Today will be a big test for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team
They were swept aside by Real Madrid at Anfield a week and a half ago, but they are actually in good form in the Premier League.
Moreover, the Reds are unbeaten in their previous four league games and have not conceded a single goal during that period.
That 5-2 loss to Carlo Ancelotti’s team will be remembered as an outlier if they do not suffer a similar fate against Manchester United.
The Red Devils are one of the most in-form and free-scoring sides in the league, with Marcus Rashford capable of terrifying and terrorizing any defense he puts his sights on.
They will have to be at their best for a side that was so easily undone by the likes of Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema a few days ago.
How can Liverpool defeat Manchester United?
Klopp faces numerous selection quandaries ahead of today’s match against Erik ten Hag’s men.
With so many recent clean sheets, how he chooses his defense will be of special importance. Of course, Virgil van Dijk is an obvious choice, but he could be paired with either Joel Matip or Ibrahima Konate.
There are also issues in midfield, as Jordan Henderson was merely an unused substitute in the 2-0 victory over Wolves.
With Cody Gakpo and Roberto Firmino waiting in the wings, whether Diogo Jota preserves his spot is debatable.
Nevertheless, two players must be rested if Liverpool are to improve their prospects at Anfield this afternoon.
The first decision should be obvious: Andy Robertson should be recalled to replace Kostas Tsimikas.
In reality, the Greek full-back barely put a foot wrong in Wolves’ triumph. Several hailed him as their player of the match, and he was “fantastic,” according to popular Liverpool insider DaveOCKOP, after assisting Mohamed Salah’s goal and attempting five crosses on the night.
That was a typical Liverpool full-back performance, with the £50,000-per-week earner losing the ball 18 times as a result of his attempts to be creative.
He may have made an impression, but Klopp’s trusted lieutenant, Robertson, must return to the starting lineup.
The same can be true for Henderson, who might take over for Harvey Elliott this afternoon.
He had a handful of first-half chances go ‘awry,’ in the words of GOAL’s Peter McVitie, earning only a 6/10 match rating against Wolves, and despite his effort and enthusiasm, experience may be the order of the day versus United.
Despite his declining reputation, Henderson is still a competent pair of hands for a match like this and should do a better job of retaining possession and keeping the tempo up.
Despite Elliott’s eagerness to make things happen, the £40k-per-week teenager lost possession 16 times last time out, an unusually high number for a midfielder.
In comparison, Henderson has only lost possession nine times per match in the Premier League this season.
The middle of the park has been a source of contention this season, and with a battle against Casemiro on the horizon, it is likely to be where the game is won or lost.