LIVERPOOL: Karius, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Henderson, Can, Coutinho, Firmino, Mane, Sturridge
Subs: Mignolet, Moreno, Klavan, Lucas, Grujic, Lallana, Origi
MANCHESTER UNITED: DeGea, Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Blind, Fellaini, Pogba, Herrera, Zlatan, Rashford, Young
Subs: Romero, Rojo, Shaw, Carrick, Lingard, Mata, Rooney
Liverpool Match Preview Written by
Monday Night Football. “Red Monday” Liverpool v Manchester United.
The hype surrounding this fixture normally doesn’t need adding to, but if you’re Sky Sports and you’ve spent 19 quadrillion quid to have the right to show the game, I suppose you can understand why they’re pushing it harder than Salt & Peppa in 1986. They’re pushing it alright, pushing it real good….
Manchester United travel to this game just 6 points off the top of the table with a place in the Top 4 their reward for a win at Anfield…and yet there seems to be a sense of crisis surrounding Old Trafford, which is nonsense. While José has spent the GDP of a small country on his squad this summer, he needs time to mould them in his own image – you can’t make a squad of benign players into horrible bastards in just a few weeks. It takes months of therapy, finger-pointing, scapegoating and gallons of ‘Hatorade’ before José will be truly happy with his minions.
However, you do get the feeling that a defeat for Manchester United at Anfield could well lead to some form of ‘fallout’ within Old Trafford. As is the way of the modern world, somebody will need to be blamed. We all know it won’t be José (he just won’t allow it), so the current blamee (if that’s not a real word it should be, and I claim all copyright privileges) is Wayne Rooney. Will he start? Where will he play? Will he start crying? Will he tear his new hair out in frustration?
It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see ‘Wazza’ knock home the winner in the 90th minute. If you’ve picked him for your fantasy team this week, you may well get your reward. I just hope the paramedics are standing next to Martin Tyler if it happens.
Liverpool are in tremendous form themselves, coming off the back of four consecutive league wins, but alas they are likely doomed tonight as Jurgen Klopp has received the dreaded ‘Manager Of The Month’ award, which has a proven track record of making the latest recipient look like a common Mike Phelan as their side get garrotted in the next game.
Throw in the fact that two of their extremely effective midfield trio are likely to miss the game and the writing is on the wall. Adam Lallana has been in superb form until he twanged his groin, while the Geordie WineGum has been effective if a little understated in assisting his teammates thus far.
Herr Klopp could roll the dice by tweaking his system to a 4-2-3-1 with Can/Henderson holding and a front four of Coutinho, Firmino, Mane & Sturridge. The thought of those four in full flight is enough to make a fantasy football manager moist. Sorry. Not sorry.
Admit it. You have more than one Liverpool midfielder in your team, don’t you? You just hate that you don’t know which two will turn it on each week. It’s like Russian Fantasy Football Liverpool Midfielders Roulette (RFFLMR – learn it and put it in all your What’s App messages. All the cool kids are).
The only thing we know for certain is that defeat for either team will make Tuesday morning very uncomfortable for a lot of people in work/school. Nowhere to hide and a full day of slagging awaits.