Sun. Jan 17th, 2021

Man Utd

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Man United ‘will sense Liverpool’s weaknesses and target right-hand channel’, warns John Aldridge

2 min read

Liverpool have been warned that their right-hand defensive channel could be exploited on Sunday when bitter rivals Manchester United visit in the Premier League.

That’s the view of Liverpool legend John Aldridge who fears that United will target that side of the pitch against Jurgen Klopp‘s champions.

The Reds have been plagued by a crippling injury crisis this season – none more so than in defence with long-term injuries to centre backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, while Joe Matip is out again too.

Liverpool defender Rhys Williams could be targeted by Manchester United when they visit on Sunday, fears John Aldridge

As could be right back Trent Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool defenders Rhys Williams (left) and Trent Alexander-Arnold could be targeted by Manchester United when they visit in the Premier League on Sunday, fears John Aldridge

Williams or Nat Phillips (left) is likely to play at centre back for the injury-depleted Reds

Williams or Nat Phillips (left) is likely to play at centre back for the injury-depleted Reds

This has left Klopp playing midfielder Fabinho at left centre back alongside either youngsters Rhys Williams or Nat Phillips.

And with adventurous right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold to accommodate for too, Aldridge is worried that this area of the Reds could cause them problems against United – especially on the counter-attack.

Speaking about his thoughts ahead of the game, Aldridge told the Liverpool Echo: ‘I think it’ll be a pretty open game and they’ll sense our weaknesses in trying to hit long balls between young Rhys Williams or Nat Phillips and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Liverpool legend Aldridge fears United will target the vulnerability of their right-hand channel

Liverpool legend Aldridge fears United will target the vulnerability of their right-hand channel

‘That’s what teams do, they pinpoint that area because our full backs get forward and take up advanced positions, so then we struggle.

‘We struggled against Villa with the goal, we struggled against West Brom at times down the channels.

‘The left channel is not too bad, because Fabinho looks up and sees it but for the young lads – as well as they’re doing and they are doing superbly – it’s really hard.

‘Teams have a lot of quality and players who can put the ball in difficult areas with people chasing them – the likes of which [Marcus] Rashford will do.’

Marcus Rashford (left) could be one United attacker benefit from Liverpool's 'weaknesses'

Marcus Rashford (left) could be one United attacker benefit from Liverpool’s ‘weaknesses’

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