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Reds Column II

Premier League 2020-21 Preview: Liverpool vs Manchester United

Following their 1-4 win over the hosts Aston Villa Fc in the Third Round of the FA Cup 2020-21, the reigning English and World Champions Liverpool Fc (The Reds) are due to play in the Premier League against the visitors Manchester United Fc.

Date: 17 January 2021 (Sunday) ; Time: 4:30 p.m (BST) kick-off ; Venue: Anfield, England.

Since the recent absence of Joël Matip, Jürgen Klopp had utilised either Rhys Williams or Nathaniel Phillips to partner Fabinho at Centre Back.

In the past, Captain Jordan Henderson had also been lined-up alongside the versatile Fabinho in the heart of the Defence.

If Matip is declared unfit for the crunch encounter with Manchester United Fc (The Red Devils), then Klopp might contemplate utilising Henderson to partner for Fabinho at Centre Back.

Besides the lack of fit Senior Centre Back Players, Klopp however will be able to call upon most of his Senior Players for the Crunch Match against the Club’s old foes – The Red Devils.

Arguably dubbed the “Daddy of All Football Matches”, the Reds historically has lost more matches than they have won against the Red Devils.

Yet, the Red Devils has not beaten the Reds at Anfield since January 2016 (Season 2015-16) and the Visitors has not beaten the Reds in all games since December 2018 (Season 2018-19).

The Reds are currently trailing only by a Trophy to be the “Most Successful English Club”.

The Red Devils has won 66 Trophies compared to 65 which the Reds has won.

Besides the animosity, both the Players of Reds and the Red Devils (past and present) tend to play aggressively in their encounters against each other.

 

Reds Team Injuries and Suspensions: Despite missing the recent Team Training; Joël Matip is edging closer to regaining his Full Fitness. The Cameroonian was substituted during the Second Half of the West Bromwich Albion Match due to an adductor strain.

Like Matip, Naby Keïta is edging closer to returning back in action after being sidelined due to a muscle related issue.

Diogo Jota and Konstantinos Tsimikas faces lengthy absences after injuring their knees during the Second Half of the FC Midtjylland away clash.

The Duo are expected to return around the second week of February 2021.

After undergoing successful surgeries on their injured knees; Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk remains sidelined for an indeterminate period.

No timescale has been set by the Reds for the return of the Defensive Duo but Van Dijk though has stepped up his rehabilitation.

 

Verdict: Since becoming the Red Devils Manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær has known to employ a defensive tactic against Attack Minded Sides (particularly the Reds).

One can expect the Reds to dominate possession but the real cause of concern is their struggle to breakdown stubborn defences especially their last few games. This is where Thiago Alcântara will play an influential role in helping Klopp’s Reds to overcome the Red Devils.

Besides being the Creative Outlet for the Reds, the Spaniard can provide the Reds with his incisive range of passes and instantly turn from a defensive position into an attack with one touch.

 

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