Match preview- Pivotal clash in race for second at Old Trafford

By Soccer Blog | Mar 10, 2018

The first of two games that could go a long way in defining Manchester United’s season sees Jose Mourinho’s men host North-West rivals Liverpool in a blockbuster Saturday afternoon clash at Old Trafford. The Red Devils are two points ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s men and a win this weekend could see them cement their hold on second place ahead of their Champions League clash against Sevilla

Mourinho won his first Premier League game as manager from a two goal deficit when United beat Crystal Palace 3-2 last weekend. The Red Devils looked down and out after the Eagles had gone 2-0 ahead through strikes from Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt, but produced a stunning comeback through goals from Chris Smalling, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic to take the game 3-2. It was also the first time since December 2013 that United had recovered from two goals down to win a league clash.

Liverpool drew 0-0 with FC Porto in midweek to move into the last eight of the Champions League for the first time since 2009. Having won the first leg 5-0 in Lisbon, Jurgen Klopp rang in the changes, with the likes of Moreno, Gomez and Lallana all getting starts. Mo Salah, who scored in all of Liverpool’s league games last month, was rested with one eye on the weekend trip to Old Trafford.

Manchester United form last five games & scorers

Palace 2-3 Man Utd (Smalling, Lukaku, Matic)
Man Utd 2-1 Chelsea (Lukaku, Lingard)
Sevilla 0-0 Man Utd
Huddersfield 0-2 Man Utd (Lukaku*2)
Newcastle 1-0 Man Utd

Liverpool form last five games & scorers

Liverpool 0-0 Porto
Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle (Salah, Mane)
Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Can, Salah, Firmino, Mane)
Porto 0-5 Liverpool (Mane*3, Salah, Firmino)
Southampton 0-2 Liverpool (Salah, Firmino)

The referee for this one is Craig Pawson, who also presided over Manchester United’s last defeat (the 1-0 loss to Newcastle). Liverpool’s last game under him was the surprise 2-3 FA Cup loss to West Brom, which makes him an interesting choice of ref for both teams.

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