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Rivals meet again with mixed targets in FA Cup – Man United vs. Liverpool Preview

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Liverpool take on Man United for the second time in a week on Sunday, with the Reds travelling to Old Trafford for an FA Cup fourth round clash.

Man United vs. Liverpool

Sunday, January 24, 2021 – 5pm (GMT)
Old Trafford
FA Cup Fourth Round
Referee: Craig Pawson


When it rains, it pours.

Liverpool‘s dreadful run of form continued on Thursday evening, as they not only lost 1-0 to Burnley, but also saw their long unbeaten home run come to an end.

It was arguably the most disappointing night of an increasingly worrying campaign, with Jurgen Klopp‘s champions looking devoid of energy, quality and confidence.

Liverpool have a great opportunity to bounce back this weekend, however, as they visit United for another quickfire meeting.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 17, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) with Trent Alexander-Arnold after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. The game ended in a 0-0 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Anfield was a drab affair, but a response is required from the Reds and Klopp may start to take the FA Cup more seriously now.

It is a competition that the German hasn’t shown a lot of love for in the past, but the thought of defeat against Liverpool‘s biggest rivals, at the end of a bad week, doesn’t bear thinking about.

Rotation is to be expected, given the constant stream of fixtures coming the Reds’ way – they have Tottenham away in the Premier League next Thursday – but a spirited display is needed.

Dumping United out of the cup would go some way to repairing the damage done in recent weeks.

 

Team News

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 17, 2021: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool‘s injury woes still aren’t going away ahead of the game, with Jordan Henderson expected to miss out with a groin issue.

The skipper missed the Burnley match and will now be hoping to be back for the trip to Spurs next week.

Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez continue to work hard on their respective long-term injuries, while Naby Keita and Diogo Jota also remain sidelined.

Kostas Tsimikas is available to start Sunday’s clash, should Klopp decide to give Andy Robertson a much-needed rest at left-back.

Changes will no doubt happen in the starting lineup, with youngsters Caoimhin Kelleher, Neco Williams, Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips all potentially featuring.

James Milner and Curtis Jones will also be hoping to return to the midfield, with Thiago and Gini Wijnaldum possibly given the evening off.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Monday, January 4, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St Mary's Stadium. Southampton won 1-0. (Pic by Propaganda)

In attack, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino should come in after being rested from the start in midweek, with Sadio Mane likely to be on the substitutes’ bench.

United have no new injury problems to contend with, but like Liverpool, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is sure to shuffle his pack.

Probable Liverpool XI: Kelleher; N.Williams, R.Williams, Fabinho, Tsimikas; Thiago, Milner, Jones; Salah, Minamino, Firmino

 

Last 5 Away to Man United (All Competitions)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 19, 2019: Liverpool's Adam Lallana celebrates scoring a late equalising goal to level the score 1-1 during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Drew 1-1 – October 2019 (Rashford; Lallana)
Drew 0-0 – February 2019
Lost 2-1 – March 2018 (Rashford x2; Bailly OG)
Drew 1-1 – January 2017 (Ibrahimovic; Milner pen)
Drew 1-1 – March 2016 (Martial pen; Coutinho)

 

Old Trafford

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 19, 2019: A general view of Old Trafford ahead of the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Capacity: 74,140

 

Did You Know?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, March 3, 2020: Liverpool's Takumi Minamino and his team-mates walk out before the FA Cup 5th Round match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As mentioned, Klopp’s feelings towards the FA Cup have been made fairly clear down the years, with second-string teams and youngsters often fielded.

In fact, the Liverpool boss has never even made it into the quarter-finals, summing up how forgettable the Reds have been in the competition.

West Ham sent Klopp’s side packing in a fourth-round replay back in 2016, with Angelo Ogbonna scoring the winner in the final seconds at Upton Park.

The following year, Liverpool were dumped out at the expense of then-Championship side Wolves at Anfield, before losing at home to West Brom in 2018 – both were also in the fourth round.

In 2019, Wolves, now in the Premier League, again proved to be Reds’ nemesis, winning 2-1 in the third round at Molineux, while Chelsea won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in the fifth round last year.

 

Form

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 21, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah looks dejected after missing a chance during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Man United – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 2-1 vs. Fulham
Drew 0-0 vs. Liverpool
Won 1-0 vs. Burnley
Won 1-0 vs. Watford
Lost 2-0 vs. Man City

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Lost 1-0 vs. Burnley
Drew 0-0 vs. Man United
Won 4-1 vs. Aston Villa
Lost 1-0 vs. Southampton
Drew 0-0 vs. Newcastle

 

Klopp’s View

Speaking on Friday, Klopp was in no doubt that his side would be taking the match seriously, as they prepare to head down the M62:

“We want to win the game. It’s a cup game so the game will be decided that night and we want to win this game. That’s how we will make the lineup.

“It’s a different competition and we want to go through so we have to play really well.

“United is in a good moment, get all the results they want so far and so we have to be ready, 100 percent.”

 

TV & Liveblog Info

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 28, 2018: A general view of Old Trafford before the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Everton FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Man United vs. Liverpool kicks off at 5pm (GMT) and is live in the UK on BBC One. Coverage gets underway at 4.30pm.

Ben Twelves is in charge of This Is Anfield’s matchday liveblog, keeping you company from 4.15pm and providing regular updates.


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