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Manchester United vs Liverpool: 5 key battles to watch out for | Premier League 2020-21

Liverpool take on Manchester United this week
Liverpool take on Manchester United this week
ANALYST

The Premier League is back in action with another high-octane fixture this week as Manchester United and Liverpool renew their legendary rivalry at Old Trafford on Thursday. The two English rivals have excellent players in their ranks and will need to step up to the plate in this game.

Liverpool have endured a difficult campaign by their high standards and cannot afford to put a foot wrong in this match. The Merseyside giants need a miracle to qualify for the UEFA Champions League this year and cannot afford to drop points on Thursday.

Manchester United take on Liverpool on Thursday

Manchester United, on the other hand, have managed to exceed expectations this season and find themselves in second place in the league table. The Red Devils named a second-string side against Leicester City on Tuesday and will likely field their best team against Liverpool.

Both teams have exceptional attacking players in their ranks and have engaged in their fair share of exciting fixtures over the past two years. Here is a list of five key battles that could potentially decide the outcome of this game.


#5 Edinson Cavani vs Nat Phillips

Cavani has been excellent for Manchester United
Cavani has been excellent for Manchester United

After a surprisingly slow start to his Premier League stint, Edinson Cavani has grown into Manchester United's ideal striker. The Uruguayan veteran is a devastating presence in the penalty area and has become one of the Red Devils' most potent goal threats.

The former Napoli man has already registered five goals in his last 11 Premier League appearances and has more than compensated for Anthony Martial's absence. Cavani was given some time off against Leicester City earlier this week and will go into this game with a dangerously fresh approach.

Liverpool's defensive problems have been well-documented this season and young Nat Phillips will be presented with the unenviable task of keeping Edinson Cavani at bay. The Manchester United striker has got the better of some of the best defenders in the world over the past decade and will relish this game as an opportunity to bring his big-game mettle to the fore.


#4 Sadio Mane vs Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Mane has not been at his best this season
Mane has not been at his best this season

By his own high standards, Liverpool winger Sadio Mane has endured a particularly difficult campaign this season. The Senegalese star has managed only nine goals in 32 appearances so far and his lack of attacking output has unsurprisingly coincided with Liverpool's stark misfortunes.

Mane found the back of the net at Anfield last weekend and will hope that his strike signals the permanent end of what has been a difficult goal drought. The Liverpool man will be up against one of Manchester United's most impressive full-backs on Thursday and will need to take it up a notch at Old Trafford.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been something of an unsung hero for Manchester United and his impressive one-on-one skills make him a difficult opponent. The right-back has his work cut out against Sadio Mane and will be intent on keeping the star winger quiet this week.


Also Read: 10 Greatest Football Managers of all time

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Edited by Aditya Hosangadi
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