Manchester United face Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday evening in a match that poses high stakes for all involved. After a disappointing last fixture - which saw both sides fall to their first defeats of the season - Louis van Gaal and Brendan Rodgers will be looking to correct their form, with victory against a top-four rival.
Central to the club's respective hopes of success will be Luke Shaw and Joe Gomez. The young, talented full-backs have been stand-out performers throughout the opening weeks of the campaign for United and Liverpool respectively. Shaw has particularly impressed with his willingness to burst forward and assist in the final third, while Gomez has been resolute defensively.
|Stats per App||Team||Key Passes||Successful Final Third Passes||Passing Accuracy (%)||Accurate Crosses||Defensive Errors||Tackles Won||Interceptions Won||Blocks||Appearances|
|Luke Shaw||Man Utd||1||14||86||1||0||1.75||1||0.5||4|
The duo's individual strengths are represented by the statistics above, with Shaw excelling in an attacking capacity and Gomez offering most for his side at the back. With an average of 14 successful passes in the final third, as well as one key pass per appearance, the Manchester United defender is likely to be seen marauding forward when the two sides face one another on Saturday evening.
Gomez, meanwhile, will be relied upon to fulfil his defensive duties, as the Reds face a Louis van Gaal side looking to repeat their 3-0 victory from the same tie last term. The 18-year-old - who signed from Charlton Athletic this summer - is likely to face the attacking threat of Memphis Depay or Anthony Martial down the right flank, which could prove to be his toughest challenge yet.
Nonetheless, having averaged 2.25 successful tackles per game, as well as 2.5 interceptions and 0.75 blocks - in each of these key areas he betters the efforts of compatriot Shaw - Liverpool fans will be confident in the youngster's ability to quash the danger posed by his talented opponents.