July 30, 2021

Shaqiri starts, Henderson at CB for Liverpool

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Xherdan Shaqiri starts for Liverpool against Manchester United on Super Sunday, with Jordan Henderson joining Fabinho at centre-back.

Shaqiri starts for the first time in the Premier League for Liverpool since December 2019, alongside Thiago and Gini Wijnaldum in midfield.

Jurgen Klopp also opts for the same centre-back partnership that lost 1-0 at Southampton in Liverpool’s last Premier League game, with young centre-backs Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips on the bench. Joel Matip is not fit enough for the squad.

Liverpool v Midtjylland - UEFA Champions League - Group D - Anfield
Liverpool's Jordan Henderson during the UEFA Champions League Group D match at Anfield, Liverpool.
Image: Jordan Henderson starts alongside Fabinho at centre-back for Liverpool

Midfielder Naby Keita remains sidelined with a muscle problem which has kept him out since December 19.

For Manchester United, Anthony Martial starts after concerns over his fitness, while Victor Lindelof returns at centre-back to partner Harry Maguire.

Man Utd vs Watford, PA
Image: Anthony Martial starts for Manchester United after a fitness concern

They make three changes from the 1-0 win at Burnley as Fred and Scott McTominay come in for Edinson Cavani and Nemanja Matic.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Henderson, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Thiago, Shaqiri, Salah, Mane, Firmino

Subs: Kelleher, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Minamino, Origi, R Williams, Phillips, N Williams

Man Utd: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, Pogba, McTominay, Fernandes, Rashford, Martial

Subs: Henderson, Bailly, Cavani, Mata, Greenwood, Telles, Matic, Van de Beek, Tuanzebe

Klopp names ultra-attacking team

Sky Sports’ Adam Bate:

“That is an attacking line-up that Jurgen Klopp has named. Jordan Henderson and Fabinho at the back with Thiago in midfield already makes Liverpool look more expansive, albeit slightly more vulnerable too, but it is the inclusion of Xherdan Shaqiri that rams home the message.

“Shaqiri has not started a Premier League game for over a year. It is a dramatic decision in a game of this magnitude and it suggests that Klopp really wants to attack Manchester United. He is backing his players to create the better chances if he can open this game up.”

How to follow

Sunday 17th January 4:00pm Kick off 4:30pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD Sky Sports Premier League HD

Liverpool vs Man Utd will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 4pm on Sunday; kick-off at 4.30pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Free highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

Jones Knows’ prediction

Big match alert.

In situations like this, trying to not get carried away with the pre-match hullabaloo when it comes to finding intelligent betting angles is key. This one has the hallmarks of being a cagey affair.

Liverpool have the best Premier League home record this season – and are unbeaten in their last 67 league matches at Anfield – while Man Utd have the best away record in the division. So, what happens when an immovable object meets a force of nature? Stalemate, that’s what.

Surely “don’t lose” will be the message rather than going all out to win it for both teams, especially in the Manchester United dressing room. A draw will be a huge result for them. If the game gets to 60-65 minutes and is all square, we could see a repeat of what happened in Man City vs Liverpool, where both were happy with a point. I will be backing the draw.

Manchester United travel to Liverpool in this week's Super 6 Extra round. Play for free.
Image: Manchester United travel to Liverpool in this week’s Super 6 Extra round. Play for free

There is value to be had elsewhere though. One area of football betting I have found to be quite profitable in recent years is the cards markets. The stats will tell you that Scott McTominay has yet to be booked this season but he’s made 22 fouls, averaging over 2.2 fouls per 90 minutes. Unsurprisingly, he has made the most fouls without being booked of any current Premier League player this season. If you stretch it back to last season he has now on a run of 31 fouls without a card since being booked after 24 seconds on Boxing Day in 2019 vs Newcastle – which is the quickest booking since Opta started collating data in 2006.

No doubt he will be tasked with breaking up Liverpool’s play in midfield this weekend in what is likely to be a niggly encounter. Liverpool always pack plenty of physicality and punch in their midfield and 12 opposition central midfielders have been booked vs Liverpool in their last 14 Premier League games. At 12/1 McTominay is worth an interest to get carded first, or those that can handle backing short prices in this market should look at the 23/10 for him to be carded anytime.

JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-1 (6/1 with Sky Bet)

ALSO LOOK OUT FOR: Scott McTominay to pick up the first card (12/1 with Sky Bet)