Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has four undroppables for Liverpool clash
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Manchester United welcome arch-rivals Liverpool to Old Trafford this Sunday (4.30pm kick-off) fresh from hammering Roma 6-2, despite trailing 2-1 at half-time of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday night, and have several undroppable players for their north west derby showdown.
United now have one foot in the final on May 26 thanks to a ferocious second-half display against their Serie A opposition.
The Red Devils turn their attentions back to Premier League action as they look to move one step closer to securing a second-placed finish.
The title appears Manchester City’s but finishing as runners-up represents progress for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co. and they must avoid allowing third-placed Leicester to gain ground on them.
United also have the added incentive of potentially killing Liverpool’s hopes of Champions League qualification once and for all, with Jurgen Klopp’s men heading into this game four points off of Chelsea in fourth.
Express Sport looks at four players who United have to start against Liverpool as they look for their second home win against their bitter rivals this season.
No wonder Solskjaer is so keen to keep the veteran Uruguayan, who produced a brilliant performance against Roma.
The 34-year-old is out of contract in June but remains the best choice No 9 after another top-class display of movement, taking his goals well although he also missed a pair of other chances.
Cavani ended the night with a brace and an assist for substitute Mason Greenwood’s strike.
And with Liverpool understrength at the back, the cunning Cavani can seriously trouble Ozan Kabak and whoever lines up alongside him, most likely Fabinho.
Make that 12 goals now for the ex-Paris Saint-Germain centre-forward this term including two in his last three games as well. Watch out Liverpool.
Pogba’s header against Roma was his first goal at Old Trafford in two years and the midfielder was brilliant to dominate proceedings against the Italians.
Though he conceded a penalty for a handball inside his own box, the World Cup winner was at his absolute best right when United needed him to be after that.
In this form, Liverpool will struggle to contain the Frenchman, particularly if they’re having to think about Fernandes and Cavani at the same time.
Pogba will be full of confidence after such a dictating display in Europe and after getting on the scoresheet for the sixth time this season, and in full flow, he’s a nightmare to defend.
Having also supplied assists in all of his last three Premier League starts, before being benched for the dull goalless draw against Leeds, United are simply far more threatening with Pogba in the starting XI.
Hardly the most surprising pick, the fact United boast such a healthy lead over Roma – if they score once in Italy, the hosts must score five unanswered goals – Fernandes has to start vs Liverpool.
That’s despite the fact he hasn’t been rested since the FA Cup defeat to Leicester on March 21.
The Portuguese – who stands on 26 goals and 16 assists in 52 games this season – had begun to tail off in the league, contributing just one goal and assist in his last eight top-flight games.
But he came up with two goals and two assists in a virtuoso display against the Romans, rediscovering his peak level of performance just in time to face their arch rivals.
Having netted the winner in the FA Cup tie with Liverpool, Fernandes would love to put the Merseyside outfit to the sword once more in Salford, particularly if he gets to dovetail with Pogba once more.
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He may not have been at his best defensively against Roma, playing Lorenzo Pellegrini on for the visitors’ second goal.
But Shaw’s attacking play after the break was key to United’s dominance as they flew forward down the left-hand side, though he missed his team-mate Marcus Rashford who was situated on the right.
England international Shaw has been the best left-back in the Premier League this season.
And while Alex Telles is a fine back-up, the 25-year-old former Southampton full-back’s performances against Liverpool in January – in a 0-0 Anfield draw in the league and a 3-2 Old Trafford FA Cup win – prove he should start against the Reds.
Shaw played as well as any defender has against Mohamed Salah this term in the league and was brilliant on the front foot in the FA Cup. United need to keep the 20-goal Egyptian quiet again this Sunday and attack might be the best form of defence.
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