Liverpool take on the old enemy, Manchester United, at Anfield in a crunch game in the Premier League.
This is always one of the most important games of the season, but it takes on extra importance in the context of Liverpool’s hunt for the title, and Mourinho’s efforts to stay in a job.
United’s never an easy game though, and even more than usual, they will be looking to frustrate us.
Liverpool Predicted Lineup and Team News
Liverpool’s injury nightmare continues, at at the moment, it doesn’t feel like we can cope with too much more.
On top of Gomez’s leg break, now Matip is also out for around six weeks with a broken collarbone. I know from personal experience how painful that injury is, so kudos to Matip for playing through it. Trent Alexander-Arnold also has a foot injury, but it’s not thought to be too bad.
Milner has a slight muscle problem, but surely even a half-fit Milner has to play ahead of Clyne at right-back? The rest of the team more or less picks itself aside from the midfield which is always subject to rotation.
Manchester United Predicted Lineup and Team News
Manchester United have many injury concerns of their own, but many of theirs are thought to be only knocks.
Diogo Dalot, Matteo Darmian, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Scott McTominay, Anthony Martial, and Alexis Sanchez are all doubts, but I’d expect most of them to be fit and ready for the game.
Most of Mourinho’s decisions will come up top. He surely can’t persevere with Romelu Lukaku any longer as he’s becoming a hindrance. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have a far greater chance of troubling Liverpool.
Game plans often go out the window in such emotionally charged games as this one, but there will be some telling indicators on how the game should pan out.
If Mourinho stubbornly leaves out Paul Pogba and Martial or doesn’t give Rashford the freedom to run down the left, then Liverpool will almost certainly win as there is very little that Lukaku can threaten us with that VVD can’t handle.
Liverpool have recently been getting better in attack as well, while United’s defence is uncharacteristically poor for a Mourinho side.
For these reasons, I’m far more confident than usual that Liverpool will win the game and go back to the top of the table.
United will try all of their usual tricks of slowing the game down and pumping it long, but this time, it won’t work. Liverpool have got more quality than ever, but crucially, we’re far more tough mentally than we’ve arguably been in decades.
The Reds will brush the Mancs aside with a 3-0 victory, a result that could see Mourinho lose his job.
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 16/12/2018