5 ways Liverpool can beat Manchester United over the weekend
On Saturday, the 14th of October, Liverpool will play host to their age-old rivals Manchester United at Anfield. Both teams, despite going into the new season in buoyant mood, have enjoyed contrasting starts to the campaign.
Liverpool's failure to sign a centre-back in the summer has come back to bite them. A number of the goals they have conceded this season have come due to needless defensive errors made by the likes of Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan.
The Reds have already been humbled by a Manchester side this season, when City battered them with a 5-0 scoreline, and they will be hoping that the game on Saturday does not end up in a similar fashion.
Manchester United, despite not enjoying the best of times at Anfield in the past few seasons, go into this game as favourites. Manager Jose Mourinho addressed the need of a striker and holding midfielder when he recruited Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic in the summer.
The two new signings have settled in seamlessly in the United setup, and have already established themselves as key components in the first team. With Anthony Martial currently at the top of his game and David de Gea's splendid form this season, it's hard to look past a win for the Red Devils this weekend.
However, if history is an indicator, Liverpool have particularly flourished in fixtures against the stronger sides in the recent past and picked up the most points in the top-six mini-league last season. With the odds firmly stacked against them, we take a look at five ways they can beat United this weekend.
#1 Playing a deeper line
It's no secret that Liverpool have considerably struggled on the defensive end this season. Seven games into the Premier League campaign and manager Jurgen Klopp is still uncertain of what his best centre-back pairing is.
Joel Matip seems to be his number one central defender at the moment, but the Cameroonian is far from the standards Liverpool need, if they are to mount a realistic title challenge.
He has been criticised for lapses in concentration and needlessly squandering possession, but his errors have been few and far in between when compared to Klavan and particularly Lovren.
In their last league game before the international break, Liverpool were dominating the game with a one-goal lead before Newcastle found an easy route back into the game at St James' Park.
When it seemed like the Reds were ready to kick into second gear and add to their cushion, they were pegged back as Toons striker Joselu grabbed a goal for the hosts against the run of play.
There was a hint of fortune in the former Stoke man finding the back of the net, but Liverpool should have never found themselves in such a compromising position. Due to their high line and lack of coordination among Lovren and Matip, they failed to deal with a long ball played by Jonjo Shelvey.
This is not the first instance that the defenders have struggled while dealing with aerial balls. Knowing Jose Mourinho, he is going to adopt a route one approach and ask his defenders to launch the ball straight into the strides of Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku.
The two agile attackers have a considerable size and pace advantage over the Liverpool centre-backs, and if not dealt with correctly, could run rings around them. Thus, it is essential for Klopp to counter this threat United are likely to pose, by playing a deeper line, eliminating the option of going route one.