Too much at stake: Why Liverpool cannot afford to lose to Manchester United

Manchester United will host Liverpool at Old Trafford
Manchester United will host Liverpool at Old Trafford

On a normal day, when Manchester United lose a game, their fans would be the loudest on Twitter and other social media platforms. However, there was a deviation from the norm on Thursday.

Following a 2-1 defeat to Leicester City, many Red Devils supporters seemed unconcerned. Rather, it was Liverpool fans who trooped on to social media to moan and point fingers at their rivals for fielding a weakened team against Leicester City.

The Reds are now set to face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side on Thursday after the game was rescheduled following protests at Old Trafford on May 2.

Champions League qualification on the line

While Manchester United have already booked their place in next season’s Champions League, Liverpool are still struggling to break into the top four.

The Reds currently occupy sixth place in the Premier League and are at serious risk of missing out on Champions League qualification.

Despite playing two games less than Chelsea and Leicester City, Jurgen Klopp’s side must beat Manchester United on Thursday to stand any chance of making the top four.

It is humiliating enough that the Reds have their Champions League dreams in the hands of their bitter rivals and things could get worse if they suffer defeat at Old Trafford.

A season of regrets for Liverpool

There’s been a lot of “maybes” and “what ifs” to Liverpool’s campaign. The Reds have been underwhelming this season, having been blighted by several injuries.

Perhaps they would have ended the season in a better position if the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson and Alisson Becker never had to miss a chunk of their matches.

But there’s no time to look back. The situation is what it is and Liverpool must now look to finish the season strongly and hope for the best.

"If we did not have the injury problems we did this year the season could have looked different, could we have been champions? I don't know, but it would have looked different,” Klopp admitted as quoted by Sky Sports.
"Qualifying for the Champions League is incredibly difficult but we would have had a better chance than we do now, without the problems we had.”

Liverpool have endured a season of regrets thus far but a win over Manchester United could boost their slim chances of finishing in the top four. Anything less, though, would be a complete disaster.

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Edited by Arjun Panchadar
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