Sports

Sunday Encounter: Will Man Untd’s pace out wide subdue the Reds?

Sports Desk

The great encounter will be on Sunday and probably the biggest in the English Premier side this weekend and a must not miss.

Looking back the Reds had been held to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in Octiber as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer implored one of the most successful tactical surprises of the season.

Moving away from a 4-2-3-1 system for that one match, the Norwegian set his team up in an unusual 3-4-1-2 shape, using Marcus Rashford and Daniel James as split strikers.

It was a move that initially flummoxed their visitors, who needed a late strike from Adam Lallana to rescue a point.

Deploying two wide frontmen with no central pivot is a tactic Man Utd had previously used in 2018/19, but this term Solskjaer has only chosen that strategy against Liverpool.

Out of possession, James and Rashford blocked off passes to the Reds’ full-backs, letting the two centre-backs have the ball.

That forced Jurgen Klopp’s men down the middle, and United were aggressive in the middle third, looking to break up play in congested areas.

The plan was to spring turnovers that stretched the leaders down the channels, and this exact scenario created their opening goal.
Victor Lindelof challenged Divock Origi forcefully just inside United’s half, and Scott McTominay picked up the loose ball before feeding James with a pass in behind left-back Andrew Robertson.
With Liverpool’s back four stretched, James picked out Rashford inside the box to score.

Rashford is an injury doubt this weekend but, irrespective of his availability or the formation Solskjaer chooses, Man Utd will surely look to use similar tactics on Merseyside.

Tendai Guvamombe