Manchester United and Liverpool will both be on the lookout for their first win of the 2022/23 Premier League season when they face off on Monday.

Manchester United and Liverpool will renew their rivalries as the two teams square off against each other at Old Trafford in Matchweek two of the 2022/23 Premier League, in search of their first victory of the season.

Manchester United were hoping to put their woes of the last season behind them and start the new era under Erik ten Hag on a positive note. But just two games into the campaign and they are in crisis mode after back-to-back humbling defeats to Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford. The 4-0 hammering at the hands of the Bees last weekend left the Red Devils at the bottom of the table, although they were replaced by West Ham United in the position on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have made a stuttering start to the campaign hampered by injuries to several players, as they were first held by newly-promoted Fulham to a draw before Crystal Palace managed to take away a point from Anfield last weekend. It means that Jurgen Klopp’s side are already seven points off of leaders Arsenal and five below reigning champions Manchester City and any more slip-ups could spell an early end to their title hopes.

Both teams will be eager to get one in the win column on Monday night at Old Trafford. However, Liverpool might have the edge over their faltering rivals as the Reds thrashed Manchester United 9-0 (aggregate) across their two meetings in the Premier League last season. Ahead of what could be another torrid night for Ten Hag & co., The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.

Team News & Tactics

Manchester United

Manchester United have been boosted by the return to training of Anthony Martial, who could be in contention to play some part against Liverpool on Monday night. However, Victor Lindelof and Facundo Pellistri remain sidelined with injuries. The game also comes too soon for new signing Casemiro, who is all set to arrive from Real Madrid.

Erik ten Hag could make changes in several positions across the pitch following the disastrous performance and result against Brentford last time out. David de Gea, who was terrible in the previous game, will need to put that display behind and step up on Monday night if Manchester United are to stand a chance of picking up a point.

Captain Harry Maguire is likely to be axed after back-to-back poor performances, with Raphael Varane expected to come into the side. The Frenchman should start alongside Lisandro Martinez at centre-back while Diogo Dalot and Tyrell Malacia make up the rest of the backline for the home team.

The midfield department is where the majority of issues exist for Manchester United. With Casemiro yet to arrive, Fred could again find himself starting in the No. 6 role despite his torrid start due to the lack of options. Christian Eriksen could make way for Donny van de Beek, who could add a bit more energy and legs in midfield, with Bruno Fernandes tasked with providing the creative spark.

While Martial is back available, he might not be fit enough to start on Monday night. Hence, Cristiano Ronaldo could again find himself leading the line for Manchester United. Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford are likely to be given another opportunity out on the flanks, although Anthony Elanga could be an option due to his work rate.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): de Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia; Fernandes, Fred, van de Beek; Sancho, Ronaldo, Rashford

Liverpool

Liverpool have several injury issues to deal with as Thiago Alcantara, Diogo Jota, Ibrahima Konate, Caoimhin Kelleher, Calvin Ramsay, Curtis Jones, Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all ruled out of action. In addition, Darwin Nunez will also miss out as he serves a three-match ban after being sent off for headbutting an opponent in the last game.

There is some positive news for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, though, as Roberto Firmino is back available after recovering from his fitness problem. The Brazilian should walk right back into the starting XI, slotting in as the No. 9, flanked by Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz, who will look to exploit a vulnerable Manchester United defence with their pace and panache.

Alisson Becker is a certainty in goal, while Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson are guaranteed starters in defence. With no Matip and Konate, Joe Gomez could get the nod as the second centre-back for the visiting team. The two full-backs will likely be the primary source of chance-creation for Liverpool, especially with no Thiago to pull the strings from midfield.

Fabinho will anchor the midfield for the Reds and look to stifle the threat posed by Bruno Fernandes. He will have support from captain Jordan Henderson who should replace James Milner in the starting XI, while youngster Harvey Elliott takes up the third spot in the middle of the park for Liverpool. 

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Elliott, Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Diaz

Key Stats

  • Manchester United have won just one of their previous 12 Premier League games against Liverpool (D6, L5). 
  • Liverpool have failed to win either of their opening two matches of a Premier League season for the first time since 2012.
  • Manchester United could lose their opening three matches of a top-flight season for only the fourth time and the first time since 1986.
  • Liverpool are unbeaten in all 21 of their Premier League fixtures so far in 2022 (W16, D5). 
  • Mohamed Salah is one goal away from becoming the first Liverpool player in history to reach double figures against United.

Player to Watch

Cristiano Ronaldo

The 37-year-old has dominated the headlines this summer but for all the wrong reasons. Ronaldo, who was Manchester United’s top goalscorer last season, has been pushing to jump ship throughout the transfer window after the team missed out on UEFA Champions League qualification and missed almost the entire pre-season.

The Portuguese maverick has been below par in his two appearances so far this season, and the situation will have only gotten more frustrating for him due to the results. With the transfer window set to close in less than two weeks, it looks like Ronaldo will be staying put at Old Trafford. And it will be important that the veteran striker comes to terms with the situation and focuses on giving his best for the team.

Prediction

Manchester United 1-3 Liverpool

Manchester United have been torrid so far this season and have been torn apart by two teams who, on paper, should not be a match to the Red Devils. And while Liverpool themselves have not been at their best so far, this game could be coming at just the right time for them to kickstart the campaign and make up ground to the top teams.

Erik ten Hag does not have the players he needs to implement his ideologies, and another defeat should be on the cards for him and Manchester United in what could turn out to be a long season for the hosts.

Comments 2

  1. Julius Caesar says:

    I say Manchester United win

  2. My prediction man u 4- liverpool 1

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