Liverpool: 3 key individual matchups to watch at Manchester United

Liverpool, Sadio Mane (Photo by TIM KEETON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Liverpool, Sadio Mane (Photo by TIM KEETON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Fabinho, Liverpool
Fabinho, Liverpool (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) /

Liverpool CB/DM Fabinho vs. Manchester United CAM Bruno Fernandes

Liverpool definitely look like a better side when Fabinho is on the pitch. He could start at center back next to Nathaniel Phillips with Ozan Kabak out injured, but it is more likely for him to anchor the midfield.

No matter where he plays, Fabinho’s intelligent reading of the game and one-on-one robustness will be decisive against Manchester United star man Bruno Fernandes, who has been one of the top three players in the Premier League since joining the Red Devils from Sporting Lisbon.

Fernandes is always a threat to score or cause danger, and Fabinho must be equal to his movement. And while he is an attacking midfielder, Fernandes is tough as they come and will not shy away from physical contact against the imposing Fabinho.

Although Fabinho remains pretty underrated among mainstream fans, any close follower of European football will tell you that the defensive midfielder is one of the best players in the Premier League. Here is a prime time opportunity for the Brazilian to show his overall ability under the bright lights of Old Trafford.

So far this season, Fabinho is second on the team with 2.1 tackles per game and first among available players with 1.6 interceptions per game (Jordan Henderson is tied with him).