Liverpool have had a storming start to this season and are currently second favourites to the Premier League title as be the bookmakers. Manchester United on the other hand have had a stuttering start with Mourinho still not decided on his best starting eleven. It took two months for the Portuguese to drop Rooney but he doesn’t have the same amount of time to bring in other changes if he wants United to stay in contention for the top 4 spots.
Liverpool have run the most in the Premier League and the way they press is crucial to their style of play. United on the other hand suffered against City who also press high and hard. If United don’t want to face the same consequences against Liverpool, they need to beat Liverpool’s initial press. At the moment, United don’t have anyone in their starting lineup who can do that. Mata and Pogba are two candidates who can beat the press but both of them are out of form and United’s structure in midfield don’t even allow many options. In Henrikh Mkhitaryan, United have an player who is outstanding with and without the ball. Having played for Dortmund, Mkhitaryan is used to high intensity pressing and is excellent in managing to beat the press. One major disadvantage for sides who press high is that they are prone to turnovers. If United allow Mkhitaryan to operate in his natural position, he will be deadly threat on the counter against Liverpool. He struggled against City because he wasn’t fully fit and it was his first start. So it is important that Mourinho integrates him into the team. United have actually written to the Armenian FA asking them not to pick the German player of the year, this will give Mourinho a lot of time to work with him provided he is fit enough.