Manchester United v Liverpool: Alexander-Arnold gets chance to show growth at Old Trafford

Trent Alexander-Arnold returns to the scene of a miserable outing when Liverpool visits Manchester United.

Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates scoring for Liverpool   -  Getty Images

Less than 12 months ago, a trip to Old Trafford led to major questions over Trent Alexander-Arnold, but Sunday shapes as being different for the Liverpool full-back.

Alexander-Arnold, 20, came under fire after being caught out by Marcus Rashford, who scored twice inside 25 minutes in United's 2-1 win in March 2018.

But the England international has grown tremendously even since then, and his return from a knee injury has come at a good time for Jurgen Klopp's stuttering title contenders.

As ever, James Milner – and captain Jordan Henderson against Leicester City – did an admirable job at right-back in Alexander-Arnold's absence.

Read: Herrera the unsung hero of United's resurgence

However, Liverpool has proven to be better with than without the speedy Alexander-Arnold, who has played 18 of its 26 Premier League games this season.

The Reds average more goals for (2.4 to 2) and fewer goals against (0.5 to 0.8) with Alexander-Arnold, although it won five of those eight games, with three draws.

Liverpool has been much more solid defensively this season, conceding just 15 times in 26 league games, and Alexander-Arnold has benefited from a more balanced approach by Klopp's men.

Alexander-Arnold has benefited enormously from the balanced approach by Jurgen Klopp this season.   -  Getty Images

 

It is easy to forget Alexander-Arnold is just 20, and has already developed into a Liverpool regular, the club so comfortable with his displays it allowed Nathaniel Clyne to join Bournemouth on loan in January.

Capped five times by England, he has made huge strides defensively since Liverpool's trip to Old Trafford last year. According to Opta, he has made no errors leading to shots in the Premier League this season. In comparison, fellow full-back Andy Robertson has three, having played six more games.

Also Read: United must be wary of Liverpool too, says Robertson

Less than a month after his miserable outing at Manchester United, Alexander-Arnold produced a huge performance opposed to Manchester City star Leroy Sane in the Champions League.

He may or may not get a chance to directly atone for his display a year ago, depending on where Rashford plays for a United side with some uncertainty over the makeup of its attack due to Anthony Martial's groin injury.

But Liverpool – which has won just one of its past three Premier League games – has missed Alexander-Arnold and returning to the scene of a tough outing is another chance for the full-back to show just how much.

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