Preview: Manchester United need to put up a fight against Liverpool at the Theatre of Dreams…

Manchester United -v- Liverpool

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday 24 February 2019; KO 14:05 GMT

Referee: Michael Oliver

Manchester United will host Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League. It will be the second match against Liverpool this season and a way to make amends after the 3-1 defeat at Anfield in December which saw the end of Jose Mourinho’s reign as United manager. Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United have been playing a much better brand of football, only losing one match out of the 13 played during his caretaker management role.

United has now found themselves in fourth place in the Premier League, ahead of both Arsenal and Chelsea, sitting a point ahead also with a plus-one goal difference. Chelsea will not play in the Premier League this weekend as they face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final. Arsenal host Southampton at the same time as this match, so neither team will have an advantage on the other in terms of who can rise to fourth or even stay in fourth place in the league table.

Pre-Match Press Conference: Solskjaer gives an indication that Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial could be available to face Liverpool

Form: Liverpool undefeated in their last six matches but United have four wins and a draw in their last six matches, losing once

Manchester United: WLWWDW

Chelsea 2-0 W, Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 L, Fulham 3-0 W, Leicester City 1-0 W, Burnley 2-2 D, Arsenal 3-1 W

United lost their first game under Solskjaer against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League the week before last, meaning that United are undefeated in the other 12 matches they have played. In the last six matches, United have scored 11 goals, conceded five and kept three clean sheets, the latest against Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup on Monday evening, knocking the holders out of the tournament. United will need to have their wits about them against Liverpool though.

Liverpool: DWDDWW

Bayern Munich 0-0 D, Bournemouth 3-0 W, West Ham United 1-1 D, Leicester City 1-1 D, Crystal Palace 4-3 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 W

Liverpool seems to have bottled the Premier League title recently, which was to be expected as it is something that they have been known for, especially in the last few years. Manchester City found themselves back at the top of the league, although they have played a game more than Liverpool. A victory over United would see them at the top again, three points ahead of City – level on matches played. United will need to do City a favour but also themselves, keeping them in the top four this weekend.

Team News: Lingard and Martial could play a part against Liverpool

Solskjaer suggested that both Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial could be available to face Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, just a week after ruling the pair out for two to three weeks. Perhaps the Norwegian played the game, like Sir Alex Ferguson, in preparing to face the old enemy, Liverpool. Speaking in his press conference on Friday morning, Solskjaer said:

“I hope and think Anthony [Martial] will be ready and I hope Jesse [Lingard] will be ready because it’s two different injuries. So maybe more hope than think, with Anthony as well, but he’s got a chance. Anyway, we still hope Jesse could be ready.

“Let’s see. We’ve still got a couple of days’ training left and they need to be part of it. They’ve not been part of it yet, but they’ve been doing some recovery work and Anthony’s was a different muscle, of course, so we think that he might be ready and hope that Jesse will.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will be boosted by the return of Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold but will be without Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez for the visit to the Theatre of Dreams. Liverpool may need to be at their best as United are reaching their best after the failed Mourinho era. I do not think that United will be as much of a walkover as they were in December, especially with the fact that a victory will keep Liverpool off the summit of the Premier League table.

Predicted Starting XI: Martial, Rashford, and Lingard to lead the attack against Liverpool at Old Trafford?

Match Prediction: Manchester United to keep Liverpool off the summit of the Premier League?

Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool

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