Liverpool play Manchester United in a crucial Premier League match at Anfield on Sunday. The Reds are firmly at the top of the Premier League table with 61 points from 21 matches, while United are 5th with 34 points from 22 matches. However, it has to be kept in mind in this context that United are the only team to have taken points off Liverpool this season so far.
Moreover, it is the fierce rivalry between the two biggest English clubs which would capture the imagination of the football lovers across the world. Liverpool are unbeaten in their fortress for the last 50 matches, but a young United side could upset the applecart with an inspired display.
Here, we take a look at the three crucial factors which might determine the fate of Sunday’s match.
#1 The work rate of the Liverpool forwards
Liverpool's front three are known for their exceptional work-rate. Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane work tirelessly in the final third. Moreover, they have a tendency to drop down to the middle third to help the midfielders create moves and thwart the opposition attacks. Salah does not drop down as much, but operates through the inside-right channel to keep the opposition centre-backs busy.
It remains to be seen how United deals with such a scenario, as they have a brittle midfield lacking the presence of Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay. Nemanja Matic will have to play an active role if United are to deal with Liverpool successfully in the middle third.
Matic will have to stay in his own half, and help the United defenders deal with the high-press and tireless approach of the Liverpool forwards. Fred, the other central midfielder, will have to play box-to-box, and also help Matic in retaining possession at times. Aaron Wan-Bissaka will also have his hands full in containing the pivotal Mane.