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Manchester United vs Liverpool FA Cup quarter-final – stats, team news, line-ups

A place in the FA Cup semi-finals is up for grabs as Manchester United and Liverpool lock horns in the latest chapter of their long-standing rivalry on Sunday.

It’s been over 12 years since these two English heavyweights last clashed against each other in this competition in front of a crowd, but you can also watch this FA Cup game live from the comfort of your home.

This fixture is a potentially season-defining moment for the Old Trafford outfit, especially their manager Erik ten Hag, with nothing but a top-six finish in the Premier League left to play for elsewhere.

Despite beating relegation-battling Everton 2-0 at home last weekend, United’s situation in the English top-flight has barely improved as they still trail fourth-placed Aston Villa by eight points.

After a busted League Cup title defence and a disastrous Champions League group-stage exit, lifting the FA Cup crown for the 13th time could be the Dutchman’s only saving grace.

However, high-flying Liverpool will take the field confident of stopping him in his tracks following a 6-1 romping of Sparta Prague in Thursday’s Europa League action. 

Jurgen Klopp’s side have secured a place in the quarter-finals of Europe’s second-tier competition as 11-2 aggregate winners and now switch their attention back to domestic duties.

The Reds climbed to the top of the League Cup last month and need a win here to stay in contention for a historic quadruple, which would be the best parting gift Klopp could offer the Anfield faithful in his swansong season.

Match Preview

Man Utd have blown hot and cold across their last five competitive outings (W3, L2), casting doubt on their hopes of outperforming Liverpool at home for only the second time in four attempts (W1, L2).

Worryingly for Ten Hag, goals have recently been at a premium for United in this fixture, as they’ve failed to get on the scoresheet in four of their last six games against the Reds (W1, D1, L4).

That run includes a scoreless league draw at Anfield in mid-December, which saw them fend off the Merseyside powerhouse despite facing 34 shots and allowing their rivals to generate a 2.64 xG.

But Old Trafford could be the perfect setting for Man Utd to flip the script, considering they’ve not suffered a 90-minute defeat on their own turf in the FA Cup since March 2015.

United’s eye-catching home record in the FA Cup is not the only source of concern for Liverpool, whose last victory at Old Trafford in this competition dates back to 1921.

They have since lost five of their six FA Cup visits to the Theatre of Dreams, including a 3-2 defeat during the COVID-plagued 2020/21 campaign.

However, after only losing once in their last 21 matches across all competitions (W16, D4), the Reds will make the 30-mile trip up the M62 in high spirits.

Klopp himself will relish this journey. He has re-established Liverpool’s dominance in this fixture, with his side being beaten by Man Utd only three times since January 2016 (W7, D8).

Team News

In addition to long-term absentees Anthony Martial, Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez and Mason Mount, Man United will be without senior left-back Luke Shaw and teen prodigy Omari Forson.

Ten Hag remains optimistic about having Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire back in the fold, with the latter likely to be handed a starting berth if passed fit.

As for Liverpool, the list of absentees is long. Alisson, Diogo Jota, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Curtis Jones, Thiago Alcantara, Stefan Bajcetic and Ryan Gravenberch are out.

Despite dealing with a minor muscle problem, Ibrahima Konate will probably partner with Virgil van Dijk at the heart of Klopp’s backline.

Manchester United vs Liverpool Potential Line-ups

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Andre Onana; Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof; Kobbie Mainoo, Casemiro; Alejandro Garnacho, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford; Rasmus Hojlund.

Liverpool (4-3-3): Caoimhin Kelleher; Conor Bradley, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez; Alexis Mac Allister, Wataru Endo, Dominik Szoboszlai; Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Diaz. 

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