Philippe Coutinho v Eric Bailly
There are key battles to be contested all over the pitch in this evening’s game between Liverpool and Manchester United, but this one in particular stands out. Eric Bailly has been in fantastic form for Manchester United since joining from Villareal in the summer.
Coutinho’s movement between the lines has been more than most sides have been able to handle this season, with the Brazilian’s exceptional linkup play with his fellow forward players key to Jurgen Klopp’s system.
Bailly has the strength and speed to dominate Coutinho, and we will likely see the Ivorian pushing high up to nick the ball off Coutinho high up. This could be the exact aggressive stance that United need to break Liverpool’s pressing, but it could also create space for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to attack.
Bailly will need to time his challenges perfectly and ensure he’s always in communication with Chris Smalling.