Man United know they go into this game this afternoon with a chance to put themselves four points clear at the top of the table, but it was always going to be interesting to see how Solskjaer decided to approach it.
Liverpool are having some serious defensive issues just now with multiple injuries so a makeshift defence is inevitable, while it’s also clear that United’s strongest area is their attack.
That suggests it would be logical to really go at Liverpool and force a high-scoring game if they had the belief that they could out-score them, but Solskjaer tends to play not to lose when the stakes are high.
In the end it looks like he’s been caught in-between as he’s gone for an extra midfielder instead of starting Cavani or Greenwood:
A huge game at Anfield awaits – and here’s your United starting XI ?
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 17, 2021
It does open up a few different tactical possibilities – Scott McTominay started to shine for Scotland in a back three so a 3-5-2 is certainly possible, but it looks like a diamond midfield is the most likely option here.
There’s also a chance that he’ll stick with a 4-3-3 with Pogba being forced into one of the wider roles again but that wouldn’t make sense, but it’s the defensive selection that’s provoked some reaction from the fans.
Eric Bailly has been impressive lately and his pace helps to compliment and even mask Harry Maguire’s deficiencies, so a few are upset at the decision to drop him for Lindelof:
When is Solskjær going to learn, you can’t play Lindelöf and Maguire at centre back together? Salah will tear them to shreds.
— Richard Weaver (@RichWeaver84) January 17, 2021
100% I’m oles biggest defender but how do I defend that? Bailly is clearly our best cb along with maguire. Their partnership is light years ahead of lindelof/Maguire.
— Bruno Gunnar Solskjaer (@Keanetona716) January 17, 2021
Has Lindeloef got something on Solskjaer or something? https://t.co/iy2hb2BFpQ
— Danny (@Danny_Miller97) January 17, 2021
A reminder that the defeat to coty could’ve been avoided if he started Bailly. Solskjaer’s love affair with lindelof continues with yet another bizzare team selection
— Kidus Firde (@offensiveforjoy) January 17, 2021
If you ever feel stupid in life just remember there is a person named Ole Gunnar Solskjær who believes that Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof are better centre backs than Eric Bailly#LIVMUN
— Aditya (@aditya__88) January 17, 2021