Liverpool vs Manchester United team news and predicted line-ups: Elliott gets chance, Rashford in but no Fernandes or Maguire
EPL

Liverpool vs Manchester United team news and predicted line-ups: Elliott gets chance, Rashford in but no Fernandes or Maguire

Dec 14, 2023

Liverpool will be desperate to inflict more misery on old foes Manchester United when the two sides meet at Anfield this weekend.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side are on a nine-game Premier League run that’s seen them go top of the table while United have lost three of their last four matches in all competitions.

Harvey Elliott was the hero last time out with an excellent goal

7

Harvey Elliott was the hero last time out with an excellent goalCredit: Getty

Liverpool put seven past Erik ten Hag‘s men during their last meeting in April and are coming into this one in fine form again.

The Reds leapfrogged Arsenal at the summit following a late 2-1 comeback victory over Crystal Palace last time out.

United are ten points behind their rivals in sixth having shipped three unanswered goals at home to Bournemouth.

The Old Trafford outfit suffered further misery when they were dumped out of the Champions League in midweek after a 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich.

Liverpool

Liverpool are in European action before Sunday’s game, taking on Union Saint-Gilloise.

However, the club have already qualified for the Europa League knockout stages, meaning Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah can all expect to be rested.

That quartet will make up the spine of the Liverpool team facing United on Sunday, with Ibrahima Konate partnering Van Dijk in defence.

Kostas Tsimikas will continue to deputise for the injured Andy Robertson at left-back, but Klopp has a decision to make on the right.

The German withdrew Wataru Endo at half-time at Selhurst Park and he may choose to start Joe Gomez at right-back to push Alexander-Arnold into midfield.

However, Alexis Mac Allister‘s continued struggles with a knee injury will likely see the Japanese midfielder get the nod in the No.6 role.

Salah has a ridiculous goal record against United

7

Salah has a ridiculous goal record against United

Dominik Szoboszlai is a natural fit in one of the other three midfield slots having started every Premier League game this season.

The Hungarian usually features on the right, however Ryan Gravenberch‘s recent struggles may open the door for him to move over to accommodate Harvey Elliott.

Elliott started Liverpool’s 7-0 win over United but has been restricted to a substitute role in the Premier League this season.

The England starlet has only started one top-flight game so far – a 2-2 draw away at Brighton – but was hooked at the interval.

Mac Allister faces a race against time to return for Liverpool

7

Mac Allister faces a race against time to return for LiverpoolCredit: Getty

However, he came off the bench to score the late winner against Palace in his latest impressive cameo and now could be rewarded with a start.

Curtis Jones remains an alternate option to play in the left-sided midfield role should Mac Allister continue to be unavailable.

Cody Gakpo will be hoping to break into the three-pronged attack, but it’s expected that Salah will be flanked once more by Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz.

Salah made it goal number 200 for Liverpool last weekend and he will be looking to extend his excellent record against United.

Klopp is expected to make minimal changes from Liverpool's win over Crystal Palace

7

Klopp is expected to make minimal changes from Liverpool’s win over Crystal Palace

Manchester United

Ten Hag has several different issues to sort out ahead of the trip to Anfield, chiefly being who will captain his side.

First-choice Bruno Fernandes will miss out through suspension after he was shown his fifth yellow card of the season in the dismal 3-0 defeat against the Cherries.

His predecessor Harry Maguire or England teammate Luke Shaw would have been natural fits to take the armband in his absence.

However, both defenders were forced off against Bayern in midweek with injuries and look unlikely to play a part on Merseyside.

In their absence, Ten Hag will be forced into a makeshift backline, with Diogo Dalot in an unfavoured role at left-back to allow Aaron Wan-Bissaka to start on the right.

United will be hoping Victor Lindelof is fit to enough after he missed the last two games or 35-year-old Jonny Evans will be alongside Raphael Varane against the league’s second-highest scorers.

Maguire was substituted before half time

7

Maguire was substituted before half timeCredit: AFP

Scott McTominay is United’s top Premier League scorer this season and Fernandes’ absence may at least release him from Ten Hag’s double pivot to play in a more advanced role.

Youngster Kobbie Mainoo, who has been used sparingly since his star performance against Everton, may now get another opportunity to impress as he partners Sofyan Amrabat.

Anthony Martial‘s struggles with illness should mean another start for Rasmus Hojlund as he looks for his first Premier League goal.

Similarly, Antony will get the nod on the right with Jadon Sancho‘s continued exclusion despite no goals and just one assist in his last 25 appearances.

Rashford has endured a torrid season

7

Rashford has endured a torrid seasonCredit: Getty

Marcus Rashford has also struggled with fitness and form as he desperately bids to kickstart his faltering season.

Rashford was omitted from the starting XI for the 2-1 win over Chelsea last week following his anonymous display during Man United‘s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle.

Illness has since seen him miss the Bayern loss having also restricted him to a late cameo against Bournemouth.

However, United’s lack of senior experience will mean, despite his form, Rashford will likely replace Alejandro Garnacho in his favoured left-wing position should he be passed fit.

Ten Hag's squad has been decimated by injuries and suspensions

7

Ten Hag’s squad has been decimated by injuries and suspensions


source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *