Juan Mata could be the key to help Manchester United beat Liverpool

Juan Mata could be the key to help Manchester United beat Liverpool

Category : Football , Premier League

JUAN MATA holds the keys to Manchester United getting a huge result at Anfield.
The Spaniard has been in and out of the side all season but he is the creative type Jose Mourinho needs against Liverpool.
Majestic Juan Mata is the man who holds the key to a Manchester United winAFP OR LICENSORS
Other than him, United don’t have a No 10, the one to get the ball in tight situations and damage teams with incisive passing.
Mata proved his worth against the ‘smaller’ teams last week against Fulham — he drifted in from the right and caused problems all game, picking up a goal and an assist.
But Liverpool will not sit back like Fulham, and will come out all guns blazing.
In seasons gone by, United have set out to be strong defensively while trying to hit the Reds on the counter.
Ex-Chelsea midfielder Mata impressed against FulhamGetty Images – Getty
Silky Spanish playmaker Juan Mata can unlock Liverpool’s defenceGetty Images – Getty
Jurgen Klopp’s team will press high  trying to drive Mourinho’s team back.
And if Mata doesn’t play, United could find that Romelu Lukaku, or whoever plays up front,  ends up isolated.
If they play back to front too quickly after winning the ball, the striker will have Liverpool’s two centre-backs and defensive midfielders on him — and there will be no way out.
But with Mata in the side, they can avoid this and he can stamp his authority on the game.

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DANNY HIGGINBOTHAM

Here is why Mata could be the key man to help Man United beat Liverpool

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As ever, the transition after winning possession will be crucial and the key to success for United is finding Mata with that first ball.
He will act as the in-between man. Without him United would be forced to play that ball straight up to the striker, not giving the likes of Marcus Rashford or Jesse Lingard enough time to offer support.
But by picking out Mata with the first pass they have  time to support the forward or, just as importantly, exploit space down the sides of Liverpool’s full-backs.
If Romelu Lukaku gets no support he will struggle against LiverpoolAFP OR LICENSORS
United have one of the league’s worst defences, and they have a big problem conceding early.
Only Fulham have let in more than their six in the opening 15 minutes. Without Mata against  sides who sit back, they don’t have a player who can unlock defences. So they go  hell for leather, trying to score early to force the opposition out.
But they are leaving themselves too open at the back, hence the amount they have conceded early in games.
Mata then becomes crucial in these games.
But equally important is the influence he can have on big games.
Jose Mourinho needs to get the best out of Juan MataGetty Images – Getty

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He should play at Anfield and if I was Mourinho I wouldn’t give him too many defensive responsibilities to worry about.
Instead, let him pick up a space where he can  be found straight away on the turnover of possession to get United going forward.
Liverpool haven’t beaten United in the league since 2014, and if Mata starts to dominate proceedings they’ve got a great chance of extending the run.
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