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Preview: Liverpool fans are bitter and will blame anyone but their beloved club. Come on United, beat the dippers

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Manchester United -v- Liverpool

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Thursday 13 May 2021, KO 20:15 BST

Referee: Martin Atkinson Assistants: Dan Cook, Constantine Hatzidakis

Fourth Official: Craig Pawson 

VAR: Graham Scott Assistant VAR: Nick Hopton

Manchester United face Liverpool in the match that was rescheduled because of the protest against the Glazers which stopped the team leaving the Lowry Hotel in Manchester and also saw supporters enter the Theatre of Dreams when ended up with the match being postponed on safety grounds. Old Trafford now resembles a battle ground with barriers and fences erected to stop the same thing from happening on Thursday evening. United confirmed their place in next seasons UEFA Champions League on Sunday after their 3-1 victory over Aston Villa and will complete their three Premier League matches in five days with this match.

United were beaten 2-1 by Leicester City and if it was not for Caglar Soyuncu’s header in the 66th minute of the match, the club would have struggled to beat United. After the match, Liverpool supporters were moaning about match fixing, despite United using players from their squad list (25 players), which can also include as many U21 players as the manager chooses. You would think that United cost Liverpool UEFA Champions League football next season, when in actual fact, it was Liverpool that did that by becoming one hit wonders and having a very poor season as the Premier League champions, which is now a distant memory.

Manchester United: LWLWDW

Leicester City 2-1 L, Aston Villa 3-1 W, AS Roma 3-2 L, AS Roma 6-2 W, Leeds United 0-0 D, Burnley 3-1 W

Liverpool: WDDDWL

Southampton 2-0 W, Newcastle United 1-1 D, Leeds United 1-1 D, Real Madrid 0-0 D, Aston Villa 2-1 W, Real Madrid 3-1 L

Top Scorers: A few more goals for Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood would be a good end to the season for Manchester United.

Manchester United Goals: 27 – Bruno Fernandes, 20 – Marcus Rashford, 15 – Edinson Cavani, 12 – Mason Greenwood, 7 – Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay, 6 – Paul Pogba, 5 – Own Goal, Daniel James, 2 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 1 – Amad Diallo, Fred, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Donny van de Beek

United have had a largely positive season, no matter what the agenda-driven so-called supporters on social media suggest. They are so drunk on their agendas that they cannot see what has been happening but will still claim that United are lucky to be in the position they are in, when being second for the majority of the season is nothing to do with luck. United have lost five times in the league this season – three of those came in the first six matches of the season. The Europa League final is now where the concentration should be directed this season, at least after this match – beating the dippers is what we all want to see.

Liverpool Goals: 29 – Mohamed Salah, 14 – Sadio Mané, 12 – Diogo Jota, 6 – Roberto Firmino, 4 – Curtis Jones, Takumi Minamino, 3 – Georginio Wijnaldum, 2 – Trent Alexander-Arnold, 1 – Thiago Alcántara, Marko Grujic, Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip, Divock Origi, Andrew Robertson, Xherdan Shaqiri, Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool have been poor this season. The fans will blame their season on an injury to Virgil van Dijk but when that excuse was used at various points in history by other club, the Scouse fans say that one man does not make a team. However, in this case, it would be right. Without Van Dijk, Liverpool have been toothless in their pursuit of retaining their league title. It has been funny to watch and with all the pundits that stated Liverpool were the best Premier League team ever last season, to see that they don’t want to talk about their attention seeking today is even funnier. Watching Liverpool choke has been even better though. Injuries, boo hoo.

Team News: Four players in the sidelines due to injury for United with Liverpool likely to miss up to ten players in total for the clash with United at Old Trafford on Thursday evening.

Phil Jones (knee), Anthony Martial (knee), Daniel James (other) and Harry Maguire (ankle) have all been ruled out of action through injury. Maguire has suffered ankle ligament damage and could make the UEFA Europa League final in a fortnight’s time. United rested a number of players against Leicester City on Tuesday evening with Dean Henderson, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay all sitting out the match. Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes had cameo appearances in the defeat. United should be back to fuller strength against Liverpool, whose fans seem upset at this time.

Virgil van Dijk (knee), Divock Origi (muscular), Caoimhin Kelleher (abdominal tear), Joe Gomez (knee), Joel Matip (ankle/foot), Jordan Henderson (groin/hip/pelvis), Ben Davies (muscular), Naby Keita (knock), James Milner (knock) and Ozan Kabak (muscular) all seem to be ruled out of the rescheduled clash with United at Old Trafford, which will give Jurgen Klopp limited options ahead of the match. Do I feel sorry for them though, no way – the club has never felt sorry for United when they have amassed loads of injuries at any stage of the season. Hopefully United will beat them again this season – they deserve that too.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani to lead the line against Liverpool with Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford in support.

Solskjaer will probably make another ten changes in his starting XI against Liverpool in the rescheduled fixture on Thursday evening. Ten changes were made in the 2-1 defeat to Leicester City on Tuesday evening which has resulted in Liverpool unlikely to play Champions League football next season. I think, as Cavani came off the bench against both Aston Villa and Leicester City, he will start against Liverpool as after this match, there will be four full days of rest (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday) before the next match, which is against Fulham at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening. Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford should be back too.

Match Prediction: 58 matches played between United and Liverpool in the Premier League. United have won 28 times, drawn 15 and lost 15. Who will be the victors on Thursday?

United and Liverpool have played 58 times in the history of the Premier League and have a rivalled history. United have won 28 times, drawing 15 and losing 15. The Red Devils have scored a total of 77 goals with Liverpool scoring 63. United have been awarded five penalties, scoring three of them with Liverpool being awarded six and scoring five of them. United have kept 18 clean sheets with Liverpool keeping 15. In terms of discipline, United players have been shown 104 yellow cards with nine red cards whereas Liverpool have been shown 90 yellow cards and seven red cards. More fierce rivalry to be expected this weekend?

Earlier this season, United ground out a fraught 0-0 draw with Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League, knowing that they would face the club just a week later in the Emirates FA Cup at Old Trafford. In that match, United won 3-2 with Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes scoring the goals for United and Mohamed Salah scoring a brace for Liverpool. Last season at Anfield, United lost 2-0 but drew 0-0 at Old Trafford. This weekend, United will be seeking to defeat Liverpool, which might even dent their chances of a top four place this season, with them, at the time of writing, in sixth and four points adrift of Chelsea.

Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW