On Sunday,the 20th of October,the Red Devils of Manchester United would be hoping to redeem their withering image against current table leaders,Liverpool. The Ole gunner Solskjaer are going through arguably their leanest spell in decades. Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s have been on an unfortunate run for much of this season,as they are without a win in their last 5 fixtures,which has earned them a 12th seat on the EPL table. This in turn may prove to be very psychologically daunting for the Red Devils outfit in the buildup to the much anticipated derby.
On the other hand,Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp have won every single EPL game played this season,and are basking with confidence as the sit comfortably at the top of the table. Nevertheless,Manchester United may just pull through this game triumphantly,as we have seen performances between both teams in recent seasons,even when the Red Devils where at their lowest.
Here are some reasons why we think the Red Devils outfit can pull a surprise stunt on Liverpool.
The Old Trafford factor
Liverpool have remarkably won just once at Old Trafford this decade. That was a 3-0 victory over David Moyes’ United, in a game in Liverpool were bizarrely awarded three penalties.Furthermore,the Anfield club have struggled against weak United sides under Jose Mourinho and Louis Van Gaal. They even failed to win against an injury-ravaged United at Old Trafford the previous season.
The Derby Factor
Derbies can see emotions flare,composure lost and complacency can play a part. The Red Devils will have to embrace the chaos of such occasion and try to capitalize on some nerves in the Liverpool ranks,which are regular occurrence for such a fixture. Soccer can be an unpredictable game and that can only benefit the team willing to capitalize on it,which in this scenario,is United.
Statistically, United have the best defense in the Premier League this season, based on xG stats in terms of chances conceded. And that defense is likely to get a boost by the return of Aaron Wan-Bissaka at right-back. Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw could also be in contention to come back from injury, meaning Solskjaer may have his first-choice back line available.
Liverpool have struggled to break down similarly resolute defenses in Napoli, Sheffield United and Leicester this season. Scoring goals may be an issue for the visitors.
Jurgen Klopp’s Record
As well as Liverpool’s inability to win at Old Trafford in recent years, there’s the matter of their manager’s woeful record against United.
Last season’s 3-1 win at Anfield was just Klopp’s second triumph over United in nine attempts — and the first in the Premier League and he’s yet to find a way past the old enemy on away turf. There will be trepidation in the German’s camp that United should try to exploit.
An Encounter to Favor United
So how can United exploit Liverpool’s weaknesses? It’s fair to say the game may well unfold to suit Solskjaer’s preferred approach — on the counter-attack.
Liverpool have the superior ball-players and a dangerous attack, so United will surely cede territory and look to sit in and frustrate the league-leaders.
That will surely give the likes of Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and,Anthony Martial the chance to break at pace and catch Liverpool unawares at the back. Rashford scored a double in this very fixture in March 2018 and will be motivated to replicate another siege on the side from Anfield.
United’s better performances this season have come against better sides: Chelsea, Leicester and Arsenal. If they can replicate those displays, they have a chance.
Vulnerability in Liverpool’s Defense
Liverpool might be eight points clear at the Premier League summit after eight games, but it’s fair to say their defense has flattered to deceive at times this term.
Any defense that concedes three goals at home to RB Salzburg is fallible. And if United can get Daniel James running at Trent Alexander-Arnold, they might find the Achilles heel of Klopp’s side. The England right-back is excellent going forward, but can be exposed running back to his own goal. So while Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip have been good this season, United could find joy down the flanks.