Manchester United vs Liverpool preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: ( THE SUN OUT,THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT ) Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool with Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 24, 2021 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

A 6-2 victory over AS Roma on Thursday night saw Manchester United all but book their place in the Europa League final, but a win over North West rivals Liverpool could see United secure a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

The two sides have met twice so far this season, with a 0-0 draw coming in the Premier League fixture at Anfield, while their Emirates FA Cup meeting ended with a 3-2 win in an exciting tie for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.

  • Team news

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces no real selection dilemma for the clash with Liverpool, with a full squad available, except for the likes of Phil Jones, who hasn’t played this season.

With a rest for key men like Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford possible in Thursday’s return trip to Rome, Solskjaer may elect to start a first-choice eleven and trust them to power through.

After his recent contract extension, Eric Bailly may be in line for a return to the first team, while Dean Henderson will almost certainly replace David de Gea in goal.

For the visitors, Fabinho could be re-installed into the centre of midfield, though it will depend on the fitness of Nat Phillips.

Curtis Jones may well retain a spot in the squad after his return from injury against Newcastle a week ago, though the Reds are still without five players.

  • Predicted Line-Ups

Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba; Rashford

Liverpool: Allison; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Kabak, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane

  • Ones to Watch

For United, it has to be the in-form Mason Greenwood, who has six goals in his last nine games, including a brace and assist against Burnley a few weeks ago. The inside-forward is mature for his age and scored last time the two sides met.

Greenwood could be deployed as a centre-forward or on the right-wing against Liverpool, or he could switch with Rashford throughout the evening.

For Liverpool, while his season may not have gone to plan, the influence of Sadio Mane can never be overlooked. Liverpool’s first-choice side isn’t in the greatest of form but Mane is a consistent threat and it takes but one error from the hosts’ backline for the Senegalese forward to pounce.

  • Previous Meeting

The last time the two sides met was an FA Cup thriller, as a see-saw clash was balanced at two apiece, only for Bruno Fernandes’ to net the winner from a free-kick.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu2bh2Gulhw

  • Where to watch

You can tune in to Sky Sports for live coverage, with kick-off set for 16:30 BST.

  • What the managers have said:

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: (On sitting above Liverpool for the first time) - “Of course, we know what they have done the last three or four seasons. They have been at the top of the league, won the Champions League and they have had some amazing seasons.

That is a challenge to us to have that consistency now that we move up the table and we also challenge [Manchester] City and they feel they still have to win a few games.”

Jurgen Klopp: (On whether it will be ‘more difficult to overhaul City again’)It always becomes harder because obviously City never stop. I think that’s clear – they didn’t stop and they will not stop. But even they had two years in a row us at their neck probably.

OK, one year we were then ahead of them, we never expected that to happen for the next 10 years now in a row. [Manchester] United is coming up definitely, everybody can see that.”

 

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