Premier League English

The titans lock horns: Liverpool vs Manchester United 19 Jan 2020 

The forthcoming Liverpool vs Man Utd fixture is the Premier League biggie that fans, pundits and punters alike all over the football globe are locking their sights on this weekend when the two titans lock horns for the umpteenth time in their much-heralded rivalry in the history of English football. 

Ok, ok, so one doesn’t look much like a titan of late but regardless of current performances and the prolonged lacklustre spell, Manchester United is nevertheless a club whose stature is not to be downplayed or disregarded in any manner.

And Jurgen Klopp would be the last person to dare take the Red Devils lightly on any day, that much is certain.

After all, the much-awaited clash between the two arch rivals earlier in the season was the only Premier League match Klopp’s boys couldn’t win, resulting in a 1-1 draw.

That notwithstanding, Klopp’s Liverpool record against United has been pretty drab, with the Merseysiders having only managed to secure two wins in 10 meetings since his stepping in as manager of the Reds in October 2015.    

That being said, United are still undoubtedly the underdogs when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer takes his side to Anfield this Sunday.

Obviously, the task at hand appears to be a monumental one for the beleaguered Norwegian, who was earlier in the week banking his hopes on Marcus Rashford to be fully recovered in time to help spring a victory against the Reds this Sunday.

One can understand Solskjaer’s underpinning a large part of his hopes on Rashford as the United stalwart’s ability to finish in superb form and style, netting the ball from the most inconceivable, and tightest, of angles, was clearly showcased when both teams met in October at Old Trafford.

That day, one of the two shots that Rashford took at goal hit home. He followed this feat up in March 2018 and this time both his shots against Liverpool produced winners. 

However, things are looking a bit bleak for Rashford at the moment as the decision to introduce him in the FA Cup replay win over Wolves seems now to have backfired as the striker took a bad knock and had to exit the game after 15 minutes. Solskjaer said, “Hopefully he will be OK for Sunday … and we’ll do everything to get him fit. He’s capable if it’s not a bad injury.”

On the Reds’ side, Klopp has revealed that three injured stars could well make their much-awaited reappearance for this weekend’s big tryst, namely Fabinho, Matip and Dejan Lovren. All three are already back in training this week. 

“I wait really until they are on the pitch and somebody tells me they are allowed to do the full session,” Klopp announced on the club’s official website. “It looks like Joel will be in, it looks like Fabinho will be in maybe a day later, I’m not sure. Dejan, maybe he can be in as well. That means a lot and helps massively, of course. But we will see how it looks. The week is very important.”  

Ultimately, how does one mete out punishment against a team that has so far shown no obvious weaknesses against all opposition? If United are bent on having a triumphant return from Anfield on Sunday, then it’s paramount that any, and all, opportunities created for goal-making must have only one outcome – find the back of the net. At Anfield the way the Reds have been kicking butts all season? 

Let’s wait and see with bated breath.