Friday, September 29, 2023

The Big Clashes: 3 Key Battles When Liverpool Host Manchester United

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

It’s time for the biggest game in English football as Liverpool are set to take on their arch-rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Monday night. Liverpool and Manchester United, two clubs separated by just 20 miles, hate each other to the core and why wouldn’t they! Given the kind of success both have had over the course of history, the hatred shared for each other by the global fanbase of the two iconic clubs is quite understandable.

Liverpool have the opportunity to draw level on points with Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the table if they can clinch a victory while Manchester United will find themselves in a disappointing position six points off the top. Jose Mourinho Vs Jürgen Klopp- two expressive and world-class managers clashing against each other will be something to watch out for!

Here are three key battles those could decide the game.

Paul Pogba Vs Jordan Henderson

Manchester United shattered world record to bring their very own Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford this summer from Juventus but the output has been quite disappointing. Just one goal from six Premier League games is not the kind of impact you expect from someone you spent £89m for.

The trip to Anfield will be a good opportunity for the French international to prove his worth to the fans but that won’t be an easy task at all as he would have to go through Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson in order to do that.

Henderson has been amazing for the Reds so far this season in an unusual defensive midfield position. The 26-year-old will look to stamp his authority in the middle of the park as he has done on a regular basis this season and if he continues his form, he can nullify Pogba.


Philippe Coutinho Vs Antonio Valencia

We do love those players who always turn up on the biggest of occasions and Coutinho is one of those. That makes the Brazilian international the biggest threat to Jose Mourinho’s side. An integral part of the Liverpool attack, Coutinho is a big threat against sides those defend deep thanks to his long-range drives and Manchester United are one of those.

Antonio Valencia will have a tough opponent to face. The Ecuadorian is not the best of full-backs in terms of defensive abilities but does have the pace to deal with Coutinho. We have to wait and see who comes out on top when the two South Americans collide against each other.

Roberto Firmino Vs Eric Bailly

You are a special player when you keep three natural centre-forwards out of the starting XI and start as a false nine week in week out. Roberto Firmino will certainly start as the focal point of Liverpool’s attack against the Red Devils and will have to face a tough opponent in Eric Bailly.

The Ivorian has had a pretty solid start at Old Trafford since he joined the Red Devils this summer and will be keen to keep up his form. Firmino is a big threat with his movement and ability to dribble past defenders. Bailly is a physical defender but he must ensure that he does not get too physical giving away cheap penalties which Liverpool have been earning so easily this season.

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