The two English giants were initially scheduled to lock horns ten days ago, but the match had to be postponed due to mass protests held at Old Trafford by the Manchester United faithful. The fixture was then rescheduled for May 13th, just under two weeks before the UEFA Europa League final.
Manchester United and Liverpool have already faced each other twice this season in the Premier League as well as the FA Cup. While their league game at Anfield ended in a goalless stalemate, Liverpool's trip to Old Trafford in the 5th round of the FA Cup ended in a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Red Devils.
A win on Thursday would be incredibly consequential for Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool as they look to qualify for the 2021/22 edition of the UEFA Champions League. However, they face a tall order as Manchester United have lost only two of their last 29 Premier League fixtures.
Furthermore, Solskjaer gave his whole first XI bar Mason Greenwood a day off against Leicester City on Tuesday, allowing them to be well-rested ahead of their clash against Liverpool.
With the stage perfectly set for a high-profile encounter at Old Trafford, here is a look at how Manchester United could potentially line up against Liverpool on Thursday.
Manchester United Predicted XI
Going by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team selections over the course of 2021, Dean Henderson is nearly guaranteed to start the game on Thursday against their fierce rivals. The Englishman has firmly established himself as Manchester United's number one goalkeeper at the expense of club legend David de Gea, who has served the Red Devils for over a decade.
Henderson has also been in superb form, conceding just four goals in his last five Premier League games. The English star has managed four clean sheets in his ten league starts for the club this season and boasts an incredible save percentage of 82.1, which is the highest among players with a minimum of ten games played.
De Gea's 25 league starts have yielded nine clean sheets, and he's saved 66.3% of the shots he's faced (31 goals conceded).
The biggest change in the side will be at the heart of defence as Manchester United captain Harry Maguire is set to miss the game due to an injury he picked up against Aston Villa. Solskjaer confirmed that the towering Englishman is unlikely to play again in the league this season.
Maguire's injury could pave the way for Eric Bailly to retain his starting berth from the Leicester game. Fresh off his contract extension at the club, the Ivorian has battled injuries and lack of fitness due to COVID-19 in recent months and is finally available for selection. Bailly will most likely partner Victor Lindelof, with Axel Tuanzebe dropping to the bench.
Manchester United's first-choice full-backs Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are likely to return to the first XI. Shaw and Wan-Bissaka were given some much-needed rest in midweek and will be prepared to face the threats of Liverpool stars Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane on either flank.