By Emma Sanders
Marcus Rashford and Michael Carrick should start for Manchester United in the best possible XI to face Liverpool – and Antony Martial should be the fall guy.
Rashford and Carrick would come into the side in place of Martial and Wayne Rooney after a string of poor performances has seen them slip down the pecking order.
The England captain was dropped for his country’s clash with Slovenia on Tuesday evening and he should also remain sidelined at club level.
Liverpool’s midfielders have boasted an effective high-pressing style so far this season and Rooney won’t be given the time on the ball he craves in a deeper role.
Instead, Carrick should come into the side to add further protection for United’s back four as Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana bring attacking threat for Liverpool.
Rashford deserves to be given a start in place of Anthony Martial after making a bright start to the season.
The youngster has pace, quality and confidence in abundance and could cause plenty of problems for Nathaniel Clyne at right-back.
Martial has a decent record against the hosts, scoring two goals in four appearances versus Liverpool but despite scoring against Stoke City, he’s not been in top form so far this season.
Juan Mata should retain his place on the right wing, providing service to Zlatan Ibrahimovic who continues to carve his way through Premier League defences.
Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera have been more effective as deep-lying midfielders than Marouane Fellaini and Morgan Schneiderlin but the big-money Frenchman should be moved further forward for the clash against Liverpool.
With Carrick coming in, Pogba should move further forward, where his goal-scoring threat and powerful central drives can be more effective.
The back four picks itself largely on form, with Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia providing strong support from the full-back positions.
Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and David De Gea would be entrusted to guard the Manchester United team from the centre.
In other Manchester United team news, we discuss the expected line-up to feature against Liverpool.