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Man Utd’s two Liverpool games that could decide the season for both teams

Sunday is the day of reckoning in the FA Cup as Manchester United and Liverpool go head-to-head in a mouth-watering quarter-final tie at Old Trafford. 

Despite seeing the odds stacked against them, the Red Devils will take the field heavily motivated to salvage another underwhelming campaign and hinder the Reds’ pursuit of a historic quadruple. 

As United’s win would have to come at long odds, you can find good non gamstop no deposit bonus offers to bet with on this game, especially if you were to back Erik ten Hag’s side for an unlikely success. 

It’s been over 12 years since the eternal rivals last exchanged tackles in football’s oldest cup competition in front of a crowd, with Liverpool claiming a 2-1 win in 2012.

However, Man Utd came out on top of their last FA Cup encounter against their fiercest rivals, running out 3-2 victors in a fixture contested behind closed doors during the COVID-19-plagued season in January 2021.

With Ten Hag’s side out of contention for other titles, replicating that success is the only saving grace for the under-pressure Dutch manager, who ended United’s six-year title drought last term.

After lifting the League Cup crown in 2022/23, he has set his sights on leading the Red Devils to their 13th FA Cup title, but overcoming a high-flying Liverpool could prove a huge ask.

Speaking to the press in the build-up to Sunday’s showdown, the 54-year-old confirmed Man Utd will not consider selling out-of-form Marcus Rashford, as quoted by the Sun

Although the relationship between the pair has not been the best, the 26-year-old forward could be United’s most lethal weapon as they bid to bust Jurgen Klopp’s endeavour to complete a cup double. 

Pivotal Contest

For Man United, the scenario is simple – beat Liverpool and enter the semi-finals or settle for a seventh trophyless campaign in eight years.

Ten Hag can ill-afford the second option amid intense speculation surrounding his compromised future at Old Trafford. 

According to Mail Sport, United could welcome up to five first-team stars back from injuries for Sunday’s crunch meeting, including standout striker Rasmus Hojlund. 

After being handed such a significant fitness boost, Ten Hag will have no excuse for a potential failure. 

Man Utd will need all hands on deck to knock Liverpool off their perch, with Klopp’s side touching down in Manchester on the back of a nine-game unbeaten run across all competitions (W8, D1).

The most notable of those wins was a 1-0 extra-time triumph against Chelsea in last month’s League Cup final, marking the first step toward a coveted quadruple. 

But the FA Cup is an essential part of that equation. United could disrupt that on Sunday if they can end a two-game scoring duck in this fixture. 

Going unbeaten in four of their last five outings at the Theatre of Dreams will keep the home side’s spirits high, as will the fact they’ve not lost an FA Cup tie against Liverpool at home since 1921.

Double Blow on the Cards

Even if Sunday’s match goes sideways, Man United will have another chance to spoil Klopp’s party plans when the two sides meet in Premier League action on April 7.

While it’s a near-certainty United will not feature in the Champions League next season, Ten Hag’s men can’t give up hope of hauling back an eight-point deficit on fourth-placed Aston Villa down the final stretch.

Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford at the start of next month will have a lot riding on United’s top-four bid, let alone the Reds’ effort to end Manchester City’s three-year tenure. 

Since a single point separates the top three sides, there’s virtually no margin for error. That’s where United could throw a spanner in the works and land a substantial blow on the Reds’ title aspirations. 

The motivation is anything but altruistic. Liverpool can draw level with Man Utd at 20 Premier League titles each if they conquer the division this season, something the Red Devils desperately want to avoid.

Luckily, Ten Hag’s side will have a perfect opportunity to interfere.

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