Match Preview & Red News: Manchester United v. Liverpool

5:00 PM WAT at Old Trafford, Manchester
manchester-united

Manchester United
11-3-6, 6th Premier League
liverpool

Liverpool
13-2-5, 2nd Premier League

Sunday’s big Premier League match against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Jan 15, 2017 will kick off at 16:00 GMT. Ahead of the weekend Premier League action, I’ll give you some Red news as Sunday draws near.

Manager Jose Mourinho hopes to have United’s top scorer and Swedish star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and sleek Argentine left-footed defender Marcos Rojo available for Sunday’s clash against arch rivals Liverpool.

Ibra & Rojo

Ibrahimovic missed the EFL Cup semi-final first leg with Hull due to illness and Rojo may have recovered after a muscle strain. Rojo’s fellow defender Eric Bailly is on Ivory Coast duty at the African Nations Cup, while Luke Shaw is pushing for a recall after returning to training this week.

Manchester United and Liverpool (The Red Devils & The Reds) are likely to field the lineups below: 

United provisional squad: De Gea, Romero, Valencia, Fosu-Mensah, Jones, Smalling, Rojo, Darmian, Shaw, Blind, Young, Fellaini, Carrick, Herrera, Schweinsteiger, Pogba, Lingard, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Rashford, Ibrahimovic, Rooney.

Liverpool provisional squad: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Can, Firmino, Lallana, Coutinho, Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Klavan, Gomez, Moreno, Lucas, Stewart, Origi, Sturridge, Woodburn.

Team News

During Mourinho’s post-match press conference following the 2-0 success against Hull City, he said that Ibrahimovic is likely to be available after illness forced him to miss the EFL Cup semi-final on Tuesday. United will still be without black stallion Eric Bailly, who’s about to start the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast (he’ll face Togo on Monday)

mourinho-press-conference

Mourinho spoke to MUTV before his press conference and gave this fitness update on Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “I think they are available. I cannot confirm with 48 hours to the match but I think so.” He later said in his press conference: “I think they are closer to being ready than not being ready.”

This will be the 50th Premier League meeting between Manchester United and Liverpool – United have won 27 of the previous 49 (D9 L13). Liverpool have lost 11 of their last 14 visits to Old Trafford in the Premier League, winning the other three.

Awards For Ibra & Micki

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was presented with the Premier League (EA Sports) Player of the Month award for December, 2016. United have won their last nine games in all competitions with help from the Swede, Ibra, who scored five goals and made three assists in five Premier League appearances in December, 2016.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan was presented with the Premier League (CARLING) Goal of the Month award for December, 2016 after the Armenia international, Micki, scored a sensational scorpion kick in a 2-1 win against Sunderland at Old Trafford.

ibrahimovic-mkhitaryan-scooped-premier-leagues-player-and-goal-of-the-month-awards-for-december

Photo L-R: Manchester United duo of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scooped the Premier League’s Player and Goal of the Month awards respectively after their impressive December, 2016 performances.

Mourinho’s Message For United Supporters

“What I want, I have from them, since day one. What I want is for them to be with the team. Now, it’s just a question of trying to have a little bit extra in a match that, for them, means a little bit more. We play at home, so it’s a huge percentage of our fans compared with Liverpool fans, so they can give us that little bit extra to make the game a bit more special for us.”

After netting his 249th goal for United, in last Saturday’s FA Cup win against Reading, Captain Wayne Rooney could specially (Mourinho’s ploy) make the Sunday big game against Liverpool at Old Trafford. And even more special, Rooney make make history on Sunday by breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time goalscoring record. And what a game it would be to do it in! Rooney would’ve made my day if he breaks Sir Bobby Charlton’s record and we do in, on Liverpool – all in one fell swoop.

What a big match that will be!

That’s the end of the Sunday match preview and red news . . .

Up Man U!

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