Preview: United beating Liverpool will add more pressure to their sad season; Ten Hag masterclass coming up again?

United are not the challengers against Liverpool anymore

Liverpool -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Anfield, Liverpool

Sunday 5 March 2023, KO 16:30 GMT

Manchester United go head to head with Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. It will be the second match of March and another that United will be seeking to win. It has been a positive few weeks for United; knocking Barcelona out of the UEFA Europa League, beating Newcastle United to win the Carabao Cup and also knocking West Ham United out of the Emirates FA Cup earning a quarter final place against Fulham later in March.

Erik ten Hag has transformed this United team with the signings that he has made, which has also seen the return of the ABUs who are, once again, finding things to moan about related to United and their matches but when similar events occur – silence. It is good to see that return as that was something that I have missed over the last six years since United last lifted a trophy. It has been a good start for the Dutchman, but there is lots of work left to do.

Liverpool have had a poor season which saw them knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Manchester City in the fourth round of the competition, knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup as the holders by Brighton and Hove Albion and their participation in the UEFA Champions League seems unlikely to last longer after a 5-2 defeat to Real Madrid in the round of 16 first leg. They are also sixth in the Premier League – ten points adrift of United. There is always next year.

Manchester United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

West Ham United 3-1 W, Newcastle United 2-0 W, Barcelona 2-1 W, Leicester City 3-0 W, Barcelona 2-2 D, Leeds United 2-0 W

Goals: 25 – Marcus Rashford, 7 – Bruno Fernandes, 6 – Antony, Fred, Anthony Martial, 5 – Casemiro, Own Goal, Jadon Sancho, 4 – Alejandro Garnacho, 3 – Cristiano Ronaldo, 2 – Christian Eriksen, Scott McTominay, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw, Wout Weghorst

Assists: 9 – Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes, 7 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Casemiro, Luke Shaw, 4 – Alejandro Garnacho, 3 – Fred, Wout Weghorst, 2 – Diogo Dalot, Anthony Elanga, Anthony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo, 1 – Antony, Scott McTominay, Facundo Pellistri, Jadon Sancho, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Liverpool – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 W, Crystal Palace 0-0 D, Real Madrid 5-2 L, Newcastle United 2-0 W, Everton 2-0 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 L

Goals: 20 – Mohamed Salah, 12 – Darwin Núñez, 9 – Roberto Firmino, 5 – Harvey Elliott, 4 – Luis Díaz, 3 – Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fábio Carvalho, Virgil van Dijk, 2 – Cody Gakpo, 1 – Stefan Bajcetic, Joël Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Assists: 9 – Mohamed Salah, 8 – Andrew Robertson, 6 – Diogo Jota, Konstantinos Tsimikas, 4 – Roberto Firmino, Darwin Núñez, 3 – Trent Alexander-Arnold, 2 – Luis Díaz, James Milner, 1 – Thiago Alcántara, Alisson, Harvey Elliott, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and Liverpool have met 61 times in the Premier League. United have won 29 times, drawing 14 times with Liverpool winning 18 times. United have scored 81 goals, winning five penalties, scoring three. Liverpool have scored 77 goals, winning seven penalties, scoring five. United are in great form at this stage of the season sitting third in the league with 49 points from 24 matches and have won their first trophy this season – the Carabao Cup.

United have kept 18 clean sheets in this fixture with Liverpool keeping 17. Discipline has been an issue, as would be expected in a local derby fixture with United players shown 118 yellow cards and 10 red cards with Liverpool players shown 92 yellow cards and seven red cards. This should be a feisty match between the two rivals with United winning this fixture 2-1 at Old Trafford earlier this season with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford scoring the goals.

Tom Chorlton, Jackie Sheldon, Tom Miller, Fred Hopkin, Tommy Reid, Ted Savage, Allenby Chilton, Thomas McNulty, Phil Chisnal and Peter Beardsley all played for Liverpool and United before the Premier League was formed. Michael Owen and Paul Ince have also played for both clubs. Ince won ten trophies with United before leaving for Inter Milan, before playing for Liverpool. Owen won his only Premier League title at United – an embarrassment for Liverpool.

Team News

Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen are the only two players ruled out due to injury. The Dutchman will miss the rest of the season by Eriksen could be back in action in late April or early May. Anthony Martial recently returned to training with United but will still be a doubt ahead of this match but might have some involvement. Luke Shaw and Fred had some minor problems after helping United lift the Carabao Cup on Sunday but both should be fit for this match.

Erik ten Hag has a large squad to work with now, especially that only Van de Beek and Eriksen are the only injured players that have been ruled out. Once Martial has been given the go ahead to be involved, it should add more firepower in the attack, which is what United will need, especially for these big matches against their rivals. Liverpool will be seeking to win this match to give their fans something to celebrate this season – being as a trophy is vastly unlikely.

Thiago Alcantara, Luis Diaz and Calvin Ramsay are currently ruled out of this fixture due to injury. Liverpool’s problems do no end there. Arthur Melo is lacking match fitness, so has a 50% chance of featuring against United on Sunday. Joe Gomez has a 25% chance of featuring against United, so that looks unlikely for them. Naby Keita received a knock recently and will be subject to a late fitness test ahead of this match but could make it if he proves his fitness.

Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw;

Casemiro, Fred;

Antony, Fernandes, Rashford;

Weghorst

Predicted Liverpool Starting XI – 4-3-3

Alisson;

Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson;

Elliott, Fabinho, Milner;

Salah, Gakpo, Núñez

Match Prediction

Manchester United have already beaten Liverpool this season and they can do so again – they are nothing special. Jurgen Klopp’s side were said to be the best team the Premier League had ever seen just three years ago but the squad is not the same despite having large parts of that squad still playing for the club today. The jealousy from the Liverpool fans is great to see – one of them criticised United for celebrating their Carabao Cup victory last week.

However, the Irish fan was celebrating Liverpool going sixth in the Premier League, so it just shows his mentality to be criticising one thing and doing something even more embarrassing. But the words ‘Liverpool fan’ is all you need to know there – their club did have an open top bus parade for winning the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup last season but United should not celebrate at all as it is not the Champions League. Not that they are going to win that this season.

United beat Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford earlier in the season with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford putting United 2-0 up and Mohamed Salah getting a late consolation goal. This match came after United lost their first two opening fixtures in the Premier League this season, losing 2-1 to Brighton and Hove Albion and 4-0 to Brentford. Both clubs have beaten Liverpool this season too with Brighton winning a drawing in the league and beating them in the FA Cup too.

Liverpool 1-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.