Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has named his Manchester United starting lineup to face Liverpool in the blockbuster Premier League clash at Anfield.
United lead Jurgen Klopp’s champions by three points at the league’s summit and that margin could be doubled with a famous victory on Merseyside.
The Reds have won nine of their last 11 league games but Liverpool haven’t lost at Anfield since April 2017 so a huge test awaits.
Solskjaer has replaced fan favourite Eric Bailly with the fit-again Victor Lindelof in the starting line-up this afternoon.
Many supporters were keen to see Bailly retain his place, crediting the Ivorian as a key part of United’s unlikely rise to the top with impressive showings in recent weeks.
But Lindelof is preferred alongside captain Harry Maguire in defence with Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka at full-back.
Scott McTominay and Fred reignite their partnership in the midfield axis after being rested for the midweek victory over Burnley.
Paul Pogba starts on the left flank after a man of the match performance on Tuesday; the Frenchman’s performance could have a huge impact on today’s result.
Indispensable Bruno Fernandes starts his first game against Liverpool, supporting Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in attack.
Solskjaer also has a strong bench at his disposal with Donny van de Beek, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood all available substitutes.
Man Utd XI to face Liverpool: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes, Martial, Rashford.
A huge game at Anfield awaits – and here's your United starting XI 💪
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 17, 2021
This is our XI for today: pic.twitter.com/gewqK7W3Ze
— UtdArena (@utdarena) January 17, 2021
Surprised Cavani doesn’t start for #MUFC – thought his movement would cause real issues for two makeshift centre-halves.
Not too many surprises though – some big performances needed!
— Will Robinson (@WillRobinsonUK) January 17, 2021
Would've had Cavani in but Martial can pull into that left-hand channel to take on Alexander-Arnold, as Pogba is not a natural winger, and bring Rashford over from the right. Lindelof over Bailly is contentious, to say the least. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) January 17, 2021
Very harsh on Bailly. Maguire and Lindelof against two quick forwards. I hope that doesn't backfire. Feel slightly ill lol
— Jamie Spoor (@jamie_thejourno) January 17, 2021
No matter the line up, back the team and trust the manager on this one. Huge game!!
— LJS 🇾🇪🔴 (@LiamJoeSouth88) January 17, 2021
Three changes from Burnley. Martial ahead of Cavani, Lindelof for Bailly and Cavani misses out for added protection in midfield. Can see why Martial selected ahead of Cavani, he'll be dribbling at Henderson and Fabinho. #MUFC #LIVMUN https://t.co/SEu2rYv4I7
— Brad Cox (@BradJCox_) January 17, 2021
As expected really, with the only change being Lindelof for Bailly.
— Haider Rubbani 🇾🇪🎙⚽️ (@Haider_Rubbani) January 17, 2021
Lindelof and Martial starting when you’ve got Bailly and Cavani on the bench is a decision I hope we don’t regret… https://t.co/MdILpeKusW
— Paterson (@adampaters0n) January 17, 2021
Smart from Klopp to use a team which could easily be a 4-2-3-1 and instead of having 3v3s against a United transition, they can have a 4v3 and be in an advantage. Shaqiri can unlock blocks too.
As for Lindelof, he is better at playing it quickly to the channels than Bailly.
— Kaustubh Pandey (@Kaus_Pandey17) January 17, 2021
What are your thoughts on the lineup? Let us know in the comments below.