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Paul Pogba is Manchester United's biggest weakness – and Liverpool can exploit it



This weekend, Liverpool may face their biggest test yet in search of the Premier League title by making the trip to Old Trafford to face fierce rivals, Manchester United.

There is a clear gap between the two sides in the table, but based solely on results since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's arrival, United is over Reds with five points.

With that in mind, competition is likely to be highly competitive. The two teams will undoubtedly look at claiming their dominance over negotiations, and none of the leaders is likely to favor the inferior role that might not have been in the case of Jose Mourinho's term.

So given that a head-to-head fight is predicted, how can Liverpool go about gaining an advantage over the website?

Let's look at how PSG took advantage of United in their latest 2-0 victory.

Manchester United Interim Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Prior to European tie, there was a level of ambiguity about Solskjaer's tactical approach, as this was to be his first test against a strong team at Old Trafford.

Former sunshades had used counter-attack methods against strong opponents like Tottenham and Arsenal, but both came home.

This approach is generally less accepted by fans when playing at home, and Solskjaer seemed to anticipate that by essentially refusing to adjust, play his favored 4-3-3, and fight for alpha role in the fight.

Although Solskjaer's reluctance to change his system based on the opponent due to the Old Trafford factor, it is crucial that against Liverpool the general set-up be quite similar.

So how did PSG do it?

The answer is limiting and exploiting Paul Pogba. The Frenchman is United's most creative player, and Solskjaer gives him permission to attack to exploit this quality.

However, Thomas Tuchel, the PSG head coach, came up with an interesting move to stop and then attack through the midfielder.

First, he instructed Marquinhos to paint 25-year-olds essentially by holding onto him when United had possession, shown in the graph below.

  Marquinhos tracks Pogba (picture via Wyscout)
Marquinhos track Pogba (pic via Wyscout)

This seemed to work as before the competition, Pogba had an average pass per. 90 minutes at 65 while trying only 33 against PSG – his lowest so far under Solskjaer.

Second, Tuchel instructed Julian Draxler to place himself behind Pogba as a means of exploiting the space that Pogba was allowed to vacate, shown below.

  Tuchel instructed Draxler to position himself behind Pogba (pic via Wyscout)
Tuchel instruct ed ed Draxler to place himself behind Pogba (pic via Wyscout)

PSG played a rough 4-2-3-1 formation on the day, with Draxler playing as No. 10 and Marquinhos on the right side of a midfield pairing.

With regard to Liverpool, it is an approach that could be mimicked because of the staff available to Jurgen Klopp.

  Roberto Firmino in Liverpool celebrates with teammates Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah
Roberto Firmino of Liverpool celebrates with teammates Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah

Two of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum or Naby Keita would fill the midfield roles, Ville Mohamed Salah likely play as the most advanced striker, and then Roberto Firmino would be free to operate effectively as Draxler did.

However, it is somewhat unlikely that Klopp will apply a direct branding strategy, as it is not something he has previously done in Liverpool.

This is largely due to the German faith in synergy, collective strength and acting as a compact unit.

It is not to say that Pogba will not be stopped, it is just reasonable to suggest that Klopp must expect the team to lift him rather than an individual.

Conclusion [19659014] Overall, the upcoming party on Sunday will certainly be a competition competition between two top offensive pages.

Recently, PSG showed a knob that managed to stop United's key man, and exploit him properly.

This is an approach that Liverpool can take inspiration as it ultimately contributed to Solskjaers first and only defeat to date since taking responsibility for the Manchester club.

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Liverpool tactics and statistics


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