Liverpool will attempt to become the second team to beat Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday following Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League victory at Old Trafford.

A composed 2-0 win, featuring goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe for the Ligue 1 giants, won the admiration of Jurgen Klopp.

But the Liverpool boss is unsure to what extent the circumstances of that game can be replicated after United were derailed mid-match by injuries to influential attackers Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial – both of whom are in line to return as Klopp's men aim to avoid defeat and return to the top of the Premier League.

"Result-wise [PSG] were the only team, but Tottenham played a pretty good game against United to be honest," he told a news conference, referencing United's 1-0 win at Wembley where goalkeeper David de Gea excelled.

"PSG were pretty cool with the ball, passed a lot, they were really confident, good positioning, passing through the lines and scoring in the right moment."

United returned to winning ways with a superb 2-0 triumph at Chelsea in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday.

Klopp felt that showed how much the injuries to Lingard and Martial hindered Solskjaer when he was forced into changes on the run, in contrast to the smoothly operating game plan he put together for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

“You saw against Chelsea that United could play pretty well without Lingard and Martial. That was a proper line-up with [Juan] Mata and [Romelu] Lukaku coming in.

"But changing in the game is different and you cannot really adapt. They played the last six or seven games before that with the same line-up and then they had to adapt in 15 minutes, and it didn't really work out.

"PSG used that, it was a bit of luck for PSG but they played a really good game. They were very demanding, looked in charge in most situations and didn't give a lot of counter-attacks away, which is a very big thing against United.

"Whichever line-up they have, whoever they play will attack quickly on the offensive wings. You need to be 100 per cent concentrated, and PSG did well, scored good goals in the right moments and that always helps in football."

Klopp will welcome back Virgil van Dijk after his star centre-back sat out Tuesday's 0-0 draw at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League through suspension.

Fellow defenders Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez remain sidelined, but the former Borussia Dortmund boss reported fitness concerns are decreasing elsewhere in his squad ahead of a pivotal period in the season.

"Dejan is not in, Joe is not in, and I think pretty much all the rest are in training," he added.

"Rhian Brewster is only in little parts, Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] is in bigger parts but not ready to play. The rest should be.

"Usually now I get a message that somebody is ill, so I am a bit nervous about that, but until now I didn't hear anything!"

Jurgen Klopp feels it is "not possible" for Manchester United to appoint anyone but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their next manager.

Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday aiming to return to the top of the Premier League, but will face a United side revitalised under Solskjaer.

Defeat at Anfield in December proved the final act of Jose Mourinho's tenure and the Red Devils have won 11 games out of 13 in all competitions under caretaker boss Solskjaer.

Following such a scintillating run of form, which has fired United into the FA Cup quarter-finals and right back into the fight for a top-four finish in the Premier League, Klopp believes any alternative long-term appointment would be on a hiding to nothing.

"Now there is no doubt that he will be the manager next year as well," he told a pre-match news conference.

"Can you imagine a situation where they bring in a new manager and the new manager loses one game? That is, of course, not possible.

"He deserves that 100 per cent. He done everything that you have to do to be successful with them."

Klopp was keen to stress he meant no disrespect to Mourinho when observing United made a necessary change after a humbling loss on Merseyside.

"The way they play is obviously different now," he said. "You will probably make a story of it that it sounds like [being] disrespectful to Jose Mourinho and there is no need for that because he is an outstanding manager.

"It looked like, in the end, they had a difficult time together and they found a solution for them, how they want to improve that situation and it obviously worked out.

"Since Ole was there, pretty much everything has changed."

One change that certainly has not escaped Klopp's attention is Paul Pogba's stunning return to form.

"We see the Pogba that Manchester United signed a couple of years ago. The guy is in outstanding shape," he said.

"All the offensive players who were there, they were good before but they are full of confidence and use all their potential. It makes a big difference.

"That's how it is. Sometimes you need to make changes and often in football it's the manager. Sometimes it helps and in this case obviously it helped.

"It's a different side, a different style but it's still United. They have all different ways in their tool box to get results.

"They can defend deep, they can use high pressure in different moments. All that stuff is there, it's all good."

Klopp sees parallels between his own move from Mainz for a defining spell at Borussia Dortmund and Solskjaer's switch from Molde in his native Norway to prove his credentials in elite-level coaching.

"Of course, he has shown he belongs at this level, it's clear. We all need luck in our managerial career," he added.

"When I went from Mainz to Dortmund people said I had no international experience.

"It was true but it's not something you can buy, you have to make it. If Ole is not a former player of Manchester United he would not get the move from Norway, that's clear.

"But if you get the chance you have to use it. He's shown everything that you need together with his coaches. They made a few smart decisions and it worked out."

"I am really happy for him that he got the opportunity to show his quality. It's not the best news for us, obviously. For all Man United fans, it's obviously brilliant."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called on Manchester United to deliver a "controlled" performance against Liverpool in a fixture he knows well.

United's interim boss scored a famous winner against Liverpool in 1999 in an FA Cup tie at Old Trafford, and he will now hope to guide the Red Devils past a side that defeated them 3-1 in Jose Mourinho's last game in charge.

But while understanding the enormity of the match for all involved, Solskjaer is keen not to get too caught up in the emotion of the occasion.

"I've played a few of these myself so I know the magnitude of it for the fans, for everyone who works here, for the staff," he told a news conference.

"There have been many comments about how this is the big one, on to this one, looking forward to this one. It's our job to be focusing and channelling all of that energy into performance mode when we start the game on Sunday.

"It's not about emotions. I understand that emotion can be brought into it, but we have to stay focused and controlled - with some fight in us, as well."

Much of the focus is on Liverpool's Premier League title bid, but Solskjaer insists it is a massive game for his side too.

"For them, it's a big game. For us, it's a big game," he said. "We want to be among the top four and we're playing Liverpool. We know how big that game is for Man United.

"We're just looking forward to another challenge for this team, because we want to build this team to be worthy of Manchester United's history and it's another step if we can do that at home, after Tottenham away, Arsenal away, Chelsea away, where it was fantastic to win those three."

And the United boss claims to have little interest in the title race, where rivals Liverpool and Manchester City are battling for top spot.

"I'm not really focusing on the [other] teams and what they're doing," he said. "I'm focusing on us and what we have to do to get to where we want to be.

"It's a three-horse race at the top and a three-horse race for the fourth position. That's my focus and, of course, this game."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer plans to ensure Manchester United are not blunted when opposition teams shackle Paul Pogba in future.

Pogba was man-marked as United were beaten by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last week, with the influential midfielder struggling to impact the game before a late red card.

Solskjaer again praised Pogba, whose domestic form has been outstanding in recent weeks, ahead of United's crunch clash with Liverpool and he claims both the team and player will be better for the experience of suffering against PSG.

He believes other opponents might follow suit after the Ligue 1 champions identified a way to stop Pogba, meaning United must come up with a different way of playing.

"[Pogba] is a top, top player I've always liked, ever since I saw him as a kid," Solskjaer told a news conference. "He's a World Cup winner, a leader in the dressing room, he wants the ball all the time.

"My idea was to get him playing to the best of his abilities as an attacking midfielder.

"You saw that PSG man-marked him - other teams probably will, although I don't know if Liverpool will. If they do, he will have experienced that.

"That was what they [PSG] did to stop Paul. It created space for others and we need to be ready for that."

Pogba and Marcus Rashford have been two of the key men under Solskjaer, but the United boss was keen to point out that others in the team provide a platform.

"[Pogba and Rashford] are young enough to stay here for many, many years, we hope," he said. "But then you've got [Nemanja] Matic and [Ander] Herrera that make Paul's job what it is.

"You have got to complement each other. You cannot put 11 [Cristiano] Ronaldos on the pitch and think you're going to win a game, or 11 [Lionel] Messis, because you're not.

"It's all about complementing each other's attributes and I think we've found a good balance in the midfield."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful he will have Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard available again when Manchester United host Liverpool on Sunday.

Both Martial and Lingard were forced off during United's Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain last week, with Solskjaer initially suggesting the pair could be out for up to three weeks.

But the two key men are potentially back in contention for this weekend's crunch clash at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer revealed that Martial is closer to full fitness than Lingard, yet he hopes to be able to call on both men against rivals Liverpool.

"I hope and think Anthony will be ready and I hope Jesse will be ready because it's two different injuries," Solskjaer told United's official website.

"So maybe more hope than think, with Anthony as well, but he's got a chance.

"Anyway, we still hope Jesse could be ready. Let's see. We've still got a couple of days' training left and they need to be part of it."

Manchester United star Paul Pogba can become the best player in the world, according to Nemanja Vidic.

Pogba, 25, has starred for United since caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho at the helm in December, contributing directly to 15 goals (nine goals and six assists) in 12 games in all competitions.

The France midfielder had appeared set for an exit from Old Trafford before Solskjaer's arrival, but the Norwegian has got the best out of Pogba and his form has helped United move up to fourth in the Premier League.

In an interview with Omnisport, Vidic, who was speaking on behalf of TAG Heuer, the official timekeeping partner of the Premier League, said Pogba was capable of becoming the world's leading player.

"I think even when I was playing at a club, what you want from your leaders is you want them to be an example," the former United defender said.

"You don't want them to talk - sometimes yes, to be encouraging towards the players - but you want them to be an example. I think Paul is a great player, has a great talent and he's showed how good he is.

"But if he starts running and doing things he does I think he can even maybe aim for other things – individual awards and maybe get even to be the best player in the world."

Vidic and Pogba were briefly at United together before the latter left for Juventus in 2012.

The former Serbia international believes Pogba has recently shown just how important he is to the Premier League club in his second spell.

"He was in the reserves when I was at the club. He trained at the time with us a few times. He was always technically good, very physical, he has a presence on the pitch," Vidic said.

"He has as well some difficulties in the beginning and maybe recent times, but in the last few weeks he's playing some great football. I think he's one of the leaders in the team.

"If he keeps performing like he's performing, running up and down like he's doing, I think he's showing examples to other players. I think that's very important from the quality players, players who have some reputation like Pogba has, with winning the World Cup, playing for Juventus, winning trophies.

"Some players are looking towards him and so if he does these things, I think other players will do even more than him.

"In terms of that, I think sometimes even if he doesn't perform well I think his character is very important for the team."

:: Nemanja Vidic was speaking on behalf of TAG Heuer, official timekeeping partner of the Premier League, to promote the TAG Heuer Premier League Pressure Test (

There is plenty to play for as bitter rivals Manchester United and Liverpool prepare to go head-to-head in a Premier League blockbuster at Old Trafford on Sunday.

United have the chance to extend their unbeaten streak in the league to 10 games, while Liverpool can move ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table.

The Red Devils are a rejuvenated force thanks to caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and, while they are all but out of the title race, they can still have a major say on where the trophy ends up in May.

Ahead of the mouth-watering showdown in Manchester, we pick a combined XI from the stellar line-ups of two fierce foes.


Goalkeeper: David de Gea (Manchester United)

One of the Premier League's best and most consistent keepers, De Gea gets the nod ahead of Reds shot-stopper Alisson.

Liverpool have conceded 15 goals this season since Alisson's big-money arrival from Roma, 20 fewer than United. However, De Gea's quality over the years is undisputed. The Spaniard has also kept four clean sheets and let in only seven league goals since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho after the December edition of this fixture.

Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Local boy Alexander-Arnold broke into the Liverpool first team at the start of last season and, having helped the Reds to the Champions League final, is well established as a first-team regular at 20.

Recent injury problems only served to show Alexander-Arnold's importance to the side, with Liverpool suffering for the absence of a defender who has proven his worth at the back and possesses real quality from dead balls.

Left-back: Andy Robertson (Liverpool)

After joining from Hull City in 2017, Robertson took time to nail down a starting place under Jurgen Klopp. He is now indispensable.

The Scotland captain has developed into one of the Premier League's standout performers at full-back, with his pace and energy allowing him to make a difference at both ends of the field. Mourinho claimed got tired just watching Robertson during his unplanned United swansong.

Centre-back: Victor Lindelof (Manchester United)

What a turnaround it's been for Lindelof. Error-prone and seemingly out of his depth following his arrival from Benfica in 2017, doubts emerged over the Swede's ability to succeed at Premier League level.

But the 24-year-old has started to justify his €35million price tag under Solskjaer. Assured, strong and confident on the ball, Lindelof is emerging as a fine defender amid United's nine-game unbeaten run in the league.

Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

The man credited with turning Liverpool's fortunes around in defence. The Reds were infamous for their back-line calamities before Van Dijk arrived last January.

The Netherlands international made an instant impact, scoring a winner against Everton, and has kicked on from there. His influential showings are expected to put him in the running for England's end-of-season awards.

Central midfield: Ander Herrera (Manchester United)

The unsung hero at Old Trafford, Herrera has become an ever-present in United's starting XI since Mourinho was sacked.

Embodying all the characteristics that make up a fan favourite, the Basque battler has provided balance and bite, while freeing up Paul Pogba to shine.

Central midfield: Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)

When Liverpool brought in Naby Keita and Fabinho ahead of this season, Wijnaldum appeared to be at risk despite an impressive 2017-18.

But the former Newcastle United star has lifted his game again, showing versatility by featuring across the midfield. The Dutchman has superb close control, a deceptive turn of pace and can influence the game in attack and defence.

Central midfield: Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

The transformation of Pogba has been incredible. Out of favour and heading for the exit door under Mourinho – who left the World Cup winner unused on the bench in December's Anfield defeat – the lavishly gifted Frenchman is resoundingly answering his army of critics in England.

Pogba has been involved in 15 goals in 12 games across all competitions during Solskjaer's tenure, scoring nine goals and recording six assists – six more than he managed in 20 matches for Mourinho.

Right wing: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Liverpool's Egyptian king, Salah was one of the best players in European football as he hit the ground running back in the Premier League last season, scoring 44 times in all competitions.

The forward's early 2018-19 exploits were comparatively modest, but he has warmed to the task as Liverpool chase the domestic title. Now often deployed through the middle, Salah remains Liverpool's difference-maker in attack.

Left wing: Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Occasionally overshadowed by Salah and Roberto Firmino, Mane has the tools to harm any defence, as he showed in the Champions League final when he dragged Liverpool level against Real Madrid.

The winger's sheer speed sees him create regular openings for himself, scoring 10 goals or more in each of his five Premier League seasons. Liverpool's recent stutter in the title race would have been worse without four goals in as many matches from Mane.

Centre-forward: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

Another player shining thanks to Solskjaer, Rashford is thriving in his central role at United.

Either pushed out to the right to accommodate Romelu Lukaku or among the substitutes under Mourinho, Rashford is now flourishing as the team's focal point with six goals in nine Premier League appearances. He had only managed three in his previous 15.

Liverpool's Premier League title challenge faces a significant hurdle on Sunday when they head to Old Trafford to face Manchester United.

Such is the rarity of the Reds mounting a serious tilt for a crown they last wore in 1990, this meeting is already something of an historic moment.

The last time they visited their fierce rivals in a league match while they occupied one of the top two positions, the year was 1996 and Jurgen Klopp was a 29-year-old Mainz defender.

That match - which was started by an Eric Cantona rabona from kick-off (no, really) - saw United triumph 1-0. But who was involved?



Peter Schmeichel

Already a three-time champion by this point, Schmeichel was well on his way to establishing his place as arguably United's greatest ever goalkeeper.

Gary Neville

Well before his days as club captain and pedantic TV pundit, Neville was a curtained 21-year-old making the right-back spot his own.

Ronny Johnsen

This was Johnsen's first meeting with Liverpool since his reported £1.2million move from Besiktas. It was a sizeable fee at the time, but he proved a sound investment.

David May

The man who left Blackburn Rovers the year before their title triumph would win his second in a row with United this season.

Denis Irwin

A stalwart of the left of United's defence, Irwin was in his prime. He needed to be, too, given the defensive cover he was getting ahead of him.

Karel Poborsky

Fresh from his starring role at Euro 96, Poborsky was another to be playing in this game for the first time. He managed 55 minutes of free-flowing elegance. And that was just the hair.

Nicky Butt

United's current youth academy supremo was a fresh-faced 21-year-old standing in for Roy Keane. He would get used to that role.

David Beckham

The man who scored from the halfway line against Wimbledon on the opening day of the season became an even greater hero to the Stretford End by blasting in this game's only goal.

Jordi Cruyff

A player trying to follow in his father's incomparable footsteps, Cruyff was decent without being spectacular. He was not the best defensively but, with Irwin behind him, it mattered little.

Eric Cantona

Nobody else would take a kick-off like that. Nobody else would retire at the age of 30, after captaining the side to the title that season. But nobody else is like Cantona.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

United's current caretaker-manager-supreme was still three years away from 'that' goal against Bayern Munich. However, in this, his first season at the club, he did not disappoint.

Paul Scholes (sub)

A replacement for Poborsky, Scholes would go on to play just a few more games for United than the Czech winger. Not often on the wing, mind you.

Ryan Giggs (sub)

For wing-wizardry, look no further than Giggs, already a 'double-double' winner and with so much more to come. Including, eventually, a haircut.



David James

The athleticism, the speed, the unfathomable desperation to sprint off his line - it was all on show here, and mostly in the opening few minutes. It did nothing to stop a pretty impressive career, mind you.

John Scales

The straight man of the Wimbledon 'Crazy Gang', Scales moved to Tottenham just two months after this match, having spent only two years at Liverpool.

Dominic Matteo

Matteo had spent a fruitless loan spell at Sunderland the season before, but 1996-97 proved to be much more encouraging. Apart from losing this game, of course.

Phil Babb

Babb's importance to Liverpool seemed to be waning by this stage, but he was nonetheless a useful part of Roy Evans' back three.

Jason McAteer

The Republic of Ireland man's versatility made him suitable to the Evans system, even if he made few inroads in this game.

Steve McManaman

'Macca' brought the youthful legs that some of his midfield partners no longer had. It's a good job he could run as well as play.

Michael Thomas

A solid presence in the centre of midfield, Thomas' appearances began to diminish once Jamie Redknapp got over some injury problems. He remained a popular figure with the fans, though.

John Barnes

A bona-fide England great, Barnes was approaching the end of his best days by 1996. Beckham, Butt and company seemed to be running around him a little too easily at times.

Stig Inge Bjornebye

Like Ronny Johnsen, he was a relative unknown to English fans when he moved to the Premier League in 1992. Like Johnsen, he left as a real fan favourite.

Patrik Berger

Another Czech Republic star of Euro 96, Berger was a fine attacking force for Liverpool when injuries allowed, just perhaps not in this game.

Stan Collymore

Still a formidable centre-forward, this was the last season in which Collymore was close to the peak of his powers before a certain Michael Owen started getting in the way of the first team.

Jamie Redknapp (sub)

An often-underrated midfielder dealt an unfair hand by injuries, Redknapp did not get much of a chance to impress here.

Nemanja Vidic feels Manchester United would be wise to give caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the job on a full-time basis, rather than hire another big-name boss like Louis van Gaal or Jose Mourinho.

Solskjaer has revitalised United having taken over from Mourinho in December, with the club unbeaten in the Premier League since, having taken 25 points from a possible 27 to strengthen the Norwegian's case to carry on in the post after the 2018-19 season.

However, the last two managers hired by United – Van Gaal and Mourinho – were both considerably more experienced and had won the Champions League prior to arriving at Old Trafford.

Yet Vidic says the fact both of those men only experienced limited success bodes well for Solskjaer, who he briefly played alongside during his time with the club.

In an interview with Omnisport, Vidic, who was speaking on behalf of TAG Heuer, the official timekeepeing partner of the Premier League, said: "If I'm the owner of the club, I have my opinion that if you look at the past, the club was always aiming for the best possible manager on the market.

"And they have some success – I cannot say that they didn't do well – but the reputation Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho had, I think maybe the fans and everyone expected a bit more because [they were] top managers.

"Jose Mourinho, for me, is one of the best managers of the last 40 years but it didn't happen.

"Now I'm thinking Ole has done a great job, he knows the club, he knows the history of the club, he creates a positive atmosphere, he shows that he knows how to deal with the players as well.

"So my feeling is that it fits what Man United need now."

Solskjaer's side will face Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday for the first time since the title-chasing Reds beat them 3-1 at Anfield in December in what proved to be Mourinho's final game in charge.

The gap between the two clubs was 19 points after that Liverpool win and United's remarkable transformation since has surprised even Vidic.

"I am [surprised]," added Vidic.

"I know what Ole is about, I know his character. Obviously he was working for a few years already, he had some success in Norway. But it was a difficult time. The players, they looked at the time lost a bit.

"I think when he came, straight away, I don't know how, but he managed to help them to perform.

"He did a magnificent job. I think when he got the job, someone is thinking, 'What can you do in this short period of time to improve the form just of the players and create a positive atmosphere?' And he did that.

"And, actually, he brings results as well, he hasn't lost a game [in the Premier League].

"They are playing good, positive football. I think any other manager would not do better than him."

:: Nemanja Vidic was speaking on behalf of TAG Heuer, official timekeeping partner of the Premier League, to promote the TAG Heuer Premier League Pressure Test (

Jurgen Klopp believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is doing a "brilliant job" at Manchester United and has shown that he is cut out for a top management job.

Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford in December, with the former United favourite taking the reins on an interim basis until the end of the season.

And the Norwegian's return to Manchester has prompted a huge upturn in the club's fortunes, as United have lost just once - against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League - during his short reign.

He will face a stern test against Liverpool on Sunday but has the backing of his opposite number, who recognises the progress made under Solskjaer.

"We are not magicians. It's not like we can come in and say: 'You are good but I can make you really good'," Klopp told Sky Sports. "We are blessed with really good players around us.

"Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is doing a brilliant job. It's all about bringing out the potential, bringing out the team's quality. That's what he's obviously done and it makes him the manager of a top club.

"That's how it is, but I'm not surprised.

"I didn't know him - I met him one time last year and we had a little chat - I obviously only knew him as a player. But what he's done so far has been brilliant."

Georginio Wijnaldum expects Premier League title hopefuls Liverpool to have a difficult game against Manchester United as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are enjoying "a new flow".

United are unbeaten in the Premier League since Solskjaer took temporary charge as the replacement for Jose Mourinho in December, winning eight games and drawing the other.

That run has seen United climb into the top four as they seek Champions League qualification, while victory at Old Trafford on Sunday could also help them derail Liverpool's title bid.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are enduring a stickier spell, having won only three of their past eight games in all competitions amid a defensive injury crisis.

Wijnaldum is under no illusions about the size of the challenge facing Jurgen Klopp's side.

"I think it is going to be a real big change," Wijnaldum told reporters, referring to Liverpool's 3-1 defeat of United at Anfield in December, which proved to be Mourinho's final match in charge.

"Since the new manager came in there is a new flow, they played good games and have won a lot and that is building confidence in the team.

"It's also a home game for them so they will have a lot of confidence as they don't have the problems they had before. It is going to be a difficult game but I'm looking forward to it."

Liverpool were held to a goalless draw by Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Tuesday, a result the Netherlands international feels leaves the tie in the balance.

"A bad result for them? Why? I think it is a good result for both," Wijnaldum said. "The only thing is if we go there and score a goal they have to score two. One of the advantages is that they will play at home.

"I think a lot of teams when they come to Anfield and they play a draw they think it is a good result. I don't think it is a bad result for them. But neither is it for us.

"They will also analyse us and know where we are strong. I don't think they will play really open because they know we are good on the counter-attack, but they also know we score goals with good football and create chances.

"It's difficult to say how the game is going to go but it is going to be a tough one that's for sure."

Less than 12 months ago, a trip to Old Trafford led to major questions over Trent Alexander-Arnold, but Sunday shapes as being different for the Liverpool full-back.

Alexander-Arnold, 20, came under fire after being caught out by Marcus Rashford, who scored twice inside 25 minutes in United's 2-1 win in March 2018.

But the England international has grown tremendously even since then, and his return from a knee injury has come at a good time for Jurgen Klopp's stuttering title contenders.

As ever, James Milner – and captain Jordan Henderson against Leicester City – did an admirable job at right-back in Alexander-Arnold's absence.

However, Liverpool have proven to be better with than without the speedy Alexander-Arnold, who has played 18 of their 26 Premier League games this season.

The Reds average more goals for (2.4 to 2) and fewer goals against (0.5 to 0.8) with Alexander-Arnold, although they won five of those eight games, with three draws.

Liverpool have been much more solid defensively this season, conceding just 15 times in 26 league games, and Alexander-Arnold has benefited from a more balanced approach by Klopp's men.

It is easy to forget Alexander-Arnold is just 20, and has already developed into a Liverpool regular, the club so comfortable with his displays they allowed Nathaniel Clyne to join Bournemouth on loan in January.

Capped five times by England, he has made huge strides defensively since Liverpool's trip to Old Trafford last year. According to Opta, he has made no errors leading to shots in the Premier League this season. In comparison, fellow full-back Andy Robertson has three, having played six more games.

Less than a month after his miserable outing at Manchester United, Alexander-Arnold produced a huge performance opposed to Manchester City star Leroy Sane in the Champions League.

He may or may not get a chance to directly atone for his display a year ago, depending on where Rashford plays for a United side with some uncertainty over the makeup of their attack due to Anthony Martial's groin injury.

But Liverpool – who have won just one of their past three Premier League games – have missed Alexander-Arnold and returning to the scene of a tough outing is another chance for the full-back to show just how much.

Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial - their performances have dominated headlines amid Manchester United's resurgence. But there is one unsung hero leading United back to the promised land: Ander Herrera.

Herrera has become undroppable under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Spanish midfielder has been an ever-present since Jose Mourinho was sacked in December, with seven of his 13 Premier League starts this season coming after the Norwegian's appointment.

"His energy and tenaciousness is vital for us. And that's why he plays, more or less, every single game," Solskjaer said after Herrera's goalscoring display in Monday's 2-0 win over Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round. "He has loads of energy, he can cover the right hand side, he runs forward. You can't just praise one, it's 11 players, plus the subs, but Ander has done fantastic."

It's credit to Herrera's resilience and patience - a reason why many supporters want him named captain - after he was limited to just 13 league starts last season, down from his 27 in 2016-17.

The baby-faced assassin from Bilbao - who is as Manc as they come despite growing up in northern Spain - was in and out of the team at the start of the campaign, having suffered from Nemanja Matic's arrival the season prior. Fred's £50million transfer looked set to leave Herrera on the bench more often than not.

But, just like Pogba, Rashford, Martial and others under Solskjaer, Herrera is shining at Old Trafford, where United have a 71.4 winning percentage in the league this season, compared to 40 when he doesn't feature.

The passionate and hard-working fan favourite is still at his tenacious best, willing to get down and dirty for his team-mates. However, there is more to his game. He is providing the link between midfield and attack, freeing up Pogba.

Out of favour and headed for the exit door before Mourinho's axing, Pogba has scored nine goals and recorded six assists with Solskjaer at the helm. The shackles are off for the French World Cup winner and that's thanks to Herrera.

Herrera is thriving in the attack-minded approach in Manchester - the 29-year-old able to showcase his passing ability and focus on pushing forward, rather than the opponent under Mourinho.

He was deployed in a man-marking role on Eden Hazard by Mourinho in 2016-17. There was none of that at Stamford Bridge on Monday. Herrera was free to help run the show in London.

Herrera doesn't have his own emoji like Pogba or the skills of the flamboyant Frenchman. He is, though, the heart and soul of United - bringing balance and bite to a side filled with attacking talent. Sunday's Liverpool showdown is tailor-made for Herrera and slowly but surely, he's getting the recognition he deserves.

Ashley Young has hailed Paul Pogba as a world-class midfielder but insists Manchester United's resurgence is not only down to the France star.

Pogba has thrived since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as caretaker manager from Jose Mourinho and produced another match-winning display on Monday, setting up Ander Herrera's opener before scoring the second in the 2-0 FA Cup win at Chelsea.

The former Juventus man has been directly involved in 15 goals in just 12 appearances under Solskjaer, helping United to 11 wins and a draw in 13 matches across all competitions.

Young, though, says the whole squad is pulling together to help United progress.

"He's a world-class player - you don't win a World Cup for no reason," he said. "But it's not just about Paul, it's a team game and squad game.

"Everyone that started the game, everyone on the bench, the boys that came on [at Chelsea] were fantastic. Scott [McTominay] was only on for a few minutes but he did his job and played his part. When Andreas [Pereira] and Alexis [Sanchez] came on, they were fantastic as well.

"It's all competition for places and it keeps everyone on their toes. Every day in training you've got to be giving 100 per cent and everyone wants to be in the team. When you're winning games, everyone wants to be in that team and part of it."

United's win at Stamford Bridge came six days on from a 2-0 home defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League, their first loss since Solskjaer took charge.

Young was delighted with the response to that setback, especially with a Premier League match at home to Liverpool to come on Sunday, and was particularly pleased with the way they were able to exploit Chelsea's vulnerabilities.

"We knew Chelsea's weaknesses and we knew how we wanted to play the game and I think we did that superbly well from the start until the end," he said. It was magnificent and I think we had another gear to go. That says a lot about us bouncing back from midweek and getting a result. 

"The first 10, 15 minutes were a bit shaky but after that we stamped our authority on the game, got the first goal and we were on the front foot from then on.

"We scored two unbelievable goals. We had to defend as a team. We have been doing that: attacking as a team, defending as a team.

"It gives us all massive belief. Obviously, you will get confidence from winning games and that's exactly what we have done. We beat Tottenham away, and Arsenal away and now Chelsea away. We knew it would be tough, we had to be on the front foot, and we knew we would have to defend but it's a fantastic result for us."

United were draw away to Wolves in the FA Cup quarter-final, while Manchester City were pitted against Championship side Swansea City, and Young admits he had been expecting to face Pep Guardiola's side.

"I was surprised we didn't get City," he added. "That's what we were looking for, but you have to beat every team in the competition and that's what we'll do: go down there to beat them and get through to the semi-final."

Andy Robertson is wary of Manchester United, but said Liverpool's rivals should also be cautious of his team ahead of Sunday's blockbuster clash.

Jurgen Klopp's men make the trip to Old Trafford looking to return to the summit of the Premier League, which is topped by Manchester City on goal difference.

United have found form under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, rising into fourth in the table on the back of a nine-match unbeaten run in the league.

Robertson knows the challenge awaiting his team against United, but said Liverpool had stars of their own capable of causing problems.

"It's a big game against Manchester United, it's always big against them. It's a game in hand as well and we look forward to that," the left-back said after Liverpool's 0-0 Champions League draw with Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

"It's a huge game and they're a different team playing some really good football, I think we need to be wary of them but they know what they're coming up against and they need to be wary of us. It'll be a good game and one we can hopefully come out on top of.

"You look at their teamsheet or squad list and it's full of stars. They came to the party and they have a fantastic team. They've got people back from injury as well which always helps and they've got a strong squad as well.

"We know what we're coming up against and we need to stop their danger men but hopefully we've got enough to cause them problems as well to get the result that we need."

Liverpool were unable to find a breakthrough in the first leg of their last-16 tie against Bayern.

Robertson accepted his team did not deserve victory at Anfield, lamenting their struggles in the attacking third.

"A draw is a fair result and the tie is still alive," he said.

"On another day the lads in front of goal put it away or we make better decisions so you can't really put it down to anything. Maybe it's just somebody has rushed the shot or I or Trent [Alexander-Arnold] have rushed the cross or whatever.

"These things happen, especially in big games, so it's about trying to have a wee bit of composure and that's probably what we lacked in the first half.

"We had the chances to create and then in the second half we were probably better on the ball without really creating anything."

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