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Ratings: Fernandes and Rashford both score for United in Liverpool defeat; gulf in class and plenty to work on in the summer

Manchester United were beaten 4-2 by Liverpool at Old Trafford in the Premier League. Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring in the tenth minute of the match, assisted by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, although the goal was initially credited as an own goal by Nathaniel Phillips. Diogo Jota, assisted by Phillips levelled the score in the 34th minute with Roberto Firmino scoring a brace either side of the break to put Liverpool further ahead. Marcus Rashford, assisted by Edinson Cavani, got United back into the match in the 68th minute but it was not enough for United. Mohamed Salah scored Liverpool’s fourth in the 90th minute.

It was an even start to the match with Liverpool wanting a penalty in the second minute after Roberto Firmino’s cross hit the hand of Eric Bailly, who was in a natural position trying to block the cross. Nothing was given by the referee, as should be the case. United had a great chance in the early stages after Alisson passed the ball out to Edinson Cavani and the Uruguayan was wide of the target, which was a massive let off for Liverpool. United took the lead in the tenth minute of the match with Bruno Fernandes firing towards goal, which seemed to be off target and Nathaniel Phillips stuck his leg out with the ball hitting the back of the net.

It was starting to look like a good performance by United as they were really getting at the Liverpool players, which is something their fan base will never admit because of injuries and probably the fact that United had better players and it not being fair. I won’t make them cry too much though. Liverpool wanted a penalty after Bailly made what seemed like a last-ditch clearance which also took out Phillips. The referee gave the penalty but VAR did not award it. United could have scored minutes later through Paul Pogba but his header on goal needed another touch before it could have become a problem for Alisson.

United eventually conceded in the 34th minute of the match after being under pressure form a corner and former Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Diogo Jota finding the back of the net, minutes after he tested Dean Henderson, assisted by Phillips. Liverpool then had a period of the match on top, getting the better of United in their own area, which then resulted in United regaining possession and having a shot on goal through Pogba, beating Alisson but was off target, hitting the side netting. Three minutes were added at the end of the first half with United on the attack through Pogba, passing to Fernandes who saw his shot blocked.

Liverpool ended up sneaking a goal just before the end of the half with Roberto Firmino beating Henderson to lead 2-1 with the assist from Trent Alexander-Arnold. It would have been a blow for United, who now need to work much harder against Liverpool to get something from this match. United’s goal was awarded to Fernandes, so was not an own goal for Phillips and therefore Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s assist will stand, which was his fifth of the season. Fernandes is on 28 goals so far this season, at this point in the match but United will need to have a positive second half to get level then fight for a victory.

Liverpool scored a third goal in the 47th minute of the match after a combination of errors between Bailly and Fred. Firmino scored his second goal of the game, either side of the half. Liverpool then had more chances as United looked to weather the storm. Solskjaer made his first substitution in the 63rd minute of the match with Mason Greenwood replacing Fred. In the 68th minute of the match, United got a second goal of the match after a good attacking run saw Edinson Cavani play the ball into Marcus Rashford, scoring his 21st goal of the season with Cavani getting his fifth assist of the season. United had a period of progress after that goal.

Solskjaer brought on Nemanja Matic in the 86th minute of the match with Bailly coming off, looking uncomfortable as he walked up the steps into the stand. Liverpool then took full advantage from the match, scoring their fourth goal of the evening with Mohamed Salah one-on-one with Henderson, getting the advantage and securing what would be a disastrous defeat for United at Old Trafford. It will be an evening that all the Ole Out brigade will be in full force putting their agendas on the table, not taking into account the fact that Harry Maguire is clearly the player in the defence that keeps United ticking over.

That is two defeats in a row for United in the Premier League, both at Old Trafford, meaning they have lost six matches this season, which will be boiling point for those fan cam wannabes who shout in a room on their own and spit at their phone. Granted, it is bad for United to be losing these matches but it is not the end of the world. United have two more matches in the league this season and they are already guaranteed a top four finish but would like to be the runner’s up to Manchester City, who were crowned Premier League champions after United’s defeat to Leicester City on Tuesday evening.

United face Fulham at the Theatre of Dreams on Tuesday evening which is the final home match of the season. Supporters will also be back in the stadium, in some kind of capacity so that will be interesting to see as not one supporter has been at a match at Old Trafford since March 2020. United will then face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the final Premier League match of the season on Sunday 23 May 2021 and United will be expected to secure their second-placed finish in the league – not that it matters as the same things is provided for second, third and fourth place. The UEFA Europa League final against Villarreal then beckons.

Manchester United

26 Dean Henderson

Made two saves to thwart Jota before he scored in the 34th minute. He made an error for Firmino's error. He's a competent goalkeeper and will need this result to become better but people will write him off now as they have no patience.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Assisted for Fernandes in the tenth minute. His fifth assist of the season. He was one of the better performers of the evening.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Looked lost without Maguire next to him. Hopefully he starts to shown signs of recovery for the Europa League final.

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3 Eric Bailly

Seemed to concede a penalty but VAR did not give it. That was lucky for him. His new contract looks embarrassing after this performance. He was rash, reckless and did not look competent at all.

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23 Luke Shaw

He's had a great season so far but in this match, he would love to forget it all. Was not his attacking self and played a part in Firmino's second goal of the evening.

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39 Scott McTominay

The McFred duo did not work against Liverpool. Both were inept at times. Neither was better than the other. McTominay persevered but there was no real output in this match.

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17 Fred

A much as he has been playing this season, he should be better than this. Helped Liverpool get their third goal, which was not great. Was replaced by Greenwood in the 63rd minute of the match.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Greenwood could have started in his place. He did get his 21st goal of the season but his form needs to improve drastically. United need to be on top of their game for the Europa League final.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Scored his 28th goal of the season, despite it looking like a Phillips own goal. Could have helped get United to grab the game by the throat but he seems tired, which is not a good sign.

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6 Paul Pogba

Seemed to play better when he was brought back deeper against Liverpool. Firmino got the better of him at times.

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21 Edinson Cavani

Perhaps should have scored when Alisson gifted him, but he gifted Alisson back with a miss. Seemed absent at times but got his fifth assist of the season for Rashford's 21st goal of the season.

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Substitutes

11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Fred 63'. Helped to change the game a little with Rashford scoring within five minutes of him coming on but it was not enough for United.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Replaced Bailly 86'. Came on to help limit the damage but gave away the ball for Salah to score Liverpool's fourth of the evening.

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Goals: Bruno Fernandes 10′, Marcus Rashford 68′; Diogo Jota 34′, Roberto Firmino 45+3′, 47′, Mohamed Salah 90′

Assists: Aaron Wan-Bissaka 10′, Edinson Cavani 68′; Nathaniel Phillips 34′, Trent Alexander-Arnold 45 +3′, Curtis Jones 90′

Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly (Matic 86′), Shaw; McTominay, Fred (Greenwood 63′); Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba; Cavani

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Mata, Diallo, Van de Beek

Bookings: Eric Bailly 48′, Scott McTominay 79′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Cavani leads the line, Rashford, Fernandes and Pogba in support against Liverpool

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:

Henderson;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw;

McTominay, Fred;

Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba;

Cavani

Substitutes:

De Gea; Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Mata, Diallo, Matic, Van de Beek; Greenwood

Liverpool:

Alisson;

Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, R. Williams, Robertson;

Thiago, Fabinho, Wijnaldum;

Salah, Firmino, Jota

Substitutes:

Adrian, Kelleher; Tsimikas, N. Williams; Jones, Shaqiri, Woodburn; Mane, Origi

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.

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Henderson, Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba and Rashford start against Liverpool; Van de Beek and Cavani on the bench

Manchester United go back to Premier League action this afternoon when they welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford. This will be the second time the reigning Premier League champions will have visited the Theatre of Dreams, losing 3-2 in the Emirates FA Cup a week after a 0-0 draw at Anfield in the Premier League. Jurgen Klopp’s side have seemingly fallen off their perch almost immediately after they climbed upon it, falling out of the running to retain their title, which is seemingly set to be claimed by Manchester City. United though will be seeking to confirm their second-placed finish in the league under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United were in action on Thursday evening in the UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg, facing AS Roma at Old Trafford. United opened the scoring in the ninth minute through Bruno Fernandes but gave away a penalty five minutes later with Roma scoring another with 11 minutes of the first half left to play. United then scored five second half goals with Fernandes completing a brace, Edinson Cavani scoring a brace and Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood scoring the others. Liverpool were not in action since last weekend, so could be fresher for this match but as we saw against Leeds last weekend, there is no guarantee that it will help.

Manchester United:

Henderson;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

McTominay, Fred;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba;

Rashford

Substitutes:

De Gea; Bailly, Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Mata, Matic, Van de Beek; Cavani

Liverpool:

Alisson;

Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson;

Thiago, Fabinho, Milner;

Salah, Firmino, Mane

Substitutes:

Adrian; Tsimikas, Williams; Wijnaldum, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Shaqiri; Jota

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.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Cavani, Pogba and Fernandes to bring out the bitterness from the Scousers this weekend?

Manchester United go back to Premier League action on Sunday when they welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford. This will be the second time the reigning Premier League champions will have visited the Theatre of Dreams, losing 3-2 in the Emirates FA Cup a week after a 0-0 draw at Anfield in the Premier League. Jurgen Klopp’s side have seemingly fallen off their perch almost immediately after they climbed upon it, falling out of the running to retain their title, which is seemingly set to be claimed by Manchester City. United though will be seeking to confirm their second-placed finish in the league under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United were in action on Thursday evening in the UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg, facing AS Roma at Old Trafford. United opened the scoring in the ninth minute through Bruno Fernandes but gave away a penalty five minutes later with Roma scoring another with 11 minutes of the first half left to play. United then scored five second half goals with Fernandes completing a brace, Edinson Cavani scoring a brace and Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood scoring the others. Liverpool were not in action since last weekend, so could be fresher for this match but as we saw against Leeds last weekend, there is no guarantee that it will help.

How United have faired against Liverpool in the Premier League.

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.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Liverpool in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson

Dean Henderson has had a good season at United. He has challenged David De Gea which has led to speculation suggesting that the Spaniard could leave the club this summer, which is partly because of the fact his partner gave birth to his daughter in the past few months. Henderson has a good future ahead of him but he is a different goalkeeper to De Gea – commands his area well but has a mistake in him, which is really the case for any goalkeeper out there today. Youth is on his side and his inexperience will soon turn into experience. For years United have been trying to create a goalkeeper from their academy.

That may well have happened after the likes of Ben Foster and Sam Johnstone came close to being the one, although for the latter, the goalkeepers already at the club created a block which led to him leaving the club instead of aiming to prove himself. Henderson could well be the goalkeeper at the club for a decade or more, which would be good for United and Solskjaer and create some stability in the squad with the manager rebuilding he club in the right direction to return the club to the success that they became accustomed to during Sir Alex Ferguson’s time at the helm of the club.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles

United’s defence still have mistakes in them but it is a game of mistakes – that is literally one of the reasons that goals get scored – someone messes us. Still, I would like to see the defence a bit more on top in matches, like in the second half against Roma. If United played in a similar manner, they would be a lot stronger at the back. Against the threat of Liverpool, United will need to be strong at the back to overcome the threats that could be encountered. I would expect to see Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles in the fullback positions for this match with Luke Shaw rested and only playing if needed. The break would do hims good for next week.

In the centre of defence, Eric Bailly could make his first start since the international break and his coronavirus encounter, which could give Victor Lindelof a rest ahead of next week’s clash with Roma, which will be a tough encounter, even if United are four goals better off than the Italian club at this time. Harry Maguire will continue to play though, not missing a single minute of Premier League action since signing for the club in the summer of 2019. Many seem to suggest that Maguire is not captain material but it is clear that he is, especially in the fact that his teammates seem to respect him. He’s United’s captain and he is doing a good job.

Midfield: Donny van de Beek, Paul Pogba

Solskjaer will probably utilise Scott McTominay and Fred in these positions again but I think Donny van de Beek should be given a match from the very start. Granted, there is a plan in place to ease him into the Premier League but he will need to be starting sooner rather than later. Against Liverpool, a pivot of Van de Beek and Paul Pogba might work but the defenders will need to do their job well. This is just a suggestion, not how it will probably play out but United need to start with their best players which could do the job needed in midfield. Pogba was immense against Roma on Thursday and has had a few good performances lately.

United have too many decent midfielders at the club at this time, both in the first team and coming through the academy. Solskjaer will need to get them implemented into things sooner rather than later. Many would like to see Pogba and Bruno Fernandes rested but against Liverpool, the best players at the club will need to start. This is a match that means so much more than keeping all players fit for Thursday, it is Liverpool and a win is expected, otherwise Jonny will be spitting at his phone in an empty room again. As Leicester City dropped points on Friday evening, United have the chance of going seven points clear after 34 matches played.

Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James

United will probably continue in the 4-2-3-1 formation which means three attacking midfield players. Bruno Fernandes scored his 26th goal and 16th assist against Roma, which puts him in the starting XI by itself. 42 goal contributions so far this season in all competitions is admirable. He was back to his best against the Italian side, which is good news ahead of the Liverpool clash. Some may suggest that Marcus Rashford will start against Liverpool but I think he should be kept on the bench for later in the match as he was largely ineffective against Roma on Thursday. He still needs a bit more time to rest after that injury.

In his place, Daniel James should start on the left as he is a player that can do somme magic, despite the criticism he faces week in and week out for not have the talent to succeed. I mean, it seems to come from FIFA players, so the reality is not really there, is it? Mason Greenwood should start on the right. He was impressive against Roma on Thursday and bagged his 10th goal of the season for his club. Last season he got 17 goals and four assists – this season he has 10 goals and six assists, so he is getting there. James has five goals and one assist to his name this season, so in the next seven or eight matches he will be seeking more.

Forwards: Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani got himself two goals and two assists against Roma, taking his goal tally to 12 so far this season, also doubling his assists to four. The rumours suggest that he will spend a second season at the Old Trafford club next season, which if true is great news and will put a bit less pressure on the club to bring in a new striker. Cavani is everything that United needs at this time and I believe that he can teach Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford more in a further year at the club. Cavani will be in his element right now, especially after bagging goals against Granada, Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley too.

I feel that the Uruguayan leading the line against Liverpool will put some pressure on their defence and could result in more goals for him, or create the space for Fernandes, James, Greenwood or any other player to get in there and score goals. United have a great player on their hands and yet again those supporters who know it all wrote him off before he even got to the club because age clearly means more than anything. Zlatan Ibrahimovic proved them wrong and is still doing that today. Cristiano Ronaldo is older and still doing his thing, but they seem to rate him. It is strange judging a player by their age but stupid is as stupid does.

Substitutes: David De Gea; Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe; Juan Mata, Amad Diallo, Scott McTomminay; Marcus Rashford

Solskjaer will be back to naming just nine players on the bench in the Premier League, using just three of them – which was all he used on Thursday evening. It worked though and it may not work as well ons Sunday afternoon. The substitutes could well be called upon to change the game or even support what United had already done, keeping a lead or whatever. I fully expect David De Gea to be back on the bench after the Roma match and I think he will start in the second leg too. In defence, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe could all be available.

In the midfield, Juan Mata, who made a cameo on Thursday, Amad Diallo and Scott McTominay could be available with both Fred and Nemanja Matic being rested ahead of Thursday’s match in Rome. United may end up picking these players for this match with Matic’s experience and ability to defend and Fred’s ever presence in the midfield despite his performances. In attack, Marcus Rashford could be on the bench as he is not fully fit and did not get much against Roma, despite United player a better brand of football in the second half. It is possible that Solskjaer picks a different team with Donny van de Beek on the bench again instead of starting.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Liverpool – United’s chance to regain their momentum and ignite revenge against their bitter rivals

Manchester United -v- Liverpool

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday 2 May 2021, KO 16:30 BST

Referee: Michael Oliver Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett

Fourth Official: Craig Pawson

VAR: Paul Tierney Assistant VAR: Timothy Wood

Manchester United go back to Premier League action on Sunday when they welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford. This will be the second time the reigning Premier League champions will have visited the Theatre of Dreams, losing 3-2 in the Emirates FA Cup a week after a 0-0 draw at Anfield in the Premier League. Jurgen Klopp’s side have seemingly fallen off their perch almost immediately after they climbed upon it, falling out of the running to retain their title, which is seemingly set to be claimed by Manchester City. United though will be seeking to confirm their second-placed finish in the league under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United were in action on Thursday evening in the UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg, facing AS Roma at Old Trafford. United opened the scoring in the ninth minute through Bruno Fernandes but gave away a penalty five minutes later with Roma scoring another with 11 minutes of the first half left to play. United then scored five second half goals with Fernandes completing a brace, Edinson Cavani scoring a brace and Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood scoring the others. Liverpool were not in action since last weekend, so could be fresher for this match but as we saw against Leeds last weekend, there is no guarantee that it will help.

Manchester United: WDWWWW

AS Roma 6-2 W, Leeds United 0-0 D, Burnley 3-1 W, Granada 2-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 W, Granada CF 2-0 W

Liverpool: DDDWLW

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, Arsenal 3-0 W

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes has 26 goals for United this season with Mohamed Salah having 29 to his name. Both players will be seeking to be on the scoresheet at the Theatre of Dreams.

Manchester United Goals: 26 – Bruno Fernandes, 20 – Marcus Rashford, 12 – Edinson Cavani, 10 – 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

In their last six matches, United are undefeated – winning five times and drawing once. Solskjaer’s side have scored a total of 16 goals, conceding four and keeping three clean sheets. The second half performance against Roma will be a problem for Liverpool if United are still in the same mood after going 2-1 down in the first half on Thursday. This is where Liverpool will need to be wary as United are a different team than the one that turned up against them over the past few seasons. It is Liverpool that are now the team who are likely to be dejected with no hunt for a trophy this season and United in with a chance of winning one. Jealousy.

Liverpool Goals: 29 – Mohamed Salah, 13 – Sadio Mané, 12 – Diogo Jota, 6 – Roberto Firmino, 4 – Curtis Jones, Takumi Minamino, 3 – Georginio Wijnaldum, 2 – Trent Alexander-Arnold, 1 – Marko Grujic, Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip, Divock Origi, Andrew Robertson, Xherdan Shaqiri, Virgil van Dijk

In their last six matches, Liverpool have been in poor form which is great to see. They have two wins, three draws and one defeat – scoring eight goals, conceding six and keeping two clean sheets. How the mighty have fallen so soon. The Liverpool supporters will state that injuries have cost them this season, but when other clubs fans have said they same, they mocked them. It seems to be one rule for Liverpool and one rule for everyone else. If you ask United supporters which team they hate the most, Liverpool will be the answer. There is a great rivalry between the clubs but right now, despite the recent past, United are still on top.

Team News: No new injuries for United ahead of the clash with Liverpool, who are set to see upto seven players miss this important match.

Phil Jones (knee) and Anthony Martial (knee) are the only two injury doubts ahead of this weekend’s clash with Liverpool in the Premier League. United will be boosted with the performance against Roma on Thursday evening, coming from 2-1 down to win 6-2. Edinson Cavani, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw worked hard to put United on the front foot once again in the match, after taking the lead in the ninth minute. The fact that Dean Henderson, Amad Diallo, Daniel James, Donny van de Beek and Eric Bailly will still be fresh for the clash with Liverpool is a big bonus. The same can be said for Liverpool’s current form.

Virgil van Dijk (knee), Divock Origi (muscular), Caoimhin Kelleher (abdominal tear), Joe Gomez (knee), Joel Matip (ankle/foot) and Jordan Henderson (groin/hip/pelvis) have all been ruled out of the visit to Old Trafford to face United on Sunday. Nathaniel Phillips (hamstring strain) has a 25% chance of being fit for the match, which is a big doubt so Jurgen Klopp will probably be without him this weekend too. Liverpool’s current form is not the greatest positive for them at this time with United’s resurgence, especially when behind, showing their true ability, unless you are one of the fans that suggest there is no positivity at the club right now.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani to keep his place leading the line for United against Liverpool?

Solskjaer may need to make some changes for this match with it being important for United to keep their chase on a second-placed finish in the Premier League this season, but also to keep one eye on the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg in Rome on Thursday. Edinson Cavani should keep his place in the team as he will be at a level whereby he will be confident of scoring more goals amid rumours of his contract being extended at the Theatre of Dreams. Dean Henderson, Eric Bailly, Donny van de Beek and Daniel James could also start, after being rested against Roma on Thursday evening, which gives United many different options.

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 this weekend?

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 3-1 Liverpool

Written by John Walker

Ratings: Greenwood, Rashford and Fernandes help United beat Liverpool; Pogba the MOTM – United march to the fifth round of the FA Cup

Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-2 in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup at Old Trafford on Sunday evening. Mohamed Salah opened the scoring in the 18th minute of the match with Mason Greenwood equalising just eight minutes later. Marcus Rashford then put United ahead in the 48th minute with Salah striking once more in the 58th minute to level the score. From the bench, Bruno Fernandes found the winner from a free-kick which was such a great strike to beat Alisson for the third time in the match. This victory feels so good, not for Liverpool though. United will face West Ham United at Old Trafford in the next round.

Liverpool started the match on the front foot, forcing a block in the third minute of the match. Georginio Wijnaldum was set up by Mohamed Salah but the Dutchman dragged his shot into the body of Scott McTominay, which averted the danger. In the seventh minute, Marcus Rashford had the ball, looked up and sprayed the ball over the top seeking to find Edinson Cavani but Alisson raced from his line, nearly misjudges the bounce, heading the ball to safety and stopping United from taking an early lead in the match. It was not very convincing from the Liverpool goalkeeper.

There was a foul in the eighth minute with Craig Pawson allowing United to play the advantage after James Milner challenged Harry Maguire late. Mason Greenwood then forced a save out of Alisson in the tenth minute, breaking through on the right and having Rashford in support. He got behind the Andrew Robertson and decided to take it on himself, shooting from an angle with the shot kept out by the boot of Alisson. Three minutes later, Greenwood had another chance but he shot wide of the target after being found by Cavani on the right and getting the better of Milner.

Liverpool opened the scoring in the 18th minute of the match through Mohamed Salah. Wijnaldum had the time to look up and pick his pass for Roberto Firmino, who then took the ball in his stride and spotted the run of Salah in between both Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw. Salah then eyed the onrushing Dean Henderson and dinked the ball over the goalkeeper to break the deadlock in the match. It was Salah’s 112th goal for his club and his 18th in all competitions this season. Liverpool then had another shot in the 23rd minute after United were caught in possession but Henderson was easily able to gather the ball.

In the 25th minute of the match, there was a clash with Rashford and Thiago as both rose to win the ball. Rashford was caught on the back of the head but after a few seconds he was alright to get back up and continue the match. Just a minute later, United were back in the match with an equaliser through Greenwood. Paul Pogba was hacked down by Firmino on the edge of United’s penalty area but Pawson played the advantage again. Rashford, on the halfway line, clubbed a cross-field ball over the head of Milner and Greenwood confidently fired his low shot across Alisson and into the bottom corner of the net.

United could have won a penalty for United in the 28th minute with Rashford causing some problems for Liverpool and threading the ball into Donny van de Beek, who started ahead of Bruno Fernandes in this match. Alisson came out to smother any attempt but the Dutchman went down holding his ankle but no penalty was awarded. United started to get back into the match with Rashford embarrassing Thiago with a nutmeg as Pawson awarded United a free-kick which Shaw took and placed the ball invitingly in for McTominay but Rhys Williams headed it over his own crossbar.

United had another chance in the 35th minute of the match after a good set-piece from Shaw, spotting Pogba all alone on the penalty spot but his header was firmly directed over. The Frenchman should really have tested the Liverpool goalkeeper a bit more there. Liverpool then started to click into gear again with Curtis Jones winning the ball from McTominay then Milner threaded the ball past Aaron Wan-Bissaka into Robertson but Shaw was alert to the danger at the far post to guide the ball around. There was a shot from the corner, which was wide of the mark and a great relief to United, who were under the cosh at the time.

Fabinho was booked in the 42nd minute of the match after Alisson played the ball out from the back with Fabinho late on Cavani. Pawson gave a free-kick and booked the Brazilian. United then had another chance in the 43rd minute with both Shaw and Pogba standing over the free-kick. The Frenchman took the kick with his right foot, but the shot ended up missing the target, which was frustrating. United started attacking more towards the end of the half with Rashford and Van de Beek combining before Shaw overlapped but the resulting cross was palmed out by Alisson to deny United getting anything from the attack.

There were no changes by either side at the start of the second half of the match. With the match still a draw, both teams would be seeking to find a winner to avoid extra time and possible penalties. That was seemingly averted early in the half though as Rashford put United in the lead in the 48th minute of the match. Rhys Williams was the player that eventually was embarrassed. Cavani got the ball, played it to Greenwood who in turn played it to Rashford, who was level with Williams and getting the ball ahead of him, using his pace to break through and fire his shot beautifully beat Alisson and put United 2-1 up in the match.

United’s lead did not last long, but it was longer than Liverpool’s lead in the first half. Salah scored his second goal against United in this match in the 58th minute, assisted by Firmino once again. Milner took the advantage after missing only a few minutes ago, with Harry Maguire playing the ball into Cavani and Milner winning it, laying it to Firmino who fed Salah after looking to return to ball to Milner. The Egyptian shot past Henderson for the second time in the match, levelling the score once again. The away side made their first substitution minute later as Sadio Mane replaced Wijnaldum in the 62nd minute of the match.

United made a double substitution in the 66th minute of the match with Bruno Fernandes and Fred replacing Van de Beek and Greenwood. Liverpool had another chance a minute later with Firmino awake and ready to get something. However, Henderson ended up keeping the resulting shot by Salah from hitting the back of the net this time. In the 69th minute, Mane crunched into Fred, winning the ball but taking the player too. He ended up seeing the yellow card, which should have perhaps been more? Fernandes got on the ball for the first time in the 70th minute, looked for Cavani but the cross did not reach him.

Liverpool then looked to take charge of the match, having a few shots in a few minutes but failing to get anything from them. Firmino, Mane and Salah were causing United some problems at the back, but for some reason United seemed to avert the danger. In the Liverpool area, Cavani seemed to be fouled on the edge of the box after Fabinho used his arm to gain something. United were awarded a free-kick, which Fernandes lined up to take, positioning the ball to take the shot, which found the back of the net. It was Fernandes’ 16th goal of the season, which shows how much class and ability the guy has. Eat that, Liverpool.

Solskjaer made a third substitution in the 86th minute with Anthony Martial replacing Rashford, who went straight down the tunnel for some treatment, which hopefully will not be anything costing for United. Liverpool then tried to find another equaliser, after going behind for the second time in the match. Divoc Origi went down just before the 90th minute, requiring some treatment. The BBC named Paul Pogba as the Man of the Match, which is something I would have to agree with, based on what he has quietly done throughout the match. Four minutes were added at the end of the match.

Pogba received a yellow card in added time, giving Liverpool a free-kick, which could have cost United something. However, the free-kick came to nothing for Salah, who was on a hat-trick in this match. Henderson took the goal-kick, firing it up field with United keeping possession. United ran down the clock averting everything that Liverpool had, winning the match 3-2. They will face West Ham United at Old Trafford in the fifth round, which will be played between the 9 February and the 11 February with the exact date and time yet to be confirmed. Come on United!

Manchester United

26 Dean Henderson

Unlucky to concede twice against Liverpool, which perhaps showed the Merseyside club as the better team at times. He initially stood firm against Salah and made some crucial saves with the score still 2-2.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Needs to find something at right-back to become much stronger. He seemed to be an avenue for Robertson and Jones in this match. He improved int he second half. United will still be keeping an eye on some competition for him at right-back in view of a new summer signing.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Should have done more for Salah's opener, dropping back to far playing him onside. Improved with some last-ditch defending in the second half.

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5 Harry Maguire

Performed well against Liverpool. United were pestered by Salah and Firmino in the first half with Mane joining that in the second half. Led United to victory and will be pleased with that result. Onwards now.

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23 Luke Shaw

Was part of the problem for one of Salah's goals today. It happens though. Other than that, it was positive performance for the left-back. His corners were good and he got forward a lot of the time to guide his team to the victory. This is what is needed from a left-back, in all matches.

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39 Scott McTominay

Seemed to be crowded out a few times in the first half. United's midfield was a fewer man than Liverpool's three-man midfield. Had some decent chances with the score level at 1-1. He will need to perform to a better standard in matches like this going forward.

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6 Paul Pogba

MOTM for me. Did what he needed to do and did so silently and in the background. When Pogba is in this kind of form, unless he scores or assists, he will be unnoticeable. This performance with either put him in the shop window for a summer move or he will start to feel a part of something at the club.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Played a lively game with a few chances, although his decision-making needs improvement. He scored the equaliser in the 26th minute after Rashford played the ball into him and he shot across Alisson and into the far corner of the net. It was a much-needed goal for the academy graduate and an important goal for United. After scoring in the first half, he set up Rashford, who assisted for him, to put United ahead in the 48th minute. Greenwood was replaced by Fred in the 66th minute of the match.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Started well for United as he looked to take his chance to force himself into the team. He played a good game at times. Whilst he did not score or assist, he played his part. He was replaced by Fernandes in the 66th minute of the match with United needing to do more to win the match.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Did well against Liverpool. He was pushing them at times, using his pace an ability to create things for United. He got his He got his own goal in the 48th minute of the match, assisted by Greenwood.

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21 Edinson Cavani

Energised United's attack and found himself in many positions in and outside of the box. He was a target man with goals coming from other avenues, which perturbed Liverpool. He was perhaps in the wrong in the run up to Liverpool's equaliser. Other than that, he will be pleased with the performance and the result.

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Substitutes

18 Bruno Fernandes

Replaced Van de Beek 66'. Came on late in the second half with the score level at 2-2 with United needing some inspiration. Cavani won a free-kick which the Portuguese magnifico scored to win the match for United. A great cameo performance. He has had a similar impact as Cantona did at United.

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17 Fred

Replaced Greenwood 66'. Helped add something in the midfield late in the game, adding his fresh legs into the mix. He played well and did what he needed to do as United got the win and marched into the fifth round of the FA Cup.

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Rashford 89'. Came on in the last minute of the match. Did not really have much time on the pitch to make an impact.

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Goals: Mason Greenwood 26′, Marcus Rashford 48′, Bruno Fernandes 78′; Mohamed Salah 18′, 58′

Assists: Marcus Rashford 26′, Mason Greenwood 48′; Roberto Firmino 18′

Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Greenwood (Fred 66′), Van de Beek (Fernandes 66′), Rashford (Martial 86′); Cavani

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Tuanzebe, Telles; Mata, James, Matic

Bookings: Victor Lindelof 89′, Paul Pogba 90+2′; Fabinho 42′, Sadio Mane 69′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Henderson, Lindelof, McTominay, Van de Beek and Cavani start against Liverpool in the FA Cup

Manchester United and Liverpool will meet for the second time this season after they were drawn against each other in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup. The match will be the first meeting at Old Trafford this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have flipped Liverpool in recent weeks, now topping the Premier League and having a six-point cushion over the Merseyside club. Jurgen Klopp has not seen his team score in the Premier League since their 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion on the 27 December 2020, which is something that will end up costing the club in their pursuit to retain the Premier League title this season.

Solskjaer’s will be confident ahead of this clash after drawing 0-0 with Liverpool at Anfield in the past week, which saw them slip from the top spot in the league earlier in the week with Leicester City and then Manchester City topping the league table. However, the 2-1 victory over Fulham saw United claim their spot at the top of the league once more, although City still have a game in hand over United, which gives the noisy neighbours an advantage. With the Premier League on hold until next week, United will be seeking to continue their success in the FA Cup this season, aiming to better the semi-final stage they reached last season.

Manchester United:

Henderson;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

McTominay, Pogba;

Greenwood, Van de Beek, Rashford;

Cavani

Substitutes:

De Gea; Tuanzebe, Telles; Mata, Fred, Fernandes, James, Matic; Martial

Liverpool:

Alisson;

Alexander-Arnold, R. Williams, Fabinho, Robertson;

Milner, Thiago, Wijnaldum;

Salah, Firmino, Jones

Substitutes:

Kelleher; Tsimikas, Phillips, N. Williams; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Shaqiri; Mane, Origi

United and Liverpool have played 17 times in the history of the FA Cup. United have won nine of the meetings, drawing four and losing four. United have scored a total of 25 goals with Liverpool scoring 17 goals. United have kept a total of four clean sheets against Liverpool in the oldest domestic cup tournament in England. It shows that United have, at least in the past, had the upper hand over their North West rivals which could further upset the Merseyside club this season after they have failed to score in the Premier League since their 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on the 27 December 2020.

United last faced Liverpool in the FA Cup on the 28 January 2012, losing 2-1 to Kenny Dalglish’s side with Ji-Sung Park scoring United’s only goal and Daniel Agger and Dirk Kuyt scoring in the fourth round clash at Anfield. United also faced Liverpool in the season prior, meeting in the third round of the competition at Old Trafford. It was a 1-0 victory for United with Ryan Giggs scoring a penalty in the second minute of the match. United have beaten Liverpool three times in the FA Cup at Old Trafford with Liverpool winning just once at the Theatre of Dreams in the competition – and that was back on the 12 January 1921.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Cavani to make Liverpool pay for their lack of form? Van de Beek to start against the Scouse side?

Manchester United and Liverpool will meet for the second time this season after they were drawn against each other in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup. The match will be the first meeting at Old Trafford this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have flipped Liverpool in recent weeks, now topping the Premier League and having a six-point cushion over the Merseyside club. Jurgen Klopp has not seen his team score in the Premier League since their 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion on the 27 December 2020, which is something that will end up costing the club in their pursuit to retain the Premier League title this season.

Solskjaer’s will be confident ahead of this clash after drawing 0-0 with Liverpool at Anfield in the past week, which saw them slip from the top spot in the league earlier in the week with Leicester City and then Manchester City topping the league table. However, the 2-1 victory over Fulham saw United claim their spot at the top of the league once more, although City still have a game in hand over United, which gives the noisy neighbours an advantage. With the Premier League on hold until next week, United will be seeking to continue their success in the FA Cup this season, aiming to better the semi-final stage they reached last season.

How United have faired against Liverpool in the FA Cup.

United and Liverpool have played 17 times in the history of the FA Cup. United have won nine of the meetings, drawing four and losing four. United have scored a total of 25 goals with Liverpool scoring 17 goals. United have kept a total of four clean sheets against Liverpool in the oldest domestic cup tournament in England. It shows that United have, at least in the past, had the upper hand over their North West rivals which could further upset the Merseyside club this season after they have failed to score in the Premier League since their 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on the 27 December 2020.

United last faced Liverpool in the FA Cup on the 28 January 2012, losing 2-1 to Kenny Dalglish’s side with Ji-Sung Park scoring United’s only goal and Daniel Agger and Dirk Kuyt scoring in the fourth round clash at Anfield. United also faced Liverpool in the season prior, meeting in the third round of the competition at Old Trafford. It was a 1-0 victory for United with Ryan Giggs scoring a penalty in the second minute of the match. United have beaten Liverpool three times in the FA Cup at Old Trafford with Liverpool winning just once at the Theatre of Dreams in the competition – and that was back on the 12 January 1921.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Liverpool in the FA Cup at Old Trafford on Sunday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea will be seeking to start against Liverpool in the Emirates FA Cup this season despite the fact that Dean Henderson has started inn both the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup so far this season. As good as Henderson is, I think De Gea would be a better fit in this match. Henderson played twice against Liverpool whilst on loan at Sheffield United, losing 1-0 and 2-0 with Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah and Said Mane all scoring against him. De Gea could be the difference to United going into the fifth round or losing in he fourth round. He will be up for facing Liverpool right now.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles

United’s defence have started to show a lot of improvement this season. More recently, Eric Bailly’s partnership with Harry Maguire has worked well to the point that Bailly could be considered as the main partner to the club captain this season. However, with Victor Lindelof back from a lower back injury, it is likely that he will start alongside Maguire against Liverpool. Luke Shaw has risen in stature recently, but to keep him fresh for the challenge ahead, I think Alex Telles could start ahead of him in this match with Aaron Wan-Bissaka keeping his place at right-back. This will be a big game for the United defence.

Midfield: Fred, Paul Pogba

United’s midfield is full of talent and intent and it will case any manager a headache in terms of which players are to be selected for each upcoming match. At this moment in time, both Fred and Paul Pogba are in some sort of positive form with Fred able to run throughout the match, making opposition players and ensuring that United’s midfield find some kind of positivity in creativity with those further forward. Paul Pogba has scored some stunning goals recently, which have become important for United. Despite the fact the Frenchman has been misplacing passes, he should be picked to play alongside Fred against Liverpool.

Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Donny van de Beek, Anthony Martial

This area is the most profitable area for United in terms of goals and assists. I reckon Bruno Fernandes will start as he is a player that offers so much to this United squad. However, of late, despite his determination playing a part, he has looked tired. I feel that him sitting on the bench in this match might give United something to offer later in the game. Donny van de Beek could play in the advanced role as he will need some game time otherwise his signing would seem fruitless. Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial could flank Van de Beek and help provide something for Cavani, who will be leading the line against Liverpool.

Forwards: Edinson Cavani

The Uruguayan striker has scored five goals and two assists for his new club but for some the jury is still out as to whether he is the striker that United need. Not for me though. I have seen a lot that makes me see what Edinson Cavani offers to United. His positioning is second to none, his hold up play in the box if great and he has an eye for a goal and a head for scoring them. At this moment in time, Cavani is a much better striker than Anthony Martial and for that reason, I feel that he should be leading the line more often than the Frenchman, unless two strikers is being used, but Solskjaer uses the 4-2-3-1 formation much of the time.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw; Juan Mata, Bruno Fernandes, Amad Diallo, Facundo Pellistri, Scott McTominay; Marcus Rashford

United will have nine named substitutes on the bench in the FA Cup against Liverpool and will have three opportunities (excluding the half time break) to make a maximum of five substitutions. Any unused substitutions will be available to use in extra time, should the match go that far with an additional substitution added. Dean Henderson will most likely remain on the bench with Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw likely the other three defensive players. In midfield, Juan Mata, Bruno Fernandes, Amad Diallo, Facundo Pellistri and Nemanja Matic with Marcus Rashford as the only attacking player on the bench.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Liverpool are there for the taking in the FA Cup and Manchester United should be looking to punish them

Manchester United -v- Liverpool

Emirates FA Cup

Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday 24 January 2021, KO 17:00 GMT

Referee: Craig Pawson Assistants: Gary Beswick, Richard West

Fourth Official: Jonathan Moss

VAR: Andre Marriner Assistant VAR: Marc Perry

Manchester United and Liverpool will meet for the second time this season after they were drawn against each other in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup. The match will be the first meeting at Old Trafford this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have flipped Liverpool in recent weeks, now topping the Premier League and having a six-point cushion over the Merseyside club. Jurgen Klopp has not seen his team score in the Premier League since their 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion on the 27 December 2020, which is something that will end up costing the club in their pursuit to retain the Premier League title this season.

Solskjaer’s will be confident ahead of this clash after drawing 0-0 with Liverpool at Anfield in the past week, which saw them slip from the top spot in the league earlier in the week with Leicester City and then Manchester City topping the league table. However, the 2-1 victory over Fulham saw United claim their spot at the top of the league once more, although City still have a game in hand over United, which gives the noisy neighbours an advantage. With the Premier League on hold until next week, United will be seeking to continue their success in the FA Cup this season, aiming to better the semi-final stage they reached last season.

Manchester United: WDWWLW

Fulham 2-1 W, Liverpool 0-0 D, Burnley 1-0 W, Watford 1-0 W, Manchester City 2-0 L, Aston Villa 2-1 W

Liverpool: LDWLDD

Burnley 1-0 L, Manchester United 0-0 D, Aston Villa 4-1 W, Southampton 1-0 L, Newcastle United 0-0 D, West Bromwich Albion 1-1 D

Top Scorers: Liverpool have not scored since they beat Aston Villa in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup a few weeks ago. Mohamed Saha has 17 goals this season with Bruno Fernandes having 15.

Manchester United Goals: 15 – Bruno Fernandes, 14 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, 4 – Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, 3 – Mason Greenwood, 2 – Daniel James, Juan Mata, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Own Goal, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

In their last six matches, United have won four times, drawn once and lost once. Solskjaer’s side have scored a total of six goals, conceding four goals and keeping three clean sheets. The only defeat in the last six matches was against Manchester City in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup with the draw in the Premier League between United and Liverpool. In the last round of the FA Cup, United beat Watford 1-0 at Old Trafford and they will be seeking to win once again this season to reach the fifth round of the competition, facing wither West Ham United or Doncaster Rovers at Old Trafford next month.

Liverpool Goals: 17 – Mohamed Salah, 9 – Diogo Jota, Sadio Mané, 5 – Roberto Firmino, 4 – Takumi Minamino, 3 – Curtis Jones, 2 – Georginio Wijnaldum, 1 – Marko Grujic, Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip, Divock Origi, Andrew Robertson, Xherdan Shaqiri, Virgil van Dijk

In their last six matches, Liverpool have won once, drawn three times and lost twice. Klopp’s side have scored five goals, conceding three and keeping two clean sheets. This is not great form from the reigning Premier League champions, not scoring in the league since the 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion at the end of December. Klopp’s side will be seeking to keep their FA Cup run alive this season, beating United and setting up a fifth round clash with either West Ham United or Doncaster Rovers next month. However, they will need to get over their recent hoodoo which saw them lose a lot of confidence in recent matches.

Team News: Three players ruled out for United, four ruled out for Liverpool. United will be confident with the players they have in their squad this season, which for me puts them in an advantageous position to win this clash.

Phil Jones (knee), Brandon Williams (knock) and Marcos Rojo (calf) have all been ruled out of the clash with Liverpool. Facundo Pellistri (coronavirus) was tested earlier this week and has not been stated as still out of action, so if he has returned to training and is showing good signs of fitness, he could at least be involved against Liverpool. With the news that Jesse Lingard will be removed from United’s core squad this season and Amad Diallo will be added, it could see some kind of involvement of the Ivorian, who made the permanent move from Atalanta earlier in the month. Many will be excited to see him, if now is the time for that.

Virgil van Dijk (knee), Joe Gomez (knee), Diogo Jota (knee) and Naby Keita (other) have all been ruled out of the FA Cup clash with United at Old Trafford on Sunday. Jordan Henderson (muscular) has a 50% chance of being fit for the match, which will see him undergo a late fitness test for him to be part of the travelling squad to face their North West rivals. Klopp will be hoping that his squad has enough to take on the might of United, who are full of confidence at this stage of the season, which is great to see. Liverpool need to start finding confidence in themselves to have a chance in this match. Recently, lost confidence has cost them as a team.

Predicted Starting XI: Cavani, Martial, Van de Beek and Greenwood to lead the attack against Liverpool with Solskjaer looking to reach the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup this season?

Solskjaer has stated that he could play four forwards against Liverpool, which is possible with the number of attacking players he has in his squad this season. However, I see that as a tongue-in-cheek comment which may result in many journalists over thinking what formation he could use against Liverpool in his second match against the club this season. I think Edinson Cavani could lead the attack, flanked by both Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood with Donny van de Beek playing in the advanced position, giving a slight rest to Bruno Fernandes, who could come off the bench for the club, should he be needed.

Match Prediction: There have been 17 meetings between United and Liverpool in the FA Cup with United winning nine, draw four and losing four. United have scored 25 goals, conceding 17 and keeping four clean sheets.

United and Liverpool have played 17 times in the history of the FA Cup. United have won nine of the meetings, drawing four and losing four. United have scored a total of 25 goals with Liverpool scoring 17 goals. United have kept a total of four clean sheets against Liverpool in the oldest domestic cup tournament in England. It shows that United have, at least in the past, had the upper hand over their North West rivals which could further upset the Merseyside club this season after they have failed to score in the Premier League since their 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on the 27 December 2020.

United last faced Liverpool in the FA Cup on the 28 January 2012, losing 2-1 to Kenny Dalglish’s side with Ji-Sung Park scoring United’s only goal and Daniel Agger and Dirk Kuyt scoring in the fourth round clash at Anfield. United also faced Liverpool in the season prior, meeting in the third round of the competition at Old Trafford. It was a 1-0 victory for United with Ryan Giggs scoring a penalty in the second minute of the match. United have beaten Liverpool three times in the FA Cup at Old Trafford with Liverpool winning just once at the Theatre of Dreams in the competition – and that was back on the 12 January 1921.

Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool

Written by John Walker

Ratings: Shaw played well; Fernandes and Rashford in with the chances to find a winner against Liverpool but a draw is where it ended

Manchester United drew 0-0 with Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday evening. It was a game of few credible chances. Perhaps the best opportunity was from Bruno Fernandes after United won a free-kick in the first half of the match. The ball dipped towards the top far corner, just missing the target and seeing United frustrated. Marcus Rashford had a chance in the second half with Edinson Cavani splitting away from him, Rashford having the ball and the three defensive players and being marked off the ball with Cavani unmarked and in space which could have resulted in the first goal of the game, if he had it.

United started well against Liverpool, having a lot of the ball in the early stages of the match. However, Liverpool then jumped in to start to control the match. Liverpool had 67% of the ball in the first half, having nine shots on goal; one of those on target. United had just one shot which was not on target. United looked to do well with Anthony Martial on the left, Paul Pogba on the right and Marcus Rashford playing in the centre-forward position. United will have been happy at half time with the game still 0-0 and all to play for. Bruno Fernandes had the best chance in the first half with a free-kick, which was just wide of the target.

Nearly eight minutes into the second half, United were pushing to get something from the game with Bruno Fernandes getting forward and trying to create something against the reigning champions, who could be there for the taking in this match. Nothing came of the attack but it was enough to keep Liverpool thinking. The home side then launched an attack with Mohamed Salah chasing the ball but United’s defence doing enough to see David De Gea ending up gathering the ball with the Egyptian frustrated from the attack, which was great to see. Liverpool seem to be lacking the confidence and a goalscoring ability at the moment.

Solskjaer made his first substitution in the 61st minute of the match with Edinson Cavani replacing Martial. United were pushing to get forward from there with a few chances being created but nothing coming from them. Liverpool then used their might to break forward, United doing what they needed to do defensively to thwart the threat of the reigning Premier League champions. United won a corner in the 71st minute with Paul Pogba getting his head to it but Alisson gathering the ball easily to send Liverpool on the attack once more, an attack which eventually came to nothing with United regaining possession through De Gea.

Both Liverpool and United had a fair few chances in the late stages of the game with United breaking forward through Rashford with Cavani going wide to the left and Rashford on the right, dragging all three defensive players with him leaving Cavani unmarked. Rashford tried to do something but Liverpool played the ball back into United’s half to find something of their own, which never came. Solskjaer made a second substitution in the 89th minute with Mason Greenwood replacing Bruno Fernandes with the score still 0-0 and both teams seeking a goal to win the game. Sadly, a goal was not coming and the teams would share the points.

United will be back in Premier League action on Wednesday evening as they face Fulham at Craven Cottage in a. match that United would need to get back to winning ways to add some pressure to those at the top of the table. There were no winners in this match but Manchester City, who could go top of the league should they beat Crystal Palace, could be the victors from this match, piling more pressure on Liverpool in their bid to retain the Premier League crown this season, which was always going to be hard for them but they did not seem to worry how hard it was to do just that.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Kept a clean sheet, which is one of the positives from the match. Made a few good saves to keep United in the game, not that Liverpool really punished United with the blistering attack that they are known for.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Did well defensively and got forward much of the time. Did not play the difference on the attack though, which is something I would like to see a bit more from him.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Recovered from his lower back injury and gave Bailly a rest ahead of United's next game, against Fulham on Wednesday. United will have more strength in depth in the midfield with him back in the swing of things.

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5 Harry Maguire

Played well against Liverpool and in the second half, stopped the attack of Firmino, ensuring the ball came off the Brazilian and that a corner was not awarded, which may have been luck rather than meant to happen. Got far forward in the second half on an attack to keep the ball rolling for United. Will be annoyed only taking a point from this game but thrilled with a clean sheet.

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23 Luke Shaw

I think Shaw did well at left-back, getting forward for much of the game and using his brain to try and help get the better of Liverpool. One of the better players in the match for me.

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39 Scott McTominay

Did what he needed to do in midfield against Liverpool. Never really did much to win the game with Liverpool rising to the challenge despite the injuries in their squad this season. Good to see him play a good game though.

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17 Fred

At times he seemed to be the Fred that was dropped by Mourinho but at others he was the Fred that won his place back in the the team under Solskjaer. In the first half have passed the ball well to get United forward, continuing into the second half with United looking to find a goal. He had the ball dribbled past him a fair few times in this match, something he will need to reflect on, learn from and sort out in the future.

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6 Paul Pogba

The Frenchman scored the only goal against Burnley but he should have done more against Liverpool. He lost the ball a few times and his passing was shocking at times. Pogba should have scored again, his first touch was good but his shot was straight at Alisson, making it an easy save for him.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Had the best chance to put United ahead in the game in the first half from a free-kick, dipping the ball into the top far corner, which just missed the target.

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9 Anthony Martial

After suffering an injury against Burnley, Martial recovered for the clash with Liverpool and played his part in the match. Despite not scoring, or creating much, United needed another option with resulted in the Frenchman being replaced by Cavani in the 61st minute of the match.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Did well to lead the line for United. He has scored against Liverpool before and was perhaps a good outlet to do that again. His best chance was late in the game, seeing Cavani split off from him with Rashford running to the right and into a cul-de-sac with Cavani unmarked which could have been an assist for Rashford and a goal to win United the match.

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Substitutes

21 Edinson Cavani

Replaced Martial 61'. United needed to change the game. Cavani played well and his positioning was good. I think he could have scored has Rashford passed the ball to him, instead of running into a cul-de-sac late in the second half.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Fernandes 89'. Came on late in the game to add more attacking threat.

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Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Pogba, Fernandes (Greenwood 89′), Martial (Cavani 61′); Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Telles, Tuanzebe; Mata, Matic, Van de Beek

Bookings: Xherdan Shaqiri 33′, Fabinho 66′; Marcus Rashford 90+4′

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW