Manchester United will no doubt be facing the toughest test in the Premier League this weekend.
Liverpool currently leads the standings with 14 points. Jurgen Klopp’s team have won 20 of their 21 games and have yet to experience a defeat this campaign.
In addition, Liverpool have not lost to Anfield in championship competition since the visit to Crystal Palace on April 23, 2017.
Obviously, the job at hand seems very difficult for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the boss of United can look for inspiration from a specific player, but who?
The Merseyside club have remained undefeated for such a long period, in large part because the team clearly lacks weaknesses.
Almost all sides have a fairly obvious fall on the ground. Manchester City, for example, is similar to Liverpool in that opposing teams are generally dominated.
Pep Guardiola’s men tend to shoot around 18.4 times per match in the Premier League this season and face only 7.5 on the defensive side.
However, when these opposing shots arrive, they tend to be sharp and relatively easy to score as opportunities usually arise by breaking up the City press and counterattacking in space, as shown below.
It’s often the biggest disadvantage of playing with an aggressive press without the ball, but Klopp’s team is different.
Liverpool are arguably the best at using a high defensive line while limiting the opposing team to shots that are difficult to convert.
Only 55 shots have been made against the Anfield club this season, who are the best in the division. For context, Chelsea is second best with 65, followed by City with 70.
When Liverpool faced Tottenham recently, Jose Mourinho’s players missed two relatively clean chances in the span of eight minutes.
His Heung-Min was the first to be offered a chance to score before hitting over the bar, then Giovani Lo Celso struck away despite his shot close to the six-yard surface, as shown below .
Liverpool only tend to allow opposing teams to take around 8.7 shots per game based on this season. When these chances materialize, it is imperative that they be taken if the Reds are to be stopped.
Mistakes are infrequent, but when they happen, Klopp’s team simply needs to be punished.
Who can make a difference against Liverpool? Marcus Rashford is the player in question.
The united man is able to find the net from tight angles, and he presented his finishing ability before against opponents on Sunday.
When the two rivals last met at Old Trafford in October, Rashford took two hits, one of which was scored. In March 2018, Rashford made two shots against Liverpool and the two found the net. He also settled a number of other big games, including against City in 2016 and Tottenham in 2019.
In addition, since the start of last season, he has scored as many Premier League goals outside the area as he has inside the six-yard area.
Rashford tends to hit the target with his shots about 48.5% of the time, and he is also capable of hitting the ball cleanly with power and technique.
In the end, Liverpool is not punished often enough and although it stems from their defense, it also stems from a lack of composure and the poor finish of opposing attackers.
If United is to return from Merseyside on Sunday with something to show for its efforts, it is crucial that all the plans created are converted, as these do not appear often, particularly at Anfield.