Manchester United hosts Premier League leaders, Liverpool. This is a game that could go a long way to defining both clubs’ seasons. What is Solskjaer up to?
For Solskjaer, this is the chance to kick-start their campaign after their worst start to a season in 30 years.
The contrasting fortunes of these age-rivals may be stark. But, the significance of this fixture remains if Solskjaer and Klopp could have their best players fit and firing for just one game.
With an injury list, the international break offered Solskjaer valuable time to patch up his squad off the pitch. The break as well bought him enough time to search for solutions after United’s defeat at Newcastle confirmed their worst start to a season in 30 years.
De Gea, pulled up in innocuous circumstances with a groin injury. This happened while on international duty with Spain.
This cast huge doubts over his availability on Sunday despite Solskjaer revealing that the injury is not as bad as first feared.
De Gea’s news was compounded by confirmation that Paul Pogba will play no part against Liverpool. The French man is yet to shake off an ankle injury that has limited him to only six appearances for United this season.
Romero is set to the rescue for United. The Argentine World Cup finalist has never placed a wrong foot in his role as De Gea’s understudy. He is a shoo-in head of Lee Grant to start against Liverpool in the absence of United’s number one player.
The Left & center back
Luke Shaw has featured three times for United this season. Luckily, the left-back has returned to training after a lengthy hamstring injury. If he passes a late fitness test, he could be brought back into the field though Ashley Young and Axel Tuanzebe may be preferred.
On the other hand, there are chances of the match coming too soon for Shaw. But there’s no doubt that Aaron Wan Bissaka will regain his position after sitting out the last three games with tonsillitis.
Lindelöf got a valuable 90 minutes under his belt for Sweden during the international break. But his inclusion alongside Maguire at center back is not given with Tuanzebe’s form one of few positives in United’s recent slump.
After two months on the treatment table, Martial is in contention to return.
James has excelled out on the left wing in Martial’s absence. Fortunately for Solskjaer, James’ versatility in the attacking positions behind the lead striker makes him the ideal candidate to switch flanks to accommodate the returning Martial.
James could easily start on the right with Martial in his preferred position on the left. Juan Mata could potentially be in the number ten role behind Marcus Rashford.
With the squad in place, we wait to see how United will handle the Reds.