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Manchester United will seek redemption as they face an in-form Liverpool side in the FA Cup clash at Old Trafford.

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The last encounter between these two teams in December saw Manchester United defy expectations, securing a commendable 0-0 draw at Anfield—a significant improvement from their 7-0 defeat earlier in 2023.

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With key players like Mohamed Salah returning for Liverpool, the Reds pose a formidable challenge. However, the return of Rasmus Hojlund from injury offers hope for Manchester United, significantly strengthening their chances.

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As anticipation builds for this thrilling fixture, let’s delve into four key battles that could unfold:

1. Rasmus Hojlund vs Virgil van Dijk:
Returning from injury, 21-year-old Hojlund faces the daunting task of confronting arguably the world’s best central defender, Virgil van Dijk. Hojlund’s adeptness in finding the net with 11 goals this season showcases his poacher mentality, but van Dijk’s defensive prowess poses a formidable obstacle. The Dutchman’s ability to thwart Hojlund’s advances could prove crucial for Liverpool’s success.

2. Raphael Varane vs Mohamed Salah:
Varane’s defensive acumen was evident in the previous encounter, where he effectively nullified Liverpool’s attacking threat. However, he faces a formidable opponent in Salah, whose recent stellar performances highlight his danger in front of goal. Varane’s ability to anticipate and contain Salah’s attacking prowess will be pivotal in determining Manchester United’s defensive stability.

3. Casemiro vs Cody Gakpo:
Manchester United’s failure to secure Gakpo’s signature may come back to haunt them as they face the threat posed by the versatile winger. Gakpo’s ability to disrupt Casemiro’s midfield control was evident in their previous encounter, underscoring the importance of neutralizing his influence. United must remain vigilant in monitoring Gakpo’s movements to mitigate his impact on the game.

4. Marcus Rashford vs Joe Gomez:
Rashford’s recent resurgence in form presents a potent attacking threat for Manchester United. However, he faces stiff competition from Liverpool’s Joe Gomez, who has been in exceptional form this season. As England teammates turned adversaries, their battle on the pitch will be an intriguing subplot to watch unfold.

As Manchester United and Liverpool prepare to renew their rivalry, these key matchups are poised to play a decisive role in shaping the outcome of this eagerly anticipated FA Cup clash.

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