|Can Manchester United stop high flying Mohammed Salah and Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday? (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Manchester United vs Liverpool
An ancient fixture, filled with hate and passion, love for the game and the will to win, a game that goes well beyond three points, either side of the divide speaks fondly of their bragging rights, it’s Manchester United against Liverpool.
Form doesn’t hold much water in this fixture, they say you’re only as good as your last game but for this, what you see is what you get and in a season with zero margin for errors, we’re in for a treat at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Liverpool spent their week showing Manchester United how dirty they can get when they need the result with a 3-2 win at Atletico Madrid, it wasn’t pretty and Jurgen Klopp was quick to admit they needed to go low to grind that out.
Manchester United on their parts showed us what we’re used to, play badly and fall behind much to the dismay of the fans within the stadium and behind screens all over the world, then find a way to claw it back and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat… Mancunian United!
By the time Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday, they would be four points off the top as Chelsea beat Norwich silly to go clear and incidentally, United are behind the Kops by same margin and a loss would mean they would now be seven off Liverpool and eight off the top, that’s unacceptable.
The stakes are quite high this season, little margins separate most teams on the log and with tricky games ahead for United, they can’t afford to hand rivals any sort of breathing space, the loss at Leicester City has opened up United for scrutiny, they can’t afford to drop points again and not even to Liverpool.
Liverpool are flying and one won’t be wrong to say Mohammed Salah is the best player on this planet right now, the Egyptian is lighting up every corner of his world and shining brighter than a million fire flies, can United stop him?
You would be tempted to tilt towards the visitors for this fixture but the presence of a certain Cristiano Ronaldo would remind you of magic when it’s needed; Ronaldo fired United in front on Wednesday when it felt like they were going to drop points to the Italians, can you put anything past him?
Chelsea and Manchester City would watch with keen interests where this would swing, both picked emphatic wins on Saturday and sit pretty in first and second place respectively, they need some space at the top they wouldn’t mind if both teams can lose the game, only if that was possible.
Ask the few players who have been lucky to play for both sides, we don’t have them many in that regard and off the top of fingers one can only remember Paul Ince and Michael Owen, they would tell you there’s so much to this fixture than just the points on offer.
Watch out for Mo Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo, but more importantly this fixture would be about the quality of the defense on display; Liverpool will lick their lips at the prospect of facing Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof after both showed why fans should be worried in the late win over Atalanta.
The battle ground is in the middle and Liverpool edges that on paper, that is certainly because of the uncertainties with Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, will he go for a single pivot or return Fred and Scott McTominay? Where will he fit in Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes?