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Premier League 2018-19: 3 key battles which could decide Liverpool's clash against Manchester United

Suman Dey
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
948   //    14 Dec 2018, 20:58 IST

Liverpool will host Manchester United at Anfield.
Liverpool will host Manchester United at Anfield.

Liverpool and Manchester United will square off this weekend in one of the famous fixtures of the Premier League era. These two are the most successful teams in England, with a total of 38 league titles between them, so it's natural that any match between them attracts a lot of attention.

Since 1992, Manchester United have been the more successful side between the two, with Liverpool yet to win the Barclays Premier League. However, in recent times, Jurgen Klopp's men have improved tremendously, and are now one of the favorites, along with Manchester City, to lift the title. 

On the other hand, Manchester United and Jose Mourinho are struggling to get a run of good games under their belt, with just one win in their last five matches. The mood around Old Trafford is a bit gloomy, with the fans calling for Mourinho's exit before the season.

Anfield is always a tough place to visit for any opposition. Liverpool are unbeaten at home this season, and would look to continue that record against the Red Devils. Both sides have quality players in their ranks, and it could go down to some individual battles to decide the match.

Here are the three key clashes which could change the outcome of this high-octane battle.


#3 Mo Salah against Ashley Young

Salah scored a hat-trick against Bournemouth
Salah scored a hat-trick against Bournemouth

Mourinho has been struggling to set up a stable back four, with most defenders out injured. Lindelof is a confirmed absentee for the game, while Smalling and Bailly are racing against time to be fit.

However, the return of Ashley Young last week would have given the Portuguese some hope ahead of the crucial tie at Anfield.

Young put up a decent show against Fulham, repeatedly marauding forward down the right flank, and he even scored a delightful goal. But against Liverpool, he won't have the freedom to move forward as he has to take care of Mo Salah in defense. 

Last season, Mourinho man-marked Salah with Young, and the Egyptian was left frustrated after the match. Salah is in brilliant form at the moment, which would make Young's job a lot harder.

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