Liverpool provides perfect fodder for Man United vs Sevilla - FCNaija

Champions League By: Linus Onyeze | 13/03/2018

Manchester United passed more than one test against Liverpool on Saturday at Old Trafford. Besides passing the test of character which the win in itself gave them, they also passed the test of successfully holding back arguably the Premier League’s most potent attack.

And as they face Sevilla tonight in the return leg of their Champions League round of 16 clash tonight, they will need to pass those tests again. Having played a goalless draw in the first leg, they must first, score, then prevent the Spanish side from scoring, or at worst, minimize the number of goals they let in, while also scoring more than their opponents.

Easy task, eh? Well, the truth is, no two games are the same but on the evidence of how they played against Liverpool at the weekend, one could argue the Red Devils are on the right path.

But then, it could also have been a very different story if Liverpool had gotten at least one of their three penalty shouts in that game. If the game were to go in similar fashion against Sevilla, would the referee look away, too, or be bold enough to point to the spot?

However, it is very unlikely Jose Mourinho will employ the same tactics as he did on Saturday, against Sevilla tonight. No disrespect, but the Spanish club doesn’t pose so much of an attacking threat as Liverpool, and playing away from home, you would expect Vincenzo Montella to employ the cautious approach. Trying to absorb as much pressure as possible, while hitting on the break.

Mourinho, on his part, is hardly one to step on the gas and let go of the hand break, especially when facing top sides. And knowing that conceding a goal puts them in a more precarious situation, there might be a slight variation to how he lined up and played against Liverpool.

Marcus Rashford was the star in the weekend win, but with Marouane Fellaini back and Paul Pogba possibly making the squad, you would fancy Mourinho wanting to have a strong midfield, with emphasis on wide players providing defensive cover. And in that case, we might see Jesse Lingard taking his England international teammate’s place in the starting eleven.

But whichever system Mourinho chooses to employ against Sevilla, one thing is clear: the game against Liverpool at the weekend has provided a fine fodder for him.