This Sunday promises to be an incredible day for football fans. There are heavyweight clashes all over Europe, and none of them will be as hotly contested as when Manchester United welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford, even with the Carabao Cup final on the same day.
In that huge clash, there will be individual battles all over the park and one of those will be the two industrious wingers looking to bring flair, width and goals to their side in Anthony Martial and Sadio Mane. The Anfield star has scored in his last four Premier League outings whilst Solskjaer’s arrival has revitalised the Old Trafford ace and he now looks like a different player to the one under Mourinho.
When he’s on his game, Martial is one of the deadliest players in the world when he has the ball at his feet. We all saw what he can do when he starred in United’s recent 3-1 win over Fulham, the Frenchman carried the ball from the halfway line, kinking past defenders at Craven Cottage before finishing with aplomb cooly into the bottom corner, and United fans will be desperate for the same against the Reds.
This season has been a strong one for Martial so far. After looking like the negative football under Jose Mourinho was affecting his game the Frenchman had a spell in October and November when he bagged six goals in five Premier League outings, and whilst he may have only four goal involvements in seven league games under Solskjaer, he’s become a serious threat off the right and even when he doesn’t score he has a huge impact.
TT GRADE: A
Sadio Mane was the main man at Anfield for one season before Jurgen Klopp looked to bring in another African superstar in Mo Salah. However, Mane is still a world class player and offers plenty to this free-flowing Anfield side. Mane’s 12 Premier League goals speak for themselves and with four in his last four the Senegalese sensation heads into this Old Trafford clash in red hot form.
If Jurgen Klopp is to inflict Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with his first domestic defeat as the United boss then Mane will have to be at his very best. It certainly won’t be easy though, and despite the Liverpool man’s recent form, he’s far from clinical. Against Bayern Munich, in the week the ex-Southampton star could easily have walked away with a hat-trick, yet poor finishing let him down and that is something he can’t allow to happen twice in the week in this crucial crunch match.
TT GRADE: B
Both Klopp and Solskjaer will be relying heavily on Martial and Mane respectively in the tie to provide width. It’s sure to be an interesting match-up but given the freedom that Martial has been getting in the current United set-up, the Frenchman is more likely to make an impact on the game than his Senegalese counterpart, especially with the home fans ready to get behind the 23-year-old.
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