3 Man United weaknesses Liverpool are ready to exploit today

Liverpool travel to Old Trafford to face Man United today. Here are three weaknesses of the hosts that they can exploit.

It's another massive game for Liverpool today. They continue their FA Cup campaign, aiming to book a semi-final place and move a step closer to winning another cup competition.

In their way, however, are Manchester United. The old rival have their own motivations for winning the trophy - a desire to find a fundamental sign of progress under Erik Ten Hag.

It's always one of the biggest games all season and Sunday will be no different. Liverpool will be keen to find every advantage they can - and here are three weaknesses we believe they'll exploit.

Man United vs Liverpool

Dead balls

Here's a very straightforward one. United aren't very good at defending set pieces, be they free kicks or corners. They've conceded the 8th-most goals from dead-ball situations in the Premier League this season - but that's underselling it.

Only Sheffield United have given up more shots from dead balls than Man United this season and it is absolutely something Liverpool can exploit.

Especially as no team in the Premier League has created more shots from dead balls than the Reds. But again, that's underselling it - no team is even in the same league as Liverpool when it comes to this.

Jurgen Klopp's team have created 84 shots coming off dead balls this season, 15 more than second place. That's the same gap that exists between 2nd and 13th.

Progressive carries

Okay, so that's a very uptight name for 'moving forward with the ball' but it makes for a sleeker sub-header.

United are not good at preventing players carrying the ball forward. In fact, you'd say they're just bad at it. This is one of those stats where the 'good' team are typically at the very bottom as teams don't carry the ball forward very often against them.

And so the five teams with the least progressive carries (a carry that moves the ball forward 10 yards, essentially) are Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Aston Villa. In other words, the top five.

Are sixth-placed United next? No. They actually give up the third-most per game, with only Sheffield United and West Ham United giving up more. They also allow players to dribble into the attacking third the fourth-most, and sixth-most for dribbling into the penalty area.

Much as with dead balls, this is something that encourages Liverpool greatly. The Reds produce the third-most progressive carries in the Premier League and jump into second for carries into the attacking third. They're not quite as high for the penalty area (5th) but overall, this is something Liverpool attempt to do every game and that United struggle to stop.

Key passes

If you're willing to set up teammates, you'll likely find success against Man United - and Liverpool are certainly willing to do that.

A key pass is simply one that directly leads to a shot and United have given up the third-most in the Premier League this season. They average 12.8 against per 90 minutes, with only Sheffield United and West Ham United conceding more. Ten Hag's side are level with Luton Town on that figure.

Again, it's a stat where the top sides sit at the very bottom - Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool have conceded the fewest.

As for who produces the most key passes in the Premier League, you can probably guess. Klopp's team average 14.8 key passes per 90 minutes and no one else matches that. It's essentially their primary method of creating chances.

Once again, then, it's something United don't want to see. Even without Trent Alexander-Arnold - the Reds' leader in this stat - Liverpool still boast four more players inside the Premier League's top 40. That's more than any other side.

It is yet another way that Liverpool are naturally set up to exploit United later today.

All stats per FBref.

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