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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL: Man United likely to park the bus against Liverpool

EPL: Man United likely to park the bus against Liverpool

Last updated on: March 09, 2018 15:57 IST

Manchester United players at training

IMAGE: Manchester United's centre-back Chris Smalling with teammates at training. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren says Manchester United would be happy with a point from Saturday's game and expects Jose Mourinho's side to defend in numbers at Old Trafford.

The two sides are battling for second behind runaway league leaders ManchesterCity. United are two points ahead of third-placed Liverpool with nine games left in the campaign.

The last three league meetings between the two sides, including October's game at Anfield, have ended in draws but Lovren said Liverpool were intent on coming away with all three points on Saturday.

 

"Maybe they are not in the best shape, but still they win ugly," Lovren told British media.

"What matters is the points. Last time, when they came here, they defend really deep so let's see what happens now."

When asked if he expected United to set up in a similar style, Lovren said: "I think so. They need the points, definitely. For them it will be maybe a good point but for us, we never play for a point.

"We will play like we play every day, attacking football.

"Still, you know Mourinho has his own plans. It is our job to focus on ourselves and play how we hope will beat them."

After the October game, Lovren accused United striker Romelu Lukaku of deliberately kicking him in the face but the Croatian said he has no hard feelings towards the Belgian.

"No. It is over. There is another game. He is a top striker. We can say what we want, he scores many goals," Lovren added.

Liverpool last beat United at Old Trafford in 2014.

Leicester's Mahrez regrets his handling of failed Man City move

Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez

IMAGE: Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters

Leicester City playmaker Riyad Mahrez regrets the way he handled a failed move to Premier League leaders ManchesterCity during the January transfer window, but said he did not struggle to reintegrate himself back into the squad.

Mahrez missed two matches and six training sessions after Leicester rejected City's bid to sign the Algeria international on deadline day. British media reports described his absence during that period as a protest.

The 27-year-old returned to action for Leicester in a 5-1 defeat by City last month and scored a dramatic late equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Bournemouth last weekend.

"You'll always have regrets but at that time I thought it was the best thing to do," Mahrez told Sky Sports.

"I was away because I needed time to think, it was a difficult situation.

"The club handled it very well. When the team mates and the club were behind me it was OK, it was easy to come back here.

"ManchesterCity is a good move for everyone but it is the past. It is behind me. If we start talking about this it's like coming back to the transfer window and now I'm moving forward, trying to give my best for the team," he added.

Leicester are eighth in the table with 37 points and visit bottom club West Bromwich Albion in the league on Saturday.

Leicester's Okazaki fit to face West Brom, says Puel

Leicester City forward Shinji Okazaki is fit to return to action from a knee injury in Saturday's Premier League match against basement side West Bromich Albion, manager Claude Puel has said.

The Japan international has missed Leicester's last three league games with the club currently on a five-match winless run after three home draws against Bournemouth, StokeCity and SwanseaCity along with defeats by ManchesterCity and Everton.

Leicester defender Daniel Amartey has been ruled out for a month with a hamstring injury.

"Amartey will be injured," Puel told the club's website. (www.lcfc.com)

"It is a hamstring injury. Other players, like Shinji, are available and fit to come back into the squad."

"(It will be) one month (for Amartey). He can come back after this injury. There is an interesting competition in the squad and players show spirit to fight for their places."

Puel said the return of key players would boost the competition for starting places and thus, elevate the performance of the club currently eighth in the league table.

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