On Sunday at Anfield, Liverpool will play host to Manchester United in what can be considered the weekend’s Premier League main game (March 5)
After a shaky start to the Premier League season, the Reds are starting to win again. The team of Jurgen Kloop sits sixth in the rankings with 39 points from 24 games.
Manchester United, meanwhile, has had one of their best seasons in recent memory. The team of Erik ten Hag sits third in the standings with 49 points after 24 games.
This confrontation between the two bitter adversaries is expected to be violent. In light of that, let’s take a closer look at three crucial player encounters that could impact the result of the game:
#3 Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) vs Fabinho (Liverpool)
Fernandes has excelled in midfield and has been one of the Premier League’s most inventive players. His attacking plays have been essential for the Red Devils.
In 23 league games this season, he has collected five goals and six assists. It is challenging to keep track of his attack moves because of his exceptional ball vision.
If Fabinho wants to keep Fernandes hidden, he must be defensively vigilant. The Reds player has recently displayed exceptional defensive awareness and midfield control. It will be interesting to see if he can silence Fernandes during this argument.
#2 Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) vs Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
Mohamed Salah is one name that comes to mind when discussing Liverpool’s standout players despite their inconsistent play this season.
The Egyptian has excelled in attack, and his contributions in the last third are noteworthy. In 23 league appearances this season, his attacking prowess has resulted in eight goals and five assists.
Salah is incredibly elusive and can use his speed to outpace opponents, making it difficult to keep him quiet in the attacking third. If Luke Shaw wants to keep Salah away from the United goal, he must refrain from excessive overlapping.
Nonetheless, Shaw has consistently displayed strong defensive play this season, and his defensive efforts have been exceptional. Salah will need to be really shrewd to defeat Shaw.
#1 Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) vs Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
In recent weeks, the Englishman has excelled in attack and his finishing ability has been unmatched. In 24 league games this season, he has scored 14 goals and recorded three assists.
He moves quickly and deftly with the ball in his hands, making it difficult to follow him in the final third. Rashford will be United’s main offensive target, so Alexander-Arnold will have his work cut out for him.
The Liverpool right-back is, however, gradually rediscovering his form, so Alexander-Arnold and company will need to play really well defensively if the Reds are to earn all three points.