Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Old Trafford on
With Manchester United fans still scraping themselves off the ceiling after the thrill of their late, late show in the 3-2 comeback win over Crystal Palace on Monday, they now ready themselves for the visit of Liverpool to Old Trafford which will decide which team takes second place going into the last eight games of the season.
Jose Mourinho’s side have now come from behind to pick up maximum points in their last two fixtures, but they may well have to raise their game a level against their fierce old rivals if they are to record a third successive victory.
They do at least have the knowledge that they are now nine points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea so it would take quite a collapse to fail to make it to the Champions League places at the end of the campaign, but United fans, players and management alike will want nothing less than a top-two finish, having been in first or second place for the entire season so far.
MAN UTD INJURIES
Having been without seven first-team players at Selhurst Park on Monday, United will be hoping that Anthony Martial at the very least may be able to make it for Liverpool’s visit. The Frenchman missed the trip to south London due to a knock, but could be back in contention this weekend.
Ander Herrera remains unavailable due to the muscle injury he aggravated in the Champions League clash with Sevilla, while Daley Blind sits out once more as he continues his rehab from an ankle problem.
Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones have both missed out with knocks in recent weeks but Jose Mourinho will be hoping that at least Rojo might make it for Saturday.
Marouane Fellaini is edging towards a return, but probably won’t be fully fit until Swansea City visit Old Trafford at the end of March. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s comeback appears to depend entirely on the player himself following ACL trouble, with Mourinho explaining recently: “Is he injured? No. Does he feel totally happy, ready and convinced that he’s in a condition to help the team in this moment? No.”
MAN UTD SUSPENSIONS
United have no suspension issues, and Liverpool also have a full squad in terms of disciplinary absences. However, Emre Can has nine domestic bookings this season, meaning another booking before round 33 of the Premier League campaign will lead to him being
Jose Mourinho could look to make a couple of changes as he attempts to arrest the recent trend of slow starts. Marcus Rashford’s high-impact display off the bench against Crystal Palace may well have won him a starting place in the mind of his manager, while the Portuguese could also have been persuaded by the second-half entrance of Juan Mata.
Eric Bailly could step in at the back after Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof had a rough hour to start Monday’s game, and Scott McTominay might find himself overlooked after an under-par 45-minute showing at Palace.
Alexis Sanchez’s starting position will be the most fascinating selection issue though, with the Chilean a possible starter in the No.10 position in which he finished the win on Monday.
LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS
Most teams would suffer a huge slump after losing £142 million worth of talent, but Liverpool have barely broken stride since selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January.
The Reds are now hot on the heels of United in the race to finish second behind Manchester City, and their forward line of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane has collected 68 goals and 31 assists between them so far this term.
Jurgen Klopp’s main injury concern is skipper Jordan Henderson, who limped away from the 0-0 draw with Porto in midweek which completed a 5-0 aggregate Champions League win. However, Henderson insisted afterwards that he should be fine and explained it was nothing more than a dead leg which had led to him leaving Anfield with wrapping on his right leg.
Liverpool arrive at Old Trafford boasting a run which has seen them lose only twice in their last 27 fixtures in all competitions. During that time they have scored 75 goals to 23, and ended the unbeaten Premier League record of runaway leaders City.