Manchester United welcome familiar foes in the form of Liverpool to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Monday night.
The half-time whistle at the Brentford Community Stadium had barely been blown before rubbernecking onlookers cast their eyes across Manchester United’s upcoming fixture. The Red Devils haven’t won their last eight Premier League games against Liverpool, shipping 13 goals across their past three matches.
Here’s the XI Erik ten Hag may send out in a bid to rectify a dire record against their historic rivals.
GK: David de Gea – Following Manchester United’s humbling at Brentford, De Gea labelled the display “horrible” and “unacceptable” – two words that also described his feeble attempts to stop Josh Dasilva’s daisy-cutter.
RB: Diogo Dalot – During a season-long loan with Milan in 2020/21, Dalot scored more goals and registered more assists than he has mustered for Manchester United since joining the club in 2018.
CB: Harry Maguire – The Manchester United captain’s only Premier League victory over Liverpool came while he was still at Hull City.
CB: Lisandro Martinez – Thomas Frank, Ivan Toney and David Raya were all eager to point out that Brentford targeted the vertically-challenged centre-back. Yet, his other skills may be valued against less aerially robust opponents – particularly without the suspended Darwin Nunez.
LB: Luke Shaw – Following the summer arrival of Tyrell Malacia, Shaw has added competition for a starting berth after a lengthy spell as first-choice.
CM: Scott McTominay – The combative Scotland international has more yellow cards (two) than starts (one) so far this season.
CM: Donny van de Beek – Spotted training alongside McTominay in what could be a new-look midfield for Manchester United, it’s taken a historically dire spell for Van de Beek to potentially get the nod.
AM: Bruno Fernandes – After averaging a goal or assist every 95 Premier League minutes during his first 18 months in England, Fernandes has directly contributed to a goal every 206 minutes since.
RW: Jadon Sancho – The fleet-footed forward used to sneakily watch compilations of the Brazilian icon Ronaldinho while in class. Manchester United fans haven’t often seen Sancho replicate those skills since his Old Trafford arrival.
ST: Cristiano Ronaldo – The club’s 37-year-old problem child last scored against Liverpool while representing Real Madrid in the 2014 Champions League group stage.
LW: Marcus Rashford – The utterly underconfident forward hasn’t scored in a Premier League start since netting against Liverpool in May 2021.