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Exclusive: John Barnes Previews Manchester United vs Liverpool

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We recently had a catch up with former Liverpool winger John Barnes who offered BonusCodeBets an exclusive preview of Manchester United’s clash against Jurgen Klopp’s title chasing Liverpool.

In this article:

  • John Barnes’ combined Manchester United and Liverpool XI
  • United won’t beat Liverpool with individual performances
  • Manchester United’s inconsistency makes them dangerous
  • Mainoo has been United’s most consistent player
  • Manchester City or Liverpool will win the league claims Barnes

John Barnes’ combined Manchester United and Liverpool XI

United won’t beat Liverpool with individual performances

It’s been a topsy-turvy season for Manchester United. A few weeks ago would have seen United fans on cloud nine after their last minute win against Liverpool in the FA Cup. A few weeks later and a last minute equaliser conceded to Brentofrd was followed by the chaotic 4-3 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge yesterday evening. So what can we expect from Manchester United this weekend? Who knows? John Barnes highlights that United have great individual threats but that won’t be enough to beat Liverpool.

“You’re looking at the likes of Garnacho, Rashford and Højlund who are all great individual players but if they don’t perform well as a team it doesn’t matter what they do as individuals. Individuals won’t win the game for United. They will need to play well as a team.

“They did play well in the first half against Liverpool in the Cup match but they won’t beat Liverpool with individual performances.”

Manchester United’s inconsistency makes them dangerous

The FA Cup win will long be remembered by United fans and highlights the frantic nature of their season so far. Barnes highlights that United will be buoyed by their win over Klopp’s men before the international break but laments their inconsistent nature which whilst being a flaw makes them a dangerous outfit.

“The FA Cup win will give Manchester United more confidence in knowing that they can beat Liverpool but I don’t think Liverpool took Manchester United lightly in that game.

“It will boost United but Liverpool won’t need any reason to ensure they are ready for the game. Liverpool go into every game giving 100% total effort and commitment.

“We just don’t know which Manchester United will turn up. Will it be the team that beat Liverpool and the team that drew with Brentford and should have lost? The team that lost to Chelsea? They’re still very inconsistent. You don’t know which Manchester United is going to turn up which is dangerous.”

Mainoo has been United’s most consistent player

One of the few shining lights from this season has been the emergence of young midfielder and academy Kobbie Mainoo who has made himself a mainstay in ten Hag’s United side. Barnes shares his adoration for the way in which Mainoo has handled himself for someone so young, whilst being surrounded by the chaos that is Manchester United.

“Mainoo is a young player and young players want to play. I’m sure he wants to play every game. He’s been fantastic since he broke into the United team and in difficult circumstances because he’s not playing in a team that’s playing consistently well.

“The United situation would normally be a tough one for young players to show how good they are but he’s impressed me every time he’s played.

“He’d had a great attitude and been one of United’s better players and has been one of their most consistent if not their most consistent player. He does a lot of work in midfield. Defending, holding onto the ball, driving forward, passing forward. He’s handled the pressure well.”

Manchester City or Liverpool will win the league claims Barnes

Liverpool more than any their rivals Arsenal and Manchester City have been blighted by injuries and absences this season. This makes their ability to keep up with their rivals all the more impressive. As we enter the crunch period of the season, with players making their return, Barnes makes a bold claim that the title will be won by either Manchester City or Liverpool. A claim that may rub Arsenal fans up the wrong way.

“Liverpool beating Manchester City to the title would be a fantastic achievement. I still have Manchester City and Liverpool ahead of Arsenal as favourites.

“We’re still very much in the race having missed Trent (Alexander-Arnold, Salah, Allison and Curtis Jones. The players that have come in have done very well but of course it’s great to have your best players back. It’s fantastic.

“But we haven’t done badly without them. They’re going to be hungry when they get back but how up to speed will they be? They may not hit the ground running so let’s see how it pans out.”

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