Liverpool v Manchester United Cheat Sheet
Liverpool v Manchester United
It has been a disappointing season so far for Liverpool but they appear to be getting back to their normal selves. They are unbeaten in their last 4 league matches, also keeping 4 clean sheets but this will be their toughest test yet.
Liverpool continue to have a slow flow of players returning from injuries which means their squad is getting stronger and stronger. With their improved form Liverpool now sit within reach of a top 4 spot and Champions League football is still a possibility for next season. Because of this improved form, this match has even more importance for Liverpool and as usual you can expect a sensational atmosphere.
Manchester United continue to beat every team in front of them and have an outside chance at the Premier League still and can win all 4 competitions they are competing in this season. Manchester United are looking to do their first Premier League double over Liverpool since 2015/16 here and most people will see them as the favourites coming into this match.
Diogo Dalot has been superb for Manchester United this season and now looks like a top level right back. The Portuguese right back is getting forward well for Manchester United and is a good dribbler of the ball, completing 57.7% of his dribbles. Dalot doesn’t normally draw many fouls, just 0.19 per match, but was fouled in the last match between the teams.
As Klopp has looked to mix things up recently and with the introduction of Gakpo, Darwin Nunez has moved out to the left wing. At left wing, Nunez has to put a shift in defensively and get back and track the opposition full backs, however he only tackles 30.8% of dribblers.
Nunez averages 1.27 fouls per 90 but you can see that since moving to left wing, he is fouling a lot more often. In his last 4 matches he has played at left wing, he committed 2 fouls in 3 of these matches and 1 foul in the other. In this left-wing role, Nunez commits fouls more often so I expect him to commit at least 1 foul in this match.
It is widely expected that Jordan Henderson will return to the line-up in this match and will play on the right hand side of their midfield three. Klopp loves Henderson in this role against big teams because of how important he is defensively. Henderson doesn’t just sit in the midfield when defending, he moves out wide and help his full back defend.
In this match Trent Alexander-Arnold is up against one of the most in form players in the world in Marcus Rashford. Henderson will have to get out and help Trent against Rashford and when Rashford tries to cut inside onto his favoured right foot, it will be Henderson that is there to try and stop him which will likely see him commit fouls. Henderson only commits 0.54 fouls per 90 but if he plays this role like I expect then I see him committing at least 1 foul.
Andy Robertson was rested in midweek against Wolves but will surely come back into the starting line-up here. Robertson is up against Antony here who draws 1.29 fouls per 90 while Robertson commits 0.73 fouls per 90.
There is one major reason I expect Robertson to commit a foul and it goes beyond statistics. Antony plays with flair, does crazy skill moves and loves to wind up his opposition. Robertson is not a player for playing against anyone that does this sort of thing and he is the more old school sort of full back that will happily go through Antony to ‘teach him a lesson’.
While the stats do suggest we can expect a Robertson foul anyway, this is compounded by the fact that a player like Antony against a player like Robertson surely ends in a foul anyway.
Liverpool have quite a few centre midfielders that draw over a foul per match and have Gakpo who drops deep into the midfield as well who draws 1.85 fouls per 90. One of the men in the middle for Manchester United is Fred, he has committed 2.28 fouls per 90 so far this season and at least 2 fouls in 8 of his last 9 matches that he has played at least 30 minutes.
Fred does seem to commit more fouls against possession heavy teams, he committed 9 fouls over their 2 legs against Barcelona, committed 2 fouls against Manchester City and 2 against Chelsea earlier in the season. Fred has been on great form attacking wise but both him and Casemiro in the centre are happy to commit fouls so I expect him to commit at least 2 fouls again in this match.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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