Confirmed: United XI to face Liverpool
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has once again made ten changes to his Manchester United XI, this time reverting back to calling on his big-hitting regulars against Liverpool at Old Trafford tonight.
The boss made wholesale changes on Tuesday night in the Premier League when Leicester City were the visitors.
Having beaten Aston Villa in the Midlands last Sunday on the back of the Europa League visit to Italy to play Roma last Thursday night, Solskjaer needed to freshen up his selection after the home defeat against the Foxes in anticipation of a fourth game in a week for the re-arranged heavyweight showdown with Liverpool.
United’s team to face Jurgen Klopp’s top-four chasing side sees those ten changes from the Leicester match. Only Eric Bailly plays his second match in 48 hours having been at the centre of defence for injured skipper Harry Maguire against Leicester.
The captain’s armband, worn by Nemanja Matic on Tuesday night in the absence of Maguire, is tonight worn by Bruno Fernandes.
The boss is hoping that despite a tough ask for the side against Leicester, he has given this latest line-up the best preparation for the game against our rivals.
"Most of the players played on Sunday so they have had a normal Thursday-Sunday-Thursday week," explained Ole to MUTV.
"It was the Tuesday that was the difficult one, right in the middle of that. I put that team in a difficult position as well, making that many changes but they coped really well and hopefully tonight we can see the benefits of that.
"The players have become better at adjusting and adapting. The last few months have been 'let’s wait and see what happens'. Since the start of the pandemic, they’ve coped well with any changes, and they’ve been resting here at the stadium today, preparing," he added.
Dean Henderson is back as United’s Premier League goalkeeper with David De Gea back on the bench.
Edinson Cavani leads the attack, supported by Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, while our goalscorer on Tuesday night, Mason Greenwood, is on the subs’ bench.
United will confirm a second place finish in the Premier League if we win tonight and the boss was asked about the importance of that.
“Oh yes, but any game against a good team or against any team, is a good game for a Man United player to show his worth," he said.
"We also know that big games like this, going into next season and thinking about the final... it's preparing [us]. Every game, every little detail, you can’t switch off, you can’t rest, and what better game than this one?"
Meanwhile, Liverpool are in a dogfight for a coveted Champions League place and also need a win to keep the heat on their fellow challengers.
United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes (c), Pogba; Cavani.
Subs: De Gea, Telles, Tuanzebe, Williams, Amad, Mata, Matic, van de Beek, Greenwood.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, R.Williams, Phillips, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum (c), Thiago, Jota, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Adrian, Kelleher, Mane, Jones, Tsimikas, Shaqiri, Origi, Woodburn, N. Williams.