Man Utd Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Liverpool
Posted On March 22, 2019
Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Anfield on Sunday
Manchester United return to domestic action on Sunday for a huge test of their character following Wednesday’s Champions League setback in Valencia.
A repeat of the Red Devils’ dreadful performance in the 2-1 loss in Spain will not be considered acceptable when they take on fierce rivals Liverpool at Anfield, with their full reserves of resilience and fight in this United squad expected to be on full display on Merseyside.
Jose Mourinho is struggling to get the best out of his squad right now, and while United have gained successive 0-0 draws out of their last two trips to Liverpool they will need to improve massively to earn another positive result against Jurgen Klopp’s side this weekend.
Up to nine United players could miss out at the weekend as a result of physical issues. Mourinho confirmed on Wednesday that Marcos Rojo’s early withdrawal against Valencia was due to an injury which will keep him out of the trip to Merseyside, adding to the potential absences of Diogo Dalot, Matteo Darmian and Luke Shaw in the full-back spots alone.
Elsewhere, at centre-back, Victor Lindelof remains out with a groin problem, while Chris Smalling also missed the visit to Spain and may be out of action on Sunday too.
Scott McTominay travelled with the squad to Spain on Tuesday and had been expected to play a part in the Champions League but ended up missing the match due to a late complaint and is another doubt for Sunday as a result.
Alexis Sanchez is missing until the New Year due to a torn hamstring, while Anthony Martial’s ongoing muscle complaint is another concern as the trip to Liverpool approaches.
Neither side will be missing any players through disciplinary issues, although another yellow card for United’s Nemanja Matic or Liverpool’s Fabinho would see them miss their side’s next domestic fixture.
All bets are off in terms of United’s potential starting XI given Mourinho’s stinging review of his players’ efforts in midweek.
One thing for certain is that Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford will start after their second-half substitute appearances were described as “changes I didn’t want to have to make” by the manager after Wednesday’s defeat.
Elsewhere David de Gea will return in goal and Nemanja Matic is likely to be recalled in midfield as Mourinho makes big changes again.
The real question marks – besides seeing who can return after injury – surround the potential inclusions of Paul Pogba and Fred in midfield after both underperformed in Spain during the week.
Injuries have bitten for Liverpool ahead of a run of five games in 18 days over the festive period.
Joe Gomez was struck down with a fractured leg at Burnley, and he has been joined in the treatment room by another centre-back, Joel Matip, who has undergone surgery on a fractured collarbone sustained against Napoli.
That leaves the Reds with just two fit senior central defenders. Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk will need to be wrapped in cotton wool over the coming weeks, with only youngsters such as Conor Masterson or George Johnston in reserve.
Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss the Christmas period due to a foot injury while James Milner (muscle cramp) is being assessed at Melwood. Milner would be in line to deputise for the youngster at right-back.
Rhian Brewster and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, meanwhile, are long-term absentees.
The match at Anfield kicks off at 4pm GMT and 11am ET on Saturday, with live coverage available in the UK on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event from 3:30pm. In the US the game will be shown on NBCSN.