English Premiership

Could United 'throw' Manchester derby to deny Liverpool?

2019-04-23 08:46
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (AP)

Cape Town - Could Manchester United 'throw' what is increasingly looking like a title-deciding Manchester derby to extend eternal rivals Liverpool's 29-year wait to lift the English Premier League trophy?

While Liverpool have never tasted success in the current English Premier League since its inception in the 1992/93 season, United have lifted the trophy on 13 occasions.

However, in the all-time list of English champions, United's (20) lead over Liverpool (18) could be cut to a single victory should the Reds emerge victorious this season.

That is the view of many as the two sides square-off at Old Trafford on Wednesday (21:00 SA time) with much on the line for both in the final stretch of the league campaign.

Liverpool have, on paper at least, a much easier remaining fixture list while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side stands in the way of leaders Manchester City.

Sky Sports pundit and United great Gary Neville already hinted at his former side resting key players on Wednesday ahead of their next match against Chelsea in their top-four fight.

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher added to Neville's comments saying that city rivals Everton had already rested their two best players in a 2-0 defeat to Pep Guardiola's side.

United's disastrous 4-0 defeat to, coincidentally, the same Everton side on Saturday, though could throw a wrench in any plans to throw the game as Solskjaer's men now desperately need a win to finish in the top four.

Jurgen Klopp, when recently speaking on the Manchester derby said: "it is not something we can influence, and it does not look like United are in a place to either".

This might be a cheeky comment from the German in an attempt to get a reaction from United who he knows wouldn't mind seeing City finish as league winners ahead of Liverpool.

Ashley Young though believes the derby gives United the perfect opportunity to bounce back from their Everton horror show.

"I don’t think we have to speak about that," Young said.

"We know how important that is going to be. If you can’t get yourselves up for a Manchester derby there is something wrong.

"I’ve got confidence in every player that we are going to be ready on Wednesday."

There is much on the line for both teams heading into the derby as both managers would look to reach their own objectives for the season to be regarded as a successful campaign.

For City, the Premier League title is at stake with Pep Guardiola's men needing to win their remaining four matches to be sure of becoming the first side since United a decade ago to retain the title.

Those days of dominance are long gone for the Red Devils with just a place in the top four and Champions League qualification their target.

However, United also have to restore some sense of pride after their humiliating thrashing over the weekend.

Liverpool currently lead the standing by two points, having played one extra match. They have two of their remaining three matches at home.

City have four matches remaining, but three of those are away from home.

Remaining fixtures:

LIVERPOOL

(Currently: Played 35, 88 points)

Friday, April 26 v Huddersfield (H) - Huddersfield 20th (relegated)

Saturday, May 4 v Newcastle (A) - Newcastle 13th

Sunday, May 12 v Wolves (H) - Wolves 10th

MANCHESTER CITY

(Currently: Played 34, 86 points)

Wednesday, April 24 v Manchester United (A) - Manchester United 6th

Sunday, April 28 v Burnley (A) - Burnley 15th

Saturday, May 4 v Leicester (H) - Leicester 9th

Sunday, May 12 v Brighton (A) - Brighton 17th

 

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