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Man United vs Liverpool: open players must work, says Keown

KEOWN TALKS TACTICS: Man United need a slap in the face before taking on Liverpool … open players MUST work backwards or Klopp’s men will blow them away

  • Manchester United prepare to welcome their rivals in form, Liverpool
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is on the brink and the results have not been good enough
  • United’s wide players must do their bit and face Klopp’s men
  • United have come back to win 15 games since the start of last season


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This Manchester United needs a metaphorical slap before they start playing.

Giving in elicits a real response from your players. Against Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday, they lost 2-0 after a miserable first half, but won 3-2 after an inspired second half.

Surprisingly, they have come from behind to win 15 games since the start of last season. Comebacks are great entertainment, as are last-minute winners, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United need to control the games.

Manchester United will have a lot of work to do ahead of Liverpool's visit on Sunday

Manchester United will have a lot of work to do ahead of Liverpool’s visit on Sunday

To be successful, they must get more out of Bruno Fernandes and his wingmen, who are not doing enough defensively.

They’re great at advancing, but if you’re going to be champion, you need those players to be outstanding on and off the ball.

There has been strong criticism of United’s midfield, but Scott McTominay and Fred were pulled to deal with running backs because Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood were not returning.

That left huge gaps in the middle. It was too large an area for McTominay and Fred to cover, particularly without the help of Fernandes.

United cannot start the game on Sunday as they did against Atalanta in the middle of the week

United cannot start the game on Sunday as they did against Atalanta in the middle of the week

United cannot start the game on Sunday as they did against Atalanta in the middle of the week

United have conceded in their last 12 home games in all competitions, their longest streak without a clean sheet at Old Trafford since 1964.

They cannot start Sunday’s game against Liverpool like they did against Atalanta.

The selection is key and after Paul Pogba’s performance from the bench on Wednesday, he will surely have to return to midfield two.

Be it Pogba, or whoever Solskjaer prefers, without the defensive help of their colleagues in those wide positions and Fernandes, Liverpool will blow United’s mouths.

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