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Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool can negate the threat of Bruno Fernandes in their clash with Manchester United by implementing a high press at Anfield.
The Premier League champions head into their showdown with United three points adrift of their bitter rivals, having failed to win in their last three outings.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, meanwhile, are brimming with confidence after avoiding defeat in their last 11 games.
Fernandes has been integral to their success in recent months, creating more chances for United than Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have for Liverpool combined.
Nevertheless, Carragher feels the hosts can reduce the Portugal midfielder’s influence by compressing United in their own half and limiting the space for him to operate in.
The former Reds centre-back said: “Liverpool play really high, especially at Anfield and they almost crush the opposition, they leave no space for them to play and that’s what they’ve done.
“Across European football, I think all of the high pressing teams have dropped off slightly for whatever reason, but I think in the real big games when teams try to take Liverpool on and play football, they have found it really tough.
“I think that’s going to be the case if Man United do, as they normally do, play out from the back.
“I think if you can really compress Manchester United in their own half, you will limit the space for Fernandes.
“That said, he will get space as the game opens up, of course he will. But I don’t think anybody will be designated a role as such to stop Fernandes. I think it will be a case of being as compact as possible and as aggressive as possible.”
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United could be without Anthony Martial on Merseyside after the Frenchman sustained a hamstring problem in their midweek win away at Burnley, meaning Edinson Cavani is expected to start upfront.
As for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp is likely to gamble on the fitness of Joel Matip in defence – despite the centre-back only returning to training on Friday after recovering from injury.
- Jamie Carragher
- Liverpool FC
- Bruno Fernandes
- Manchester United FC
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