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Man United vs. Liverpool – 10 key things to know for FA Cup quarter-final

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The first of two quickfire meetings with Man United comes Liverpool’s way this weekend, as the two rivals meet in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Man United vs. Liverpool

FA Cup Quarter-Final | Old Trafford
March 17, 2024 | 3.30pm (GMT)


Jurgen Klopp‘s side head to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, looking to keep up their hopes of winning all four competitions this season.

While Liverpool may be the superior team, form can go out of the window in this fixture, as the 0-0 draw at Anfield in the Premier League proved back in December.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the game.

 

1. Liverpool’s final game for a fortnight

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, March 14, 2024: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott and Cody Gakpo celebrate the sixth goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and AC Sparta Praha at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The fixtures have come thick and fast for Liverpool, but they can give Sunday’s trip to United all they’ve got ahead of a much-needed breather of sorts.

The FA Cup clash is the Reds’ last match before the international break, with their next outing the visit of Brighton in the league on March 31.

Internationals can feel like a drag most of the time, but this upcoming break will allow key players to return to the side – and give Klopp a chance to reset before his final hurrah.

It’s a case of going full strength and leaving nothing on the pitch at Old Trafford, as Liverpool look to avoid a dispiriting cup exit at the hands of their most bitter adversaries.

 

2. United still unconvincing under Ten Hag

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, May 25, 2023: Manchester United's manager Erik ten Hag during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Chelsea FC at Old Trafford. Man Utd won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ever since Alex Ferguson left United in 2013, the Reds’ rivals have flattered to deceive, having five different permanent managers and not threatening to win major honours.

They have again been mediocre this season, sitting sixth in the Premier League, and new part-owner Jim Ratcliffe could be looking for a change of manager in the summer.

From a Liverpool perspective, it is lovely to see United still floundering, but everyone knows how difficult Old Trafford can be.

Liverpool are favourites, but great sides have struggled at United many times in the past.

 

3. Who’s injured for Liverpool?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 6, 2024: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté (R) and Dominik Szoboszlai during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 1st Leg match between AC Sparta Praha and Liverpool FC. (Photo by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Ibrahima Konate is unlikely to be fit enough to face United, as he continues to overcome a hamstring problem.

Bobby Clark is fine after picking up a knock in the 6-1 win over Sparta Prague, however, while Ryan Gravenberch has trained this week.

Perhaps the biggest injury boost surrounds a trio of absent stars – Curtis Jones, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota.

Jones should be back for the Brighton game later this month, while the latter pair are pushing to return for the league trip to United on April 7.

Nothing has changed with regards to Alisson, Joel Matip, Thiago, Stefan Bajcetic and Ben Doak.

 

4. Predicted Reds lineup

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 21, 2024: Liverpool's Joe Gomez during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Luton Town FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As mentioned, there is no reason for Klopp not to pick his strong possible side, considering there is a two-week break coming up.

With Konate expected to miss out, Jarell Quansah will likely continue, having shown what a reliable partner for Virgil van Dijk he can be.

Joe Gomez could get the nod at left-back, while the excellent trio of Wataru Endo, Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai should make up the midfield.

Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez are all available and expected to feature prominently, too, meaning Cody Gakpo has to make do with a cameo role.

Predicted Liverpool XI: Kelleher; Bradley, Quansah, Van Dijk, Gomez; Endo, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai; Salah, Diaz, Nunez

 

5. Possible Man United XI

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 26, 2023: Manchester United's captain Bruno Fernandes during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Nottingham Forest FC at Old Trafford. Man Utd won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While we don’t like giving United any excuses, they have also been adversely affected by injuries this season, missing plenty of key players.

Important defensive duo Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw – both of whom would usually be guaranteed starters – are both out.

That means Raphael Varane and, if fit himself, Harry Maguire will likely start at centre-back, with youngster Kobbie Mainoo and veteran Casemiro also expected to play.

Alejandro Garnacho and Marcus Rashford will pose a threat out wide, with Bruno Fernandes potentially taking up a false nine role, depending on whether Ramsus Hojlund is fit enough to start.

Possible Man United XI: Onana; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Lindelof; Casemiro, Mainoo, McTominay; Garnacho, Rashford, Fernandes

 

6. Klopp’s press conference

Speaking to the media on Friday, the Liverpool manager took a moment to turn his attention to the Europa League quarter-final draw with Atalanta:

“Tricky, Atalanta. [It’s] not like I’ve watched them 100 times, but they are uncomfortable to play against and very well organised. I didn’t expect any easy opponent.

“[I have a] lot of respect for what Atalanta is doing in the last years so yeah, [they are] very consistent.”

The Reds will come against Teun Koopmeiners over the two legs, with the Dutch midfielder a known target for the club.

 

7. Liverpool’s FA Cup history with United

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 28, 2012: Liverpool's match-winner Dirk Kuyt scores the second goal against against Manchester United to seal a 2-1 victory during the FA Cup 4th Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool and United have a special rivalry across various competitions and Sunday will be the 15th time they have been drawn against each other in the FA Cup.

It was the Red Devils who prevailed in the final in 1977 and they also won in the semi-finals in 1979 and 1985, following replays both times.

Then there was the painful Eric Cantona winner in the 1996 final, as well as a heartbreaking loss at Old Trafford in the fourth round in 1999, following two last-gasp strikes.

Thankfully, Liverpool have enjoyed a little more success since then, with Peter Crouch and Dirk Kuyt scoring winners at Anfield in 2006 and 2012 respectively.

The most recent meeting saw United prevail 3-2 at Old Trafford in the fourth round in 2021, in what was an eerie, behind-closed-doors meeting.

 

8. Did you know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 5, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Salah can often be at his best in the biggest games and his record against United is a testament to that.

The Egyptian has scored 12 goals in 13 when facing Liverpool’s rivals, also registering four assists.

Salah famously scored a hat-trick in the unforgettable 5-0 win at Old Trafford in 2021/22, netting five times at United overall.

It wouldn’t be a shock to see him be the difference-maker once again on Sunday.

 

9. Sunday’s referee

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 27, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez speaks with referee John Brooks during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St James' Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

John Brooks has been confirmed as the referee on Sunday, as he looks to keep control of a potentially feisty encounter.

This is his fourth Reds match of the campaign, with Klopp’s side winning every game.

The first was the dramatic 2-1 victory at Newcastle when he sent off Van Dijk, and he also refereed the 2-1 win away to Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup fourth round and the 2-0 victory at Arsenal in the FA Cup third round.

Meanwhile, Tim Robinson is on VAR.

 

10. Follow Man United vs. Liverpool with TIA

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, January 1, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC on New Year's Day at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-2. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Man United vs. Liverpool is live on ITV 1 from 2.45pm (UK), with kickoff at Old Trafford taking place at 3.30pm.

TIA’s live blog will be in full swing from 2.45pm, too, with Harry McMullen providing up-to-date coverage of the action while handling his nerves at the same time.

Come on you Reds!