Preview: United’s season hangs in the balance as Liverpool head to the Theatre of Dreams in the FA Cup – Ten Hag must win!

Injuries could cause Liverpool some problems - but they have been doing well considering!

Manchester United -v- Liverpool

Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final

Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday 17 March 2023, KO 15:30 GMT

Manchester United welcome North West rivals Liverpool to the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday afternoon in the quarter final stage of the Emirates FA Cup. Erik ten Hag will be readying his team for their biggest match this season – one that will continue their run or end their season.

United have no other option than the FA Cup to build on their Carabao Cup win last season and face a hard slog to break back into the top four in the Premier League this season. After this match there is an international break with players who are recovering from injury given time to fine fitness.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have already won the Carabao Cup this season and are challenging current Premier League champions Manchester City to win the trophy for the second time. They are also into the UEFA Europa League quarter finals so they have something to gain in his final season.

United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Everton 2-0 W, City 3-1 L, Forest 1-0 W, Fulham 2-1 L, Luton 2-1 W, Villa 2-1 W

Goals: 13 – Rasmus Hojlund, 8 – Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay, 7 – Alejandro Garnacho, Marcus Rashford, 5 – Casemiro, 2 – Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire, Kobbie Mainoo, Anthony Martial, 1 – Antony, Christian Eriksen, Hannibal Mejbri, Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane

Assists: 9 – Bruno Fernandes, 5 – Marcus Rashford, 3 – Diogo Dalot, Alejandro Garnacho, 2 – Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Rasmus Hojlund, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 1 – Antony, Jonny Evans, Omari Forson, Victor Lindelof, Anthony Martial, Lisandro Martínez, Mason Mount, Facundo Pellistri, Luke Shaw

Liverpool – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Sparta 6-1 W, City 1-1 D, Sparta 5-1 W, Forest 1-0 W, Southampton 3-0 W, Chelsea 1-0 W

Goals: 20 – Mohamed Salah, 17 – Darwin Núñez, 14 – Diogo Jota, 13 – Cody Gakpo, 11 – Luis Díaz, 7 – Dominik Szoboszlai, 5 – Curtis Jones, 4 – Alexis Mac Allister, Alexis Mac Allister, 3 – Ryan Gravenberch, 2 – Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jayden Danns, Harvey Elliott, Wataru Endo, 1 – Conor Bradley, Bobby Clark, Lewis Koumas, Jarell Quansah, Andy Robertson

Assists: 12 – Mohamed Salah, 11 – Darwin Núñez, 9 – Trent Alexander-Arnold, 7 – Harvey Elliott, 6 – Alexis Mac Allister, 5 – Conor Bradley, 4 – Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota, Dominik Szoboszlai, Kostas Tsimikas, 3 – Luis Díaz, Joe Gomez, Curtis Jones, Jarell Quansah, 2 – Bobby Clark, Ryan Gravenberch, Virgil van Dijk, 1 – Wataru Endo, Ibrahima Konaté, James McConnell, Andy Robertson

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and Liverpool have met 18 times in the Emirates FA Cup in the history of both clubs and the competition. United have won ten matches, drawn four and lost four – that is a pretty good result in these fixtures against United’s North West rivals – which is always a fiery encounter.

United have scored 28 goals in these matches, conceding 19 – keeping five cleans sheets. This will be a big match for United and Ten Hag though with form this season questionable. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United beat Liverpool 3-2 in their last FA Cup encounter. Could United do it again?

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 played for both teams since.

Team News

Altay Bayindir (muscle strain), Lisandro Martinez (knee), Luke Shaw (thigh), Tyrell Malacia (knee), Omari Forson (other) and Anthony Martial (groin) are all ruled out due to injury. It has been unfortunate for United this season with so many injuries suffered to the first team players.

Jonny Evans (knock) and Mason Mount (calf/shin/heel) both have 50% chances of being involved for United this weekend. Harry Maguire (other) has a 75% chance of being available this weekend. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Rasmus Hojlund both look set to be available which is good news.

Alisson Becker (thigh), Joel Matip (knee), Trent Alexander-Arnold (knee), Diogo Jota (knee), Curtis Jones (ankle/foot), Stefan Bajcetic (other) and Thiago Alcantara (thigh) have all been ruled out through injury. Ibrahima Konate (thigh) has a 25% chance whilst Ryan Gravenberch has recovered.

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


Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Dalot;

Casemiro, Mainoo;

Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford;


Predicted Liverpool Starting XI – 4-3-3


Bradley, van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson;

Mac Allister, Endo, Szoboszlai;

Salah, Nunez, Gakpo

Match Prediction

United could suffer a massive defeat at the hands of Liverpool but with the injuries to the squad, it could work out in United’s favour. Granted, Liverpool’s last few results with the injuries taking their hold have been good with an 11-2 aggregate win over Sparta Prague and a 1-1 draw with City.

Ten Hag will need to get this United side fighting for the victory as if they exit the FA Cup this weekend, their season will be over and they will in effect have nothing to fight for. They are outside the top four in the Premier League and face a fight to get back into the UEFA Champions League.

United could have a few key players back in the squad this weekend, but with different periods of time out for them all, it could take a few matches before they find their match fitness and return to the form that saw them playing well in stages this season. United have a battle on their hands.

Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool

Written by Paul

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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.