By Andy Hyslop
- Carrick, Jones ruled out
- Schweinsteiger makes return to training but a doubt to start game
- Van Gaal looking to make it four wins out of four against Liverpool
Both teams come into this game on the back of 3-3 draws in the Premier League midweek games. United drawing at Newcastle on Tuesday and Liverpool with Arsenal on Wednesday.
A win in this one for United would make it four wins out of four for Van Gaal against Liverpool, you could even say five out of five if you include the win over Liverpool in Van Gaal’s first pre-season in American.
The three previous league encounters for Van Gaal against Liverpool has seen him come up against Brendan Rodgers. He now comes up against Jürgen Klopp for the first time in England.
They are no strangers to each other, having come face-to-face with each other in Germany. At the moment the score between the two managers is two wins apiece.
Manchester United are still missing long-term injury victims Shaw, Valencia and Rojo. And they also be without Phil Jones and Michael Carrick once again.
Bastian Schweinsteiger missed the draw with Newcastle with a knock he picked up against Sheffield United. He has returned to training but Van Gaal has questioned whether he will be fit enough to return to the starting line-up.
Memphis has impressed with his last two performances from the bench but will that be enough to earn him a place in the starting line-up.
While Van Gaal has also suggested that Januzaj may be fit enough for a place on United’s bench having returned from his loan spell with Dortmund. The Belgium youngster has been working on his fitness at United’s Carrington training base.
Injuries in defence mean that are like to see the same back four as against Newcastle. While despite the managers comments about Schweinsteiger’s fitness we would be surprised if he didn’t partner Schneiderlin in the centre of midfield.
The importance of the game may persuade Van Gaal to take a risk on the German’s fitness, knowing that United wil be more solid with combination of Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin.
United will need their attacking players to put in a defensive shift for the team, therefore we think that Martial and Lingard will get the nod ahead of Memphis and Mata on the flanks.
Since the arrival of Jürgen Klopp at Anfield they have had some impressive performances and results but the majority of those have come away from home.
Liverpool may look to adapt the tactics that have brought them success in those away games. They have struggled to breakdown a number of teams at Anfield.
Therefore we can see Liverpool inviting United onto them and trying to hit them on the break.
Like United, Liverpool come into this game with a number of injury concerns. They are missing Lovren and Skrtel in defensive areas.
Whilst in attacking areas they are missing Coutinho, Origi and Sturridge. Meaning either Benteke or Firmino are expected to lead the Liverpool attack.