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In what will be one of the most highly anticipated games of this season, Premier League giants Manchester United will lock horns with their arch-rivals, Liverpool, this weekend. It will undoubtedly be a cracker of a game as both teams fight for the second place in the league table.
The hosts, Manchester United, who are sitting second in the Premier League table, only have a two-point lead over their arch-rivals. Therefore, a win for Liverpool could see the Red Devils lose their spot in the table by the end of the week.
Here’s the combined lineup of these two English heavyweights, ahead of their enticing match this weekend.
It’s probably fair to say that Liverpool’s newly invigorated 4-3-3 formation has been highly successful under Jurgen Klopp this season, compared to Jose Mourinho’s classic 4-2-3-1. In addition to that, the 4-3-3 shape also allows the attackers to play in a free-flowing formation in the final third, ultimately making them more dangerous on the counter. Therefore, we’ll use the 4-3-3 formation implemented by Liverpool this season.
Coach: Jurgen Klopp
Despite being at the receiving end of some criticism at the beginning of the season, Jurgen Klopp’s incredible passion and unmatched diligence have guided the Reds to an impressive season so far. That, in contrast, is quite unlike Jose Mourinho, who has been largely criticized for his lack of attacking potency.
That being said, however, the Portuguese definitely deserves credit for making United a strong defensive unit but considering the fact that Klopp’s presence in the dugout has helped the Liverpool play to their full potential this season, we’ll pick the German mastermind as the head coach ahead of his Portuguese counterpart.
David de Gea (GK)
Probably the easiest choice one will ever have to come across, David de Gea will definitely be the number one goalkeeper between these two sides. The Spaniard is regarded as one of the best keepers in the world and his performance will once again be crucial as the Red Devils to look to preserve another clean sheet this weekend.
Antonio Valencia (RB)
Antonio Valencia, of Manchester United, trumps Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold in the right-back position. The Ecuadorian international is regarded as one of the best right-backs in the league. His tenacity coupled with his experience will prove to be way too much for the young Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Eric Bailly (RCB)
Another Manchester United player in the combined lineups, we will pick Eric Bailly ahead of Liverpool defenders Joel Matic and Dejan Lovren, both of whom have appeared quite tentative in the past few seasons.
Virgil Van Dijk (LCB)
Liverpool’s newest recruit Virgil Van Dijk will easily beat Chris Smalling, as the defensive partner of Eric Bailly in central defence. After a rough start to his life at Anfield, the Dutch International is growing with confidence and has notched up some great performances in his last few matches.
Andrew Robertson (LB)
Arguably the toughest match-up in this combined lineup, Andrew Robertson of Liverpool, just edges out Manchester United’s Ashley Young and Luke Shaw in the left-back position. The Scot has been a boon for the Reds this season, especially in 2018, where he has been a vital part of the first-team squad for Liverpool.
Nemanja Matic (RCM)
Manchester United’s decision to splash the cash on Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has been advantageous for the Red Devils this season. The Serbian has quickly emerged as the driving force in the Manchester United midfield department, and therefore, easily gets the better of Jordan Henderson.
Emre Can (CM)
By far Liverpool’s best midfielder, Emre Can has been instrumental in Liverpool’s successes in the past few years. Since joining the Reds, back in 2014, the German international has transformed into a reliable defensive midfielder.
Paul Pogba (LCM)
Paul Pogba of Manchester United will definitely be chosen ahead of Liverpool midfielders Georginio Wijnaldum, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain and Adam Lallana. The Frenchman’s tally of nine assists has helped the Red Devils and his contribution will once again be important as United look to unlock this weak-looking Liverpool defence.
Mohamed Salah (RW)
Mohamed Salah, who has been arguably the best player in the Premier League this season, will be deployed in the right-wing position. He has been far more superior when compared to both Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard. The Egyptian wizard has already notched up 24 goals in the Premier League this season and will be hungry to extend his tally this weekend.
Roberto Firmino (ST)
Roberto Firmino, of Liverpool, just edges out his Manchester United counter-part in Romelu Lukaku. The latter has had a hit and miss season so far while Roberto Firmino’s 22 goals in all competition, has built the foundation for a solid Liverpool attack this season.
Alexis Sanchez (LW)
Despite the presence of Sadio Mane in the Liverpool attacking lineup, the left-wing spot will definitely go to Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean, after signing from Arsenal earlier this year, is yet to really kickstart his Manchester United career so far. But that being said, the former Barcelona star is a definite threat to any defence in the world.