Manchester United have it all to do in their Europa League clash against Liverpool at Old Trafford. The Manchester side were outplayed by their rivals and have to overturn a 2-0 deficit to qualify into the next round.
While Liverpool were not in action over the weekend, Manchester United had to play West Ham in the FA Cup and were looking to be going out of that competition as well until Anthony Martial struck late to force a replay.
With Louis van Gaal under pressure and the cup competitions being the only way to salvage another poor season, here are the three key battles from this massive tie.
Anthony Martial vs. Mamadou Sakho
Martial was one of the players who had a horrible outing against Liverpool last week and he would need to be the one that does the damage for the Red Devils. Martial scored a late goal for United in the FA Cup and that could well give him the confidence going against Sakho and co.
The Liverpool defender is not the greatest when it comes to playing with the ball at his feet and Martial running at him with pace could give him a lot of problems. Sakho might be great in the air but with players taking the fight to him, it isn’t the best for the French defender and his countryman could well be the one laughing if he gets thing right.
Marouane Fellaini vs. Emre Can
Fellaini was lucky not to pick up a ban for his elbow on Emre Can and will still take the pitch, hopefully for the Red Devils. The Belgian might not be the attacking threat that United need but by ensuring that Liverpool do not dominate the midfield, his side would have a fighting chance of winning the game.
Emre Can was a one man mobile in midfield for Liverpool and that is something the German has shown on a regular basis for Liverpool under Klopp. Can could be the difference between the sides with his energy and well taking care of Fellaini of course.
Daley Blind vs. Roberto Firmino
Daley Blind might not be a defender but he has grown into this role under Louis van Gaal and certainly his distribution is incredible for Manchester United from the back. However, he cannot seem to deal with the movement of the Liverpool forwards.
Roberto Firmino was touted as an extremely expensive buy from Hoffenheim but the Brazilian has been one of the best players in the league since the turn of the year and his second goal last week could well prove the most important goal he has scored for the Reds and he could do some damage against United again.