Man Utd boss Solskjaer must give Fred freedom to roam in clash against Liverpool

By | 17th January 2020

MANCHESTER UNITED will have to be at their best and hope Liverpool are having an almighty off day.

And one player especially will need the freedom to be at his very best — Fred.

Fred needs to be given the freedom to play his game against Liverpool
Getty Images – Getty
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to get the best out of the Brazilian in Paul Pogbas absence
Getty – Contributor

The Brazilian midfielder has emerged as one of United’s most important players this season.

That is thanks to Scott McTominay, who brings the best out of him with his athleticism and discipline.

When McTominay sits and protects the defence, he enables Fred to hunt and initiate a press.

But with McTominay injured, you have a real problem.

If Andreas Pereira replaces him both will chase, leaving space for Roberto Firmino to drop into.

This will force Harry Maguire or Victor Lindelof to meet him, leaving a huge gap.

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The preferred option to fill McTominay’s role is Nemanja Matic, but the young Scot is much more athletic.

Should Matic play well, Fred can put the likes of Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum under pressure.

But if Matic struggles, it will restrict Fred and see him drop further back.

Higher up the pitch there are more problems for United, with Marcus Rashford a serious injury doubt.

In the reverse fixture, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer played split strikers.

So when full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold went forward, there were seeds of doubt in their minds over the space they left behind.

Dan James and Rashford dragged the centre-backs out wide successfully.

Without Rashford, two of James, Anthony Martial or Mason Greenwood will split while the other sits centrally.

But now Joe Gomez is back in the side that will not be as big an issue for Liverpool, as he is comfortable wide from his days as a full-back.

This post written by William Pugh originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.

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