Premier League action continues this time in mid-week and we start with the most iconic clash of the league, The Reds of Manchester coming up against the Reds of Liverpool. It’s Manchester United taking on 2nd place Liverpool.
This clash promises to be an epic one. Both teams have different fortunes so far, Liverpool is fighting for 3 trophies this year after already winning their League Cup back in January. While their opponents Manchester United had a change of managers in mid-season yet with no luck when it comes to titles, they will be fighting for a spot in Europe for next season. This clashes a touch of history as it’s an age-old rivalry between two cities of Manchester and Liverpool rather than 2 clubs.
Now coming into this clash, Liverpool is coming from a hectic weekend where they faced Manchester City 2 times and Atletico Madrid once and they have came out undefeated. They are on a high after eliminating their no.1 rivalry from FA Cup by winning 3-2 over them.
Meanwhile, Red Devils are coming off a hard-fought win over relegation-threatened Norwich after CR7 brilliance. Ronaldo scored 52nd Hattrick against them carrying United to a much-needed victory.
Manchester United are struggling with some injuries in key positions. In midfield, Fred and Scot Mctominay are both carrying knocks and doubtful for this game. In defence, Luke Shaw has been ruled for the rest of the season with a leg injury and Varane is carrying a muscle injury. Cavani and Greenwood are too set to miss this game.
Sometime back we heard the bad news, Ronaldo’s newborn son, unfortunately, passed away. Ronaldo and her partner were expecting twins but bad news for them. So, we might see Ronaldo not feature in the match this weekend and might take some days off.
David de Gea, Van Bisakka, Maguire, Lindelöf, Telles, Pogba, Matic, Sancho, Bruno, Elanga, Rashford/ Ronaldo
Jurgen Klopp has been gifted with the luxury of being an injury-free squad something he could only dream of last season. Despite Liverpool’s relentless nature, every squad player is eligible to play for United’s visit – talk about just a fantastic problem to have!
It would be a surprise if Klopp named an unchanged starting line-up on Tuesday after their draining FA Cup game. We could see much-needed rotation in order to retain freshness in the squad. Joel Matip could replace goal scorer Ibrahima Konate at centre-back, while Jordan Henderson is a contender to come into the midfield.
Alison, Trent-Arnold, Matip, VVD, Robertson, Fabinho, Thiago, Henderson, Salah, Jota, Luis Diaz.
The Red Devils Vs The Reds: Tactical Analysis
Analysis of United under Rangnick
Rangnick is known as a man full of exquisite tactics which he implements at the right time to win games. He first started life at United with his traditional 4-2-2-2 style but it backfired badly. He then switched to a 4-2-3-1 which has given him the best results so far. Although it’s 4-2-3-1, during the course of the play, it becomes 4-3-3 due to Bruno’s dual role as a CM and CAM. Rangnick’s fullbacks are quite wide and they remain engaged in crossing most of the time. Pogba and Matic in the midfield play a complementary role to each other while advancing in attacks.
Matic is more of a snatcher of the ball and Pogba s a ball progressor. Bruno, the floating midfielder, makes runs into the box most of the time as well as takes the bulk of creating attacks. Sancho, one of the most important players in Ralf’s setup does most of the wing play and creates goalscoring chances. Ronaldo generally plays as a box striker. In this way, United’s play unfolds under Rangnick.
Analysis Of Liverpool under Klopp
Jurgen Klopp, the German coach, is one of the most excellent tacticians in the world. Klopp’s Liverpool plays some eye-catching football under him. His fullbacks play like inverted forwards most of the time and play a big role in chance creations. Fabinho drops deep between the defenders and builds up the attack from the back. Thiago is a box-to-box progressive midfielder who is frequent in playing those defence-splitting passes as well as through balls. Mane and Salah play on the wings very well and cut inside to have goalscoring chances. Jota/Firmino always floats around the field to avoid marking. Klopp’s Liverpool plays in this beautiful manner.
Sancho vs Trent Arnold
Sancho will be playing on United left which means he will be directly up against Trent Arnold who will be occupying that right side in Liverpool’s defence. Sancho’s pace will be key in this clash as against Trent he could look to exploit space left behind by Trent. TAA on other hand will have been on his toes coming up against Sancho as he will maintain his balance between attacking duties and his defensive ones.
Attack vs Attack
This clash will be decided by whose attack will come out victorious. For Liverpool, it’s tried and tested trio of Mane and Salah Firmino or the newly attacking duo of Luis Diaz and Diego Jota. Out of these 5 attackers, any 3 can cause havoc in opposition defence. For Manchester United, it’s all about Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo. In probable Ronaldo’s absence, all the attacking onus for Manchester United will be on Bruno Fernandes and Sancho. These 2 will have to play A-game if United has any chance of having resulted in their favour.
All in all, whenever these 2 teams clash there is full of excitement and drama. Manchester United will be coming into this game with a point to prove and a to solidify their claim for a European spot for next year. For Liverpool, it’s about a chance to win a premier title by putting pressure on Manchester City.
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Ashutosh Welankar Law graduate by degree. Football lover and blogger by passion.