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Starting XI: Liverpool vs. Manchester United

11 talking points as the Reds battle it out

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Manchester United Training Session Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Here are the 10 key points you should know ahead of Sunday’s derby:

(1) After losing back-to-back games, tomorrow’s derby is a great opportunity for Manchester United to make a statement and get back to winning ways. Form and luck haven’t been on United’s side recently as they have only won once in their previous five outings across all competitions.

(2) The defeat to Bayern Munich saw The Red Devils bow out of the Champions League, finishing bottom in their group, thus missing out on the Europa League too. Kingsley Coman’s 71st-minute strike stood the decider as Erik Ten Hag’s men were left clueless as they failed to score. Their previous match against Bournemouth was a wake-up call as Dominic Solanke, Philip Billing and Marcos Senesi routed the hosts and sent them 6th-place in the league standings.

(3) Erik Ten Hag’s side have lost 12 out of the 24 games they have played this campaign and it is difficult to find positives in the team ahead of their derby versus Liverpool. However, thanks to the inconsistency in the performances of Tottenham, Manchester City and Newcastle United, United have managed to keep itself afloat in 6th-place with just ten points off the league leaders.

(4) Erik Ten Hag ruled out skipper Harry Maguire for the match but Luke Shaw is available. He said:

‘’Harry, he will not be available for the coming games, but we don’t think it is for the long term. Luke Shaw, he trained this morning. So we think he is available for Sunday.”

(5) The press reminded the Dutch manager of the 7-0 drubbing from last season as he said:

‘’I think everyone knows we have to be highly motivated when you go to Anfield. It is a great place to go and you know it is going to be tough. I think that is something which every top footballer wants, to have that challenge. You have to look forward and of course, last year, we have it in our memory, but you have to take the benefit from it. Learn from it. On Sunday, we can prove that.’’

(6) Marcus Rashford should be back recovering from his illness but Anthony Martial sustained a fresh injury. Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro, Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen remain sidelined.

(7) Liverpool were crowned league leaders after their 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace and Arsenal’s defeat to Aston Villa. It is a long way for The Reds to the title from here as they are closely followed by The Gunners, Villa, Man City and Spurs.

(8) Jurgen Klopp’s men lost their previous game against Union Saint-Gilloise in the Europa League but it was considered a dead rubber as they were already through to the Round of 16. Liverpool hold the joint-best defensive record in the league with Arsenal, conceding only 15 goals across 16 games.

(9) The Merseyside team came off unscraped from Belgium as Klopp is set to have his key players available for Sunday. He said:

“Nobody got hurt, nobody is injured, so we recover, go home and go again,”

(10) Alexis Mac Allister is expected to be out with an injury while Mohamed Salah, Alisson and Virgil Van Dijk are set to be back in the starting line-up after resting the European trip.

(11) FPL TIP: With Erling Haaland out with an injury, it is a good opportunity to captain Mohamed Salah for this match considering Man United’s defensive woes. Aston Villa should continue their stellar form at Brentford and starting Ollie Watkins might reap dividends. Sub off Sam Johnstone as Man City are expected to rile in a few to surge back to form.