club, after sustaining the ACL injury. Alexis Mac Allister has an ongoing issue with his knee, that appears to be more worrying than the stitches he received against Sheffield United. The hope is that precaution and rest is being undertaken, so that he can participate in first team affairs before the new year dawns.
Below is the expected lineup, in what could be a pivotal week for Liverpool:
- GK – Alisson Becker
- RB – Trent Alexander Arnold
- RCB – Ibrahima Konaté
- LCB – Virgil van Dijk
- LB – Kostas Tsimikas
- RCM – Ryan Gravenberch
- CDM – Wataru Endō
- LCM – Dominik Szoboszlai
- RF – Mohamed Salah
- CF – Darwin Núñez
- LF – Luis Díaz
In a 4-3-3 (hybrid) system, Liverpool’s German manager will keep faith with Darwin Núñez, whose energy and determination create opportunities for others. It’s likely the same starting team that defeated Crystal Palace will remain, with Harvey Elliott, Cody Gakpo, and Joe Gomez ready to impact from the bench.
Match Dynamics: Anfield Anticipation
Most factors currently favor the home side, which may foster overconfidence. Based on form and availability, Liverpool playing well should naturally lead to a positive result. Manchester United and their under-fire manager, Erik ten Hag, verge on crisis, but their lack of European commitments could offer some relief.
🗣️"That’s what I want to see from us: a special game."
Jurgen Klopp has called on his Liverpool players to rise to the occasion against Manchester United 🔴https://t.co/acWLwGolVn
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) December 15, 2023
Final Prediction: Reds Edge Over United
Ultimately, a fast-paced game is expected, with Liverpool likely to prevail. Arsenal’s earlier game against Brighton will likely leave Liverpool playing to reclaim the top spot. Despite the potential for a comfortable victory, I cautiously predict a narrow home win.
Player to watch: Mohamed Salah
Liverpool 2 – 1 Manchester United