Ranked have the stakes been higher at a North-West Derby. Victory for Liverpool could make them clear favourites to lift the title as well as with beaten at their rivals in their closing tie of the year, would put them top of the Premier League.
However a massive body blow would be dealt by a win for Manchester United into some club carrying consequences of previous disappointments. It might also mean since they tug four points clear of Chelsea, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been given the job of the manager full time.
All that storyline pressure could mean we get a reluctant chess game at Old Trafford, however, a closer evaluation of the line-ups and tactical techniques of the 2 coaches indicates we might just be in for a classic.
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Listed below are just five tactical talking points ahead of Manchester United v Liverpool. And sure, Chelsea v Manchester City is a much larger game as it is a cup final, however we requested five queries of these not long past. Read them or something?
1) Can the large stakes make a cagey game, or can Solskjaer go for broke?
There are and it all depends on Solskjaer approach. Liverpool will undoubtedly line up in a 4-3-3 and show the exact positional caution which has defined their own performances in big games this year, for example that the 0-0 draw with Bayern Munich on Tuesday. However, Man Utd are somewhat more challenging to forecast; if Solskjaer similarly holds back then we’ll observe a claustrophobic, low-scoring game — but he really should go out to get a win.
United will probably line up at the formation utilized at Stamford Bridge with Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford front, which signifies their counter-attacking danger is significant. Meaning Liverpool should control the ballgradually committing bodies and as United break with pace the game could become stretched. If Solskjaer wants the permanent job then he wants to demonstrate he could perform — and amuse — at large home games similar to this ; a hesitant 1-0 defeat would not do him any favours, whereas a rampaging 3-2 loss would continue the sense of goodwill because the plank near a final choice.
Two ) Can Lukaku and Rashford discover delight supporting the Liverpool full-backs?
The 4-3-1-2 of solskjaer might be the perfect method. Packing the midfield together with bodies ought to limit the influence of Roberto Firmino and thus slow down the visitors (more on that later), while United’s contour should enable them to break quickly to the spaces supporting the full-backs. Klopp can make the mistake of allowing Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson to push forward without Jesse Lingard or Anthony Martial threatening by the wings — a tactic produced all the more enticing by United narrowness.
However, to do this would allow Rashford and Lukaku to split, making runs to get Paul Pogba and Juan Mata to start. Although there were signs at Stamford Bridge mata is to eliminate beneath Solskjaer. It had been his lovely interplay — two — at the No 10 space that created room to crossover for Ander Herrera’s opener.
3) Will Klopp follow Tuchel’s guide and man-mark Pogba?
Thomas Tuchel’s choice last week to stick Marquinhos during the 90 minutes of their Champions League tie on Pogba stumped united, along with other people for the rest of the effort could replicate the tactic. Maurizio Sarri not went to change his plans once they met with United in the FA Cup, so this is the chance to discover whether Marquinhos’ man-marking occupation was off or the beginning of a theme.
Instructing Jordan Henderson or Fabinho to follow Pogba around the pitch would heap pressure on Mata to eventually become the creator from the United midfield, and his stature creates the Spaniard an easy goal for the press of Liverpool. Klopp should give it a go, but when he does not then the vital fight at Old Trafford would be Pogba versus Georginio Wijnaldum, arguably Liverpool’s best player this year. Occupying the spaces the difference could be made by their tussle should the game become stretched.
4) Could Salah expose the frailty of this Lindelof-Shaw partnership?
Man Utd don’t look solid in the back, and specifically on the side of Mohamed Salah, for many their swashbuckling attacking performances. Solskjaer use of Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof is emblematic of the tenure thus far far: prioritising good technicians over defensive steeliness.
Shaw is captured a couple of yards out of place and flat-footed, while Lindelof struggles to cover his own left-back darting into stepping or challenges up in the moment. Salah’s favorite channel of distance is between left-back along with left-sided centre-half, so he must easily ghost beyond both gamers and throughout the United defence, if he is in his best on Sunday. The fact that Pogba is that the midfielder hardly helps the cause of United .
5) Which Roberto Firmino will appear?
Firmino has experienced a time by his own standards, often disappearing for extended periods of matches in which Liverpool hold the majority of ownership. The Brazilian wants to play the half-turn, revelling in the give-and-gos which develop from Gegenpressing counters, and he hasn’t adapted well to the newly cautious, possession-centric Liverpool.
The functionality of firmino is the most crucial of all. Assuming we get a competition with counter-counters and counters that he should have the ability to play his normal game. A good screen from Firmino and Liverpool will punch holes in United’s three man midfield, building into the third regardless of the hosts’ narrow formation. But the other six-out-of-ten in Liverpool and the Brazilian could stutter, struggling to connect with the midfield and forwards lines as they did against Bayern, West Ham, and Leicester. It is no denying.
Alex Keble is currently on Twitter
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The post Man United v Liverpool: One massive match, five significant concerns appeared initially on 10z Soccer.