Xherdan Shaqiri could hold the key for Liverpool against Manchester United

Sooraj Kamath - Writer 17:55 15/12/2018
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Xherdan Shaqiri

Having won just one game at Anfield in the last five meetings between the two teams in the Premier League, Liverpool will be fancying their chances against Manchester United on Sunday more than ever.

The hosts are at the top of the table and are favourites against a struggling United that went down to Valencia in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Here are some of the tactics that Jurgen Klopp could employ against United:


1512 liverpool v united

It will be extremely hard for Liverpool to break down United’s six-man defence and the answer might simply lie in achieving a numerical superiority by creating overloads on the wing.

Liverpool’s frontline is accustomed to playing narrow and cutting in, rather than going wide and crossing the ball. The full-backs must push high up the pitch to create overloads and allow Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to operate from the half-spaces.

Starting Xherdan Shaqiri in midfield can be crucial here, given how the Switzerland international is equally potent in the half-space and out wide.


The hosts might not be as concerned about holding fort at the back as much as the visitors are, given how impotent Romelu Lukaku has been in front of goal.

However, United can not be underestimated and an in-form Marcus Rashford can hurt the table-toppers on the break.

Assuming Virgil van Dijk sticks to Lukaku for an even match-up in aerial duels, Dejan Lovren and James Milner must ensure that Rashford is isolated and kept in check throughout the 90 minutes.

Milner’s sense of positioning and Lovren’s ability to stick to his man, preventing him from taking too many touches, will be key to Liverpool keeping a clean sheet.

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