Manchester United vs Liverpool – 3 things Liverpool must do to win the game
Manchester United host Liverpool in the pick of the ties from the Premier League this weekend, cue a few months into this season and how the tables have turned. High fliers from last season, Liverpool are struggling which Manchester United who have been a little lucky are now sitting in third place after 5 consecutive wins.
Liverpool have looked nothing like the team from last season and although they are unbeaten in their last 5 games, they still got knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by drawing with Basel 1-1 at Anfield. Liverpool travel to Manchester with just one fit striker in Rickie Lambert who was hauled off at half time against Basel and Raheem Sterling was played as the striker in that draw.
Form always goes out the window when these two rivals take on each other and this would be no different, Louis Van Gaal faces a wounded tiger in Liverpool and the Reds would be looking to get their season back on track by beating the Red Devils at their own backyard. Here are 3 things Liverpool must do to beat Manchester United on Sunday.
1. Play with attacking intent
Steven Gerrard, Coutinho and Raheem Sterling have to start in the final third for Liverpool, playing Gerrard in the quarterback role has been done to death and teams have learned how to nullify the Englishman and his trademark passes. Gerrard enjoyed one of his best seasons when he was playing just behind the striker and this is exactly what he needs to do when he plays against Manchester United. Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho must be played as the wide men to support Lambert. The Manchester United defence haven’t been the best this season and with McNair probably starting, Liverpool must attack the centre of the defence in hope of getting something out of the game.
Sterling and Coutinho are the only bright sparks that Liverpool have and they should be given as much freedom to play down the wings and cut in when needed, of course they will be supported by Gerrard who needs to pick up the team again after a disappointing performance.
2. Lucas and Henderson must play in midfield
The only time the Liverpool midfield has remotely looked decent is when Lucas Leiva has played for them. He might not have the pace he did a couple of years ago but his tough tackling and sweeping helps cut out threats and protects a feeble defence.
Jordan Henderson should partner him in midfield to run and close down the Manchester United midfield, it will be a tough battle with Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini playing against the pair but Lucas and Henderson are the perfect foil to combat the opposition.
Tenacious, unrelenting and energetic, the pair can cut out any threat from the United midfield and would have to be at their best to provide the ball to the attack while staying close to quell any threat which may be to the weak defence.
3. Forget Lovren, play Kolo
Dejan Lovren played against Basel which really infuriated a lot of Liverpool fans, especially since Kolo Toure was the one good defender who has done well for the Reds this season. He was even presented the best player of the month award recently so it should seem like a no brainer to play the Ivorian.
Lovren has been poor and that is being kind to the Croatian, no one wants to see a player do badly at a club but sometimes the tough decision has to be taken and Lovren needs a break more than anything to get his feet back. Kolo Toure must play in the middle of defence and partner Martin Skrtel for Liverpool to have any hope of getting something out from this game.