Manchester United shall be hoping to bounce back from their rough begin to the season after they lock horns with Liverpool on Monday night. Erik ten Hag has suffered a shambolic begin to his Old Trafford reign, with Brentford and Brighton each putting his side to the sword. Next up, Jurgen Klopp’s side…
Manchester United were played off the pitch in each matches against Liverpool last season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was within the dugout when the Red Devils lost 5-0 to the Reds back in October, with Mohamed Salah running riot with a memorable hat-trick.
And Ralf Rangnick was in charge when United lost 4-0 to Liverpool in April at Anfield.
United are yet to kick on under Ten Hag and know that, in the event that they fail to select up all three points, the pressure and scrutiny shall be set to accentuate.
So Express Sport will now take a have a look at three changes we’re expecting the Dutchman to make as he looks to finally get a primary Premier League win under his belt.
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Harry Maguire out and Raphael Varane in
United have given Harry Maguire the advantage of the doubt to date this season, starting the England international despite his erratic performances for club and country.
But with Liverpool up next, now’s the time to make a change.
It emerged earlier within the week that Ten Hag was considering dropping Maguire, despite backing the previous Leicester star to come back good and prove he deserves to be club captain.
Should that occur, Raphael Varane will likely partner Lisandro Martinez on the back.
Martinez had a stinker last outing against Brentford but, given he’s trusted by Ten Hag from their spell at Ajax together, we’re expecting him to maintain his place. When Victor Lindelof returns, nevertheless, it might be a distinct story.
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Bruno Fernandes out and Scott McTominay in
United fans appear to detest the midfield pairing of Fred and Scott McTominay.
Yet the Red Devils are tougher to beat with the duo within the side. McTominay was benched for the match with Brentford and Ten Hag appeared to regret that call when he introduced the Scotland international within the second half.
Bruno Fernandes could now potentially be the autumn guy.
The Portugal international has lost all of his magic in recent months and is a far cry from the player he initially was when he moved from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020.
Taking Fernandes out, and pairing ‘McFred’ together, might be the best way of ensuring Liverpool don’t exploit the Red Devils’ weaknesses in the course of the park.
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Cristiano Ronaldo out and Anthony Martial in
Cristiano Ronaldo being dropped is something that after seemed unfeasible.
But with Anthony Martial now fit again, it’s possible the Portugal international will find himself on the bench.
Martial delivered the products during pre-season, scoring 4 goals, and appeared to also coax the perfect from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.
Ronaldo is an important of the sport but United, with a slicker front three, can pose Liverpool way more problems that way.
It will also send a message to the remaining of the squad that Ten Hag won’t tolerate players not heeding his words behind the scenes.
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Ten Hag previews Liverpool clash
Speaking ahead of United’s showdown with Liverpool, Ten Hag admitted he was trying to see more fight from his players.
“I used to be definitely not glad,” he said, referring to the 4-0 defeat against Brentford last week.
“The essential stuff needs to be good and that has to begin with the best attitude.
“You would like fighting spirit on the pitch and I didn’t see it from minute one.
“The players didn’t play good, loads went unsuitable. You haven’t got to speak about anything [tactical] when the attitude just isn’t right.”
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