Manchester United are set to host Liverpool at Old Trafford next Monday.
The Red Devils have had an abysmal start to the season, sitting rock bottom of the league table after two matchdays.
They were humiliated by Brighton & Hove Albion to a 2-1 loss, followed by a 4-0 hammering at Brentford.
Liverpool’s start to the league hasn’t gone as planned either. Jurgen Klopp’s men have played two league games and ended up drawing both of them.
They are already four points behind their Manchester City and playing catch-up for the Premier League title.
Dropping any more points will push the coveted trophy further away from their grasp.
Even though the results haven’t gone their way, Liverpool will enter Old Trafford as a clear favourite.
Based on the current form, any team in the League can defeat United. That’s how low their confidence is at the moment.
The fans are bound to be stressed ahead of this mega clash.
Here are the five reasons why the Red Devils supporters are worried as they host Liverpool.
5. Erik ten Hag’s starting line-up
The problems at Man United run much deeper than on the pitch. But this does not mean you can ignore the mistakes the new manager has made since taking over.
In the first game, he opted to start Christian Eriksen as a false number nine.
With Anthony Martial nursing his injury and Cristiano Ronaldo not 100% fit, it would have been more sensible to play Marcus Rashford or Bruno Fernandes at a centre-forward.
After just six days, Eriksen was given the task of a holding midfielder. He played just ahead of Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez but struggled to adapt to this new role.
Not only this, but Ten Hag has been urged to bench players like Maguire, Luke Shaw, Fernandes, Fred and Scott McTominay.
They have consistently been underperforming but the new manager chose to stick to them in the opening two games.
It will be interesting to see if he hears the calls from outside or opts to ignore them yet again.
4. Manchester United’s players will get overrun
It is no secret that the Red Devils were easily overrun by their opponents last season.
A similar issue resurfaced against Brentford as the Bees ran 109.4 km to that of United’s 95.6 km.
The former Ajax boss responded by cancelling his players’ off day. The reports went on to claim that he reprimanded his players to run an extra 13.8 kilometres (8.5 miles).
Liverpool is a team which is full of dynamism and hunger. It feels like a given that they will easily run more distance than the host.
Another weak performance from Ten Hag’s men seems to be on the cards.
3. David De Gea’s fragility
The Spanish international has been United’s best player in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era. However, his form has been playing musical chairs for the last few seasons.
De Gea suffered a couple of horror moments against Brentford. He let the ball slip through his hands for the Bees’ first goal.
His lack of confidence was palpable after the first mistake. A few minutes later, he attempted a pass to Christian Eriksen who was man-marked, leading to Brentford’s second goal.
Ten Hag prefers a shot-stopper who is comfortable with the ball at his feet.
This style of play is something new for the veteran goalkeeper. At the age of 31, it will be a challenge for him to adapt his game but if want the starting spot, he needs to learn it quickly
2. Klopp’s Gegenpress
Ten Hag won’t change his style of play. He wants his players to have more of the ball and pass it sensibly.
This is where Klopp’s Gegenpressing comes in.
Fred and McTominay’s lack of ability on the ball is often visible.
If Liverpool’s players start pressing United high up on the field, the Red Devils will succumb and give the ball away.
The more times this happens, the higher the probability of creating a goal-scoring chance for the visitors.
Playing a counter-attacking football might be the best option for United, but will they?
1. The Final Scoreline
Liverpool have completely dominated in the previous three Premier League meetings with Man United. The final scoreline reads 2-4, 0-5, 4-0.
Considering how weak United’s defence is, there is every chance that we see a similar scoreline by the full-time whistle.
Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz are in rich form and they will be licking their lips to find the back of the net at Old Trafford.
Klopp’s side are yet to register a win but they haven’t played poorly.
They would have completed a comeback win against Crystal Palace if Darwin Núñez was not sent off for a ridiculous headbutt.
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