Tomorrow well and truly lives up to the title of Super Sunday for English football fans with two nail-biting fixtures between the country’s most elite sides.
The Carabao Cup final between Manchester City and Chelsea could be a make or break fixture for Maurizio Sarri, whose job is seemingly at a knife’s edge.
However, just before the blue half of Manchester aims to complete 25% of their ambitious quadruple, arguably the fiercest rivalry in English football will take place and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
It would be disrespectful to label the clash between English football’s most successful sides a curtain raiser for a cup final, especially considering how 90 minutes at the Theatre of Dreams could determine if the Premier League trophy remains with the Citizens aiming to build a dynasty, or returns to Anfield after what seems like an eternity.
Not to mention, a Red Devils victory could be the result that lands Ole Gunnar Solskjær the United job, who has catalysed a miraculous recovery since his return to Old Trafford.
The situation is different for Manchester United who despite not being in the race for the title, could determine who wins it.
The Red Devils currently sit in 4th place after an incredible resurgence under their favourite Norwegian Ole Gunnar Solskjær, that has seen them go unbeaten domestically since his appointment.
United are 1 point ahead of both Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Champions League football, but still 9 points behind Tottenham, despite their loss at Turf Moor today.
With the Gunners playing Southampton tomorrow too and likely to get 3 points, United will have to at least match their result to remain in the Top 4. Chelsea won’t be playing in the Premier League this week, but it is imperative United continue their fine run of form if they are to remain in contention for the hotly-contested Champions League places.
On top of that, Liverpool would gain huge momentum with a victory away from home at their bitterest rivals. This is arguably the toughest fixture remaining in both sides’ seasons and a United loss could put The Reds on the final stretch towards their long-awaited Premier League title.
David De Gea: The best goalkeeper in the world proven yet again against Spurs earlier in Solskjær’s tenure. A true headache for Liverpool’s front line.
Victor Lindelof: United’s best defender this season. The Swede has really settled into Premier League football. Strong, physical presence and decent on the ball, he will be difficult to get by.
Ander Herrera: Future captain of the Red Devils, full on energy in midfield and willing to do the dirty work alongside going forward. A stern test for Wijnaldum.
Paul Pogba: Arguably the best midfielder in the world, currently having the highest goal-scoring season of his career. Huge physical presence and United’s biggest threat.
Marcus Rashford: Has replaced Lukaku as first choice striker with 15 goal contributions in 22 games. Shouldering large responsibility with Martial injured. Caused problems for Alexander-Arnold last year.
As it stands, Liverpool and Manchester City remain level on 65 points, with City 1st on goal difference. However, The Reds have a game in hand, with the Sky Blues playing Chelsea at Wembley tomorrow. As a result, their visit to the red half of Manchester tomorrow simply becomes even more significant.
A win for Liverpool would see them go 3 points ahead of City with 11 league games to go for both sides, giving them leeway to drop points in other fixtures. Even a draw would not be a disaster for Klopp’s side.
But a loss could be a huge blow to their challenge considering City’s superior goal difference. It would mean they would have to match or better City’s results for the rest of the season, relying on them to drop. One thing’s for certain, this Guardiola juggernaut is not showing signs of slowing down…
Alisson Becker: Leads race for Golden Glove with 13 clean sheets in the league this season. An equal match for David De Gea.
Virgil Van Dijk: One of the best defenders in the world due to positional awareness and pace. Good on the ball and also an aerial threat from set pieces. Tough test for Marcus Rashford.
Georginio Wijnaldum: Scored a brilliant goal vs Bournemouth and has been the engine in Klopp’s midfield this season. Tireless box to box midfielder and will battle to the death with Ander Herrera.
Xherdan Shaqiri: Made the difference against United in the reverse fixture at Anfield, scoring 2 goals off the bench to win the game 3-1. Good on set pieces and able to cause problems off the bench.
Mohammed Salah: Leading the race for the golden boot with 17 goals this season and is 1/3 of the league’s most dangerous attack. Will fancy his chances against Ashley Young.
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