Which players are expected to start on Sunday, when Liverpool host Manchester United in their huge Premier League clash at Anfield?
Sky Sports News reporters Vinny O’Connor and James Cooper joined Peter Smith on the pitch to post a preview podcast to update us on the latest team news and injury issues ahead of the clash between the top two. of the league.
They also shared their views on the selections the respective managers could lean towards for the big showdown …
Liverpool – Matip Fitness holds the key
Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O’Connor:
“Liverpool enjoyed a nine day break before this game. Jurgen Klopp made it clear ahead of the Aston Villa FA Cup game that the guys were going to take a few days off and that’s how it went They were back on Wednesday for training and their preparations for the game are developing.
“But on top of that, they did everything they could to get Joel Matip back in shape. Ahead of the Aston Villa game, Klopp said he was not sure he would be cured of his injury. in the groin in time for Man Utd or if it would be a few days later.
“The center-back is the key area and that affects the whole squad because when you watch XI Klopp against Southampton, Jordan Henderson has fallen back to center alongside Fabinho, and with them playing in the center half, you miss it overwhelmingly two influential personalities in this engine room.
“If Matip is in good shape then it’s relatively simple: he would pair Fabinho in the center of the defense, you would have Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back and Andy Robertson at left-back, which would allow Henderson to play. the role of holding in midfield and you probably have the selection of Gini Wijnaldum and Thiago Alcantara.
“If Matip isn’t in good shape – is he abandoning Henderson again or is he leaving one of the youngsters to fill that role?
“Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams have done well when asked to do so in the Premier League – but against Man Utd and their attacking threat, it may be another step and another challenge they should take on.
“Obviously the top three pick themselves, with Diogo Jota still injured, and we’ll wait and see if Naby Keita can offer another option in midfield.
“But the key issue is Joel Matip – because it affects the balance elsewhere of the whole team.”
Potential Liverpool XI
Man Utd – Center-back decision and Pogba’s position
James Cooper, Sky Sports News reporter:
“When Anthony Martial was knocked out against Burnley it seemed prudent to me. It looked like he had gotten a little boost and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thought, ‘This one might be in the bag and we need some help. him at the weekend against Liverpool. ”.
“The other problem and problem for him is with the central defender and whether Victor Lindelof is fit enough with this back injury.
“Eric Bailly’s form has been good, although Man Utd fans will tell you, in big games – and you remember PSG last season – he has rickets in him. It’s something he’s knocked out of his game so far this season, but most of the male Utd fans might be a little worried, stepping into a big game like this, that Bailly and Maguire are the two central defenders.
“Although Bailly gives you a little more pace than maybe Lindelof.
“I think he will go with legs in midfield with Fred and Scott McTominay in midfield. They seem like his choice for big games.
“Then if you’re going to play this formation with all three forwards and then the only striker, Martial, if he’s fit, becomes the middle one, with Marcus Rashford probably on the right – although he doesn’t like being right – Bruno Fernandes in the middle and Paul Pogba on the left.
“I don’t think he will [try to play Edinson Cavani, Rashford and Martial] because he will want to welcome Pogba. Most United fans would say they have seen Pogba’s best playing on the left so far.
“That’s probably what he weighs – whether Pogba is playing, or whether it’s Cavani in the middle and Martial on the left, or maybe even Mason Greenwood.
“But Ole turned and rested really, really well so they’re fresh for a game like this.”
Potential Man Utd XI
Pitch to Post Preview – Liverpool vs Man Utd: Graeme Souness’ big game verdict; more: likely XIs, injury news & predictions
In a special Pitch to Post Preview Podcast we turn to Sunday’s blockbuster between Liverpool and Man Utd at Anfield.
Sky Sports Expert Graeme Souness joint Peter Smith to discuss the big game, including why the hosts will be wary of their rivals and which players should stand up and deliver for their side.
We also get the latest team news and possible starting XIs from Sky Sports News reporters. James cooper and Vinny O’Connor, while football writer Lewis jones – AKA Jones Knows – makes his pitch for what’s going to happen in the game.