How will Liverpool, Man United line up?

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Bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester United lock horns on Sunday at Anfield (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) but both have plenty of injuries to contend with.

[ MORE: Mourinho: “Job done” in UCL ]

United and Jose Mourinho could have up to nine regulars missing as Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling struggle with knocks, while Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool are sweating on the fitness of Trent Alexander-Arnold after losing center backs Joe Gomez and Joel Matip over the last week.

Both Liverpool and United play in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, with the Reds battling to a hard-fought win against Napoli at home and a much-changed United losing 2-1 at Valencia.

It is likely that Klopp could bring in the likes of Fabinho, Daniel Sturridge and Xherdan Shaqiri for this game but given the fact that Liverpool are top of the table, and the magnitude of this game against their fierce rivals, he will likely stick with his best possible XI.

Here’s a look at a possible starting lineup for both teams on Sunday, as Liverpool aim to remain top of the table and United will try to play the role of spoilers.


LIVERPOOL

—– Alisson —–

— Alexander-Arnold — Lovren — Van Dijk — Robertson —

—- Wijnaldum —- Henderson —- Milner —-

—- Salah —- Firmino —- Mane —-


MANCHESTER UNITED

—– De Gea —–

— Valencia — Bailly — Smalling — Young —

—- Matic —- Herrera —-

—- Lingard —- Mata —- Rashford —-

—– Lukaku —–


PL Preview: Manchester United vs Fulham

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  • Man United has won 21 of 23 home matches against Fulham
  • Fulham has won just once at Old Trafford in any competition
  • Fulham has lost six straight PL road games

Manchester United returns home a wounded animal as the Red Devils host Fulham on Saturday (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

The Red Devils have not won in Premier League play in over a month, without victory since a visit to Bournemouth in early November. They are set to take on an opponent they have had much success against in the past, having lost just once at home against Fulham in 23 matches.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

With pressure heaped on Jose Mourinho – needing a vote of confidence via the boss’s own agent to quiet the noise – Fulham could do significant damage to the Portuguese manager should they achieve a rare result at Old Trafford. It would also be a significant boost to the Whites’ relegation battle, currently sitting bottom of the table with nine points, below Southampton and Burnley on goal differential.

Claudio Ranieri has come on board in place of the departed Slavisa Jokanovic and done well to steady the ship, earning four points in his first three matches in charge, instilling a greater defensive discipline within the squad. Still, the Whites have the league’s worst defensive record by a considerable margin, and could be just what the doctor ordered for a Manchester United team that has scored five goals over the four-match winless run.

Manchester United comes into the match with significant questions on the injury front, with Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones all facing an uphill battle to prove fit. Alexis Sanchez and Victor Lindelof have both already been ruled out with longer term problems. Fulham, meanwhile, looks likely to have both Kevin McDonald and Floyd Ayite back fit, although Timothy Fosu-Mensah is not eligible to face his parent club.

What they’re saying

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on Fulham: “The game is not eleven versus zero, it’s going to be eleven versus eleven, with good players on the other side, the position and points [total] don’t say much about [the] potential of the team. They have one of the two most important managers in Premier League history, they have the potential to come here and give us a difficult match.”

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri on Jose Mourinho: “He was the first who sent me a message to say welcome back. He is a very friendly friend. I know him for a long time, when he came to Chelsea and in Italy, and he was very polite with me. He’s a great man, coach, manager.”

Prediction

This is a tough one to predict, as many possibilities are in play. Manchester United could succumb to its most embarrassing defeat of the season if Ranieri can devise a plan to take advantage of a wounded squad, or the talent of the Red Devils could prove too much for a Fulham side that is only recently beginning to build confidence. The latter is more likely, and the young internationals at the head of the United attack will hold serve at home for a 2-1 victory and leave Fulham still with more work to do in the relegation battle.

Mourinho: Manchester United ‘scored four goals, drew 2-2’

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Jose Mourinho had the one-liner after Manchester United gifted a pair of goals to Arsenal, twice battling back to level the score in a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

“We scored four goals, and we drew 2-2,” he said.

[ RECAP: Man Utd 2-2 Arsenal ]

David De Gea mishandled a bouncing shot for Arsenal’s first goal and Marcos Rojo gave the ball away before conceding an own goal with a last ditch effort, but Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard scored equalizers for Mourinho’s men.

“As always we made mistakes, and we paid for those mistakes,” Mourinho said. “Many many times we make mistakes behind and we pay for that. Today was more of the same but we had great spirit. We were a team with people really ready to have a go and fight hard.”

Mourinho left Paul Pogba on the bench to start the game, and handed starts to several unusual players including Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly, and Rojo.

He praised their efforts, in what may’ve been a small dig at Pogba (but perhaps we’re reading a bit into it).

“The feeling of our players going to the limit, being really tired, people that didn’t play all season some of them. Diogo it’s the first start, Rojo the first minute, Bailly after so, so long, Chris Smalling playing in conditions only he, myself, and the medical department know. Everybody giving everything. They were dangerous only when we lost the ball, and we lost the ball badly in dangerous areas.”

United is eight points back of the Top Four, and hosts Fulham on Saturday.

Arsenal unbeaten in 20 after Man Utd draw

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  • De Gea error gifts opener
  • Martial, Lingard score
  • Rojo giveaway previews own goal

Jesse Lingard scored a minute after Marcos Rojo conceded an own goal as Manchester United twice equalized in a 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Wednesday at Old Trafford.

Arsenal has not won a Premier League match at United since 2007, and drops fifth with 31 points. United stays eighth, tied with two teams on 23 points.

Shkrodan Mustafi gave Arsenal a lead, helped by a rare David De Gea error, but Anthony Martial had it 2-1 at the brek.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Goal Decision System helped Arsenal ahead in the 26th mintue when David De Gea couldn’t handle an up-bounding Mustafi header and Ander Herrera‘s clearance was just past the goal line.

United had an answer in the 31st as Leno palmed a Marcos Rojo free kick toward the end line but Herrera kept it in bounds with an industrious effort that went right to Martial.

Rob Holding was stretchered off the field soon after, forcing Stephane Lichsteiner to take his place.

Things took a scrappy turn with five yellow cards, three to United. Nemanja Matic joined Rojo, Jesse Lingard, Mustafi, and Hector Bellerin in the book.

Arsenal found the goal next through a double Rojo error. The Argentine gave the ball away, then charged down Alexandre Lacazette and pushed the ball into his own goal. 2-1, 69′

But Lingard scored in less than a minute! Sead Kolasinac‘s sloppy touch of a loose ball allowed Lingard to poke an equalizer through Leno’s legs.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Premier League Preview: Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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  • Man Utd 10W-1D in last 11 vs. Palace
  • Palace’s last win at Old Trafford came in 2011 League Cup
  • Man Utd leads all-time 36W-10D-7L

Will Manchester United’s young players respond to the latest hail of public criticism from boss Jose Mourinho when the Red Devils host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold, online via NBCSports.com)?

The United manager used part of his prematch press conference to question the character of and rip into the “spoilt” nature of young players like Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, and Marcus Rashford.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

United lost its last match before the break, a two-goal defeat in the Manchester Derby no less, and will be itching to get back in the win column after slipping seven points back of the Top Four.

Palace has earned just one point from the last 18 available, though plenty of that is aided by a fixture list which sees United at the end of Arsenal, Chelsea, and Spurs.

What they’re saying

Manchester United’s Juan Mata on Palace“When they play away also because they defend quite compact and they go for the counter-attack, so we need to be ready for that and we need to know what we’re going to face. We need to try to score, try to win and try to enjoy it. Obviously, we’re always respecting the opponent, and Crystal Palace deserves that respect.”

Crystal Palace’s Roy Hodgson on Wilfried Zaha“I think that his attitude to each and every game, be it a home game here at Selhurst Park against a team lower in the league or whether it’s a top match against the Manchester Uniteds, Cities and Liverpools is that he goes out each time to give a performance, to go and do what he knows he’s good at doing. We try to profit from that as best we can by getting the ball to him and hoping he can weave that magic which he’s capable of and win us the matches. I believe in his abilities.”

Prediction

Who knows what Mourinho is doing with his comments, but United is facing a wounded Palace? The Eagles would be forgiven for looking ahead to Burnley and Brighton, but might Zaha have enough magic to get them a result at Old Trafford? We’ll hand a 3-1 to United.