Liverpool have been handed a major boost ahead of their return to Premier League action this evening…
The Merseyside giants will be looking to keep the pressure on league-leading Manchester City, who they defeated 3-2 in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, as they welcome their red arch-rivals to Anfield later today.
Jurgen Klopp appears to have a fully fit squad to choose from and now, he has been gifted an even bigger boost as Manchester United are set to be without as many as five first-team stars for this huge encounter.
As revealed by Red Devils boss Ralf Rangnick in his pre-game press conference on Monday afternoon, the visitors will be without Edinson Cavani, Scott McTominay, Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane and Fred.
“Rapha [Varane] didn’t train with the team. He was on the pitch with one of our rehab coaches. But with regard to injured players, we have the same situation that we had in the last two games,” he revealed.
This is great news for Klopp and co as at least four of those five players would normally be part of Rangnick’s starting lineup, if fit.
Shaw and Varane are two key members of the German’s backline, particularly the latter, who is leagues apart from £80m flop Harry Maguire, whilst the English left-back has been in fine form in recent months.
Meanwhile, both McTominay and Fred – dubbed ‘McFred‘ by the Old Trafford faithful – have often been the main pairing at the base of the engine room for Rangnick, and his predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Only four players have featured in more league minutes than the duo this campaign.
Cavani, however, has played a bit-part role following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has recently missed two of their last five matches in the English top-flight.
There’s no doubt that the Uruguayan can still cut the mustard at this level – having scored ten goals in only 13 league starts last term – and on his day, he poses a big threat and it also leaves the visiting cast of United without another frontline option.
With Liverpool needing to pick up further points to maintain their position in the title race, they will certainly feel buoyed by the prospect of facing a much weaker United team later this evening.
Klopp must be buzzing.