Opinion: Who is United's key man at Anfield?

Manchester United return to action with a trip to historic rivals Liverpool on Monday night and here, our team of club reporters discuss which Reds could make an impact on the result…

ManUtd.com’s James Tuck: “Liverpool have hit nine goals in two home games, so we may need Antonio Valencia’s pace and physicality to shackle their fluid attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho. At the other end, he’ll relish the opportunity to get at stand-in left-back, James Milner.”

ManUtd.com’s Mark Froggatt: “Zlatan Ibrahimovic hasn’t scored in four previous games against Liverpool, with former clubs Juventus and Inter, but I’ve a feeling he’ll break his duck. Klopp’s team haven’t kept a clean sheet in the league this season and Zlatan loves the big stage. He also had the international break to prepare, unlike many of the other players involved.”

Inside United editor Ben Ashby: “Liverpool will press the ball, have high energy and play in our half as much as possible. So counter-attacking at pace will be key. If Jesse Lingard is in the XI I think he’s a player who can be a fast outlet on the break, to carry swift attacks and run at a defence that has conceded the most goals in the Premier League’s top 10.”

ManUtd.com’s Ryan Grant: “Following his heroics on Merseyside in 2014/15, it wouldn’t surprise me if Juan Mata emerged as our key man at Anfield on Monday night. It’s a game and an occasion that requires a cool head, and Juan’s influence could be vital given Liverpool’s new, aggressive style.”

ManUtd.com’s Nathan Thomas: “There is no greater litmus test for a United player than Liverpool away and it’s one Michael Carrick has passed again and again. The Reds have an exciting youthful contingent but sometimes an experienced head is needed and our no.16 could be the man to control proceedings, allowing the likes of Pogba, Lingard and Rashford to flourish.”

ManUtd.com’s Adam Marshall: “I firmly believe Paul Pogba will establish himself as one of the Premier League’s star performers before the season is out. After scoring a belter for France recently, he can show his class on Monday on the big stage and ensure we win the midfield battle.”


@VintageAnder: Juan Mata and David De Gea. Mainly because they have a lot of experience playing against Liverpool and know the winning feeling.
@Ibraholic: Martial, he got two goals against Liverpool last season and I’m hoping he can add to that tally on Monday through his intelligence.
@VivaElzayto: The key man will be Fellaini. A Mourinho tactical masterclass will make him too much for Liverpool to handle.
@AtifRazaAwan: My front six would be Carrick, Pogba, Herrera, Mata, Rashford and Ibrahimovic. The key will be Pogba.
@Mike_Seans: Wayne Rooney has always been a big game player and he might just knock a goal in like he did last time. Clearly knows the rivalry.
@MaximumMartial: Pogba tackling deep and driving forward, like he always does. He will be the key.
@JbMwamjeni: We should play Rashford & Martial at LW and RW… Mata in central midfield. We need pace out wide.
@Dilshannn7: Daley Blind is gonna be turning defence into attack with his incredible reading of the game and ball-playing ability.
@Matamatically: Bailly has been a rock this season and we’ll need another defensive masterclass from him to shut out Liverpool.
@DeGeaed: De Gea has always been key in almost all our games. We can always rely on Dave to save us in a game against Liverpool.

Source: Manchester United Official