3 crucial battles that could decide Man Utd vs Liverpool this Sunday

Man Utd vs Liverpool is always a game of epic proportions. 

No matter the competition, no matter the form of both sides, it's a game that rarely fails to live up to expectation in terms of the ferocity of the rivalry and the impact of its outcome.

Both sides have enjoyed success in recent meetings but the two encounters this season have proved far more fruitful for Man Utd than the Reds, something Jurgen Klopp's side will be desperate to change this weekend.

Both sides will have to contend with injuries in key areas, but boast an incredible amount of quality across their squads ahead of a tantalising match-up that could go either way - although Liverpool will likely be considerable favourites.

Here are three battles on the pitch that could prove decisive at Old Trafford this Sunday.


Darwin Nunez, Liverpool vs Sparta Prague

March 7, 2024, Prague, Czech Republic: DARWIN NUNEZ of Liverpool react after scoring at Stadion Letna during Round of 16, 1st leg, of the UEFA Europa League, at March 06, 2024, in Prague in the Czech Republic. Prague Czech Republic - ZUMAr156 20240307_aap_r156_008 Copyright: xSlavekxRutax

Man Utd are dealing with an injury crisis in the heart of their defence ahead of Liverpool's visit, with Darwin Nunez the man tasked with causing their backline even more problems this weekend.

One of the few United centre-backs guaranteed to be fit on Sunday is Harry Maguire, a man who couldn't be more dissimilar to Nunez if he tried.

Nunez is quick, athletic and relentless, none of those being traits that he shares with Man Utd's No.5. As a result, he could be a difference-maker at Old Trafford.

The Uruguayan is in red hot form and showed his threat against Sheffield United midweek, scoring one of the more bizarre goals of his career.

That strike saw him hit an incredible milestone for the campaign and few would bet against him adding to that tally on Sunday, with the forward having been a menace during the FA Cup quarter-final defeat in mid-March.


Alexis Mac Allister for Liverpool vs Sheffield United.

Liverpool v Sheffield United - Premier League - Anfield Liverpool s Alexis Mac Allister centre celebrates scoring their side s second goal of the game with team-mates during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Thursday April 4, 2024. EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxIRL Copyright: xPeterxByrnex 75786107

Alexis Mac Allister is the form player in Liverpool's squad right now, and arguably in the entirety of the Premier League. He produced a screamer to help the Reds to victory against Sheffield United and put in a devastating display against his old side Brighton last weekend.

With Wataru Endo hopefully returning to the side after a knock that saw him miss Thursday's match, Mac Allister will take residence in a more advanced midfield role.

He will come up against teenager Kobbie Mainoo, who has impressed in both clashes with Liverpool, but the Argentine should dominate that midfield battle given his recent displays and superior quality.

Given Man Utd offer up so many opportunities from central areas, winning that battle could be key to securing all three points, with Liverpool needing to be more ruthless than they were during the FA Cup defeat this Sunday.


Bournemouth v Liverpool Premier League 21/01/2024. Ibrahima Konate 5 of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Bournemouth and Liverpool at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, England on 21 January 2024. Bournemouth Vitality Stadium Dorset England Editorial use only DataCo restrictions apply See www.football-dataco.com , Copyright: xGrahamxHuntx PSI-18861-0191

Despite defensive injuries, Man Utd still have the majority of their attacking options available to them, including Rasmus Hojlund.

The £72m striker has struggled to rediscover his early 2024 form since picking up an injury in February, but his pace and power still have the ability to cause any defence issues.

Ibrahima Konate should be more than a match for the youngster having missed Liverpool's last trip to Old Trafford, but the Frenchman did have one or two shaky moments up against the physical Ben Brereton Diaz of Sheffield United midweek.

Konate can be a little rash in duels with opposition forwards, so keeping Hojlund at bay will be absolutely vital on Sunday.

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