Four key battles that could decide Liverpool vs Manchester United

Liverpool vs Manchester United is always the most hotly-anticipated fixture of the season for Reds supporters. 

It's a match steeped in history and hatred, rarely failing to live up to expectations. This Sunday, the old rivalry is set for another blockbuster instalment.

The Reds' 7-0 win in this fixture last season is probably the best Liverpool fans will ever get, but another three points this weekend would be much appreciated.

The Red Devils may be struggling, like seriously struggling, but they still have plenty of expensive talent within their ranks. With Liverpool top of the league, the pressure is on Jurgen Klopp's side at Anfield.

With Sunday's encounter a must-win, here are four potentially decisive battles on the pitch.


Alejandro Garnacho has been one of the few bright sparks for Man Utd this season, offering a goal threat from wide positions that has been lacking in Antony and Marcus Rashford. Taking residence on Liverpool's right-hand side, the Argentine will be aiming to exploit the space vacated by Trent Alexander-Arnold this Sunday.

Garnacho is a willing dribbler and won't be afraid to take Alexander-Arnold on in one-v-one duels. While Liverpool's No. 66 showed he can handle tricky wingers when he tangled with Manchester City's Jeremy Doku earlier this season, he has not always excelled in individual battles.

With Man Utd likely to set up as more of a counter-attacking side on Sunday, there may be plenty of ground for Garancho to gallop into on their left flank. It's up to Alexander-Arnold to make sure that the winger doesn't have too much freedom.


Dominik Szoboszlai made a lightning fast start to life at Anfield, but his performances in a red shirt haven't been quite so eye-catching recently. Of course, the Hungarian has still exhibited his talents and incredible defensive work rate, but he hasn't gracefully glided over the turf with as much elegance.

While nothing to worry about in the long-term, Szoboszlai needs to turn up on Sunday. One of Man Utd's biggest weaknesses is their faltering midfield, easily bypassed by the likes of Bournemouth and Wolverhampton Wanderers this season.

A man prematurely labelled as their saviour in central areas, Sofyan Amrabat has struggled since switching Serie A for the Premier League, often looking a little too slow on the turn and laboured out of possession.

Hopefully, Szoboszlai can use his quick feet and powerful running to force Amrabat to face his own goal, dragging him out of position and opening up space for other midfielders.


Mohamed Salah - Pro Shots.

Mohamed Salah and Luke Shaw have enjoyed some good duels over the years, but recent history has favoured Liverpool's No. 11

In the 7-0 victory at Anfield last season, Salah tormented Shaw and Lisandro Martinez on Man Utd's left, with the English defender putting in a particularly dismal display.

If Salah can replicate his most recent performance against the Red Devils, Shaw, who may not be fully fit given he was substituted at half-time against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, may endure another nightmarish afternoon on Merseyside.


Ibrahima Konate, Liverpool vs LASK - Propaganda

Rasmus Hojlund's start to life at Old Trafford has been hugely underwhelming, certainly in the Premier League. The Dane is yet to score in a domestic outing this season, albeit he has been provided with very little service.

However, one thing Hojlund does have in abundance is pace. The £72m man might look to isolate Ibrahima Konate on the left-hand side, occupying some of the spaces that Alexander-Arnold will inevitably leave and staying well clear of the imperious Virgil van Dijk.

While Konate has often shown himself to be a supreme one-v-one defender, the Frenchman still has the ability to be a little rash in physical duels.

Hojlund's size and stature undoubtedly makes him a difficult man to deal with and Konate will have to be patient up against the young forward.

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