Strongest Man Utd XI vs Liverpool: Solskjaer to make Two changes in 4-3-3 formation

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Anthony Martial (groin) and Jesse Lingard (hamstring) could both be available this weekend, with Martial looking the more likely to return to the Manchester United starting XI for the visit of Liverpool.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday that he “thinks” the Frenchman will be fit to feature but said he “hopes, rather than thinks” Lingard will recover.

Both players were set for a return to training on Friday having worked individually during the week and will be assessed ahead of Sunday’s clash at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer added in his press conference that United can cope without the midfield pair, saying that “if they don’t make, it might be the same team we played against Chelsea.”

The interim boss used a 4-4-2 diamond in that FA Cup victory at Stamford Bridge, though that would have appeared to have been a specific ploy to nullify the influence of Jorginho in the Chelsea midfield.

A repeat of that formation is a possibility but we might instead see a return to the 4-3-3 that United played against Spurs, with Juan Mata or – if fit – Lingard used as a false nine to drop into midfield and disrupt Liverpool from the front.

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial started on the flanks in that match at Wembley, cutting inside from the wings and exploiting the space behind left by Lingard.

Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, of course, are further options up front.

Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic look assured starters in central midfield, so the likes of Andreas Pereira, Fred and Scott McTominay will very probably be substitutes at best.

Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly face a three-way battle for the one centre-half spot alongside Victor Lindelof, with Smalling perhaps having the edge after being given the nod in west London last Monday.

Ashley Young and Luke Shaw are strong favourites to start at full-back, where Diogo Dalot is an alternative.

There was no update forthcoming on Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia, who had been ruled out for a “couple of weeks” with niggling injuries a fortnight ago.

Marcos Rojo has been back in training, meanwhile, and could come into contention.

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