December 16, 2023

Liverpool vs Manchester United

17/12/2023 – 18:30

Liverpool punished United with a resounding 7-0 score-line when they met back in March. However, Erik Ten Hag still led his troops to silverware (Carabao Cup) and a third-place finish, that secured Champions League football for this season.

The tide has turned immensely at Old Trafford. Despite Ten Hag, Harry Maguire, and Alejandro Garnacho picking up the Premier League monthly accolades for November, this is turning out to be hell week! Or to be more precise, it could be ten days of terror. Following the embarrassing defeat to Bournemouth, being knocked out of Europe by Bayern Munich, and a daunting trip to Anfield this Sunday, we could see the inevitable sacking of the United boss.

Ten Hag is backed by the board but given the imminent apparent takeover (sporting decisions) by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, many believe that the Englishman could drop the axe on Erik. The likes of Roberto De Zerbi, Xabi Alonso and most recently Graham Potter have been mentioned as potential replacement candidates.

Liverpool and United are currently poles apart. Jurgen Klopp’s group is perched on top of the table, playing impressive consistent football, and favourite to secure the win on Sunday. Klopp sent out Liverpool’s youngest European team in their history and found the Europa League just too tough for them as they lost the dead rubber clash 2-1 at Union Saint Gilloise. Despite that loss, they secured their spot in the next round and turned their attention towards the wounded Red Devils.

Joel Matip is out, long term but Ibrahima Konate should start after a start outing at Palace. Andy Robertson is still out, and both Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic are injured in midfield. Alexis Mac Allister should shake off a knee complaint to start in the holding role. Harvey Elliott is pushing for a start after some fine impact sub-outings. Diogo Jota should be back on the bench after injury.

To add more injury to insult, literally! Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire were taken off in the Munich loss due to injuries, and skipper Bruno Fernandes faces a mandatory suspension. United could be without as many as 13 first-team players for this crucial game. This could turn ugly for Ten Hag and the Red Devils. Will this be the final straw for the Dutchman? Or will United leave Anfield with a shocking victory? One thing for sure, it’s going to be an exciting clash

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