The only riot set for Man Utd vs Liverpool involves Salah, Mane & Firmino

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Only one type of riot has been predicted at Old Trafford on Sunday.

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And that’s the sight of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and everyone running in front of Stratford End.

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Mane, Salah and Firmino look to damage Man Utd this weekendcredit: Rex
Salah has scored 12 goals in 11 matches so far this season

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Salah has scored 12 goals in 11 matches so far this seasoncredit: getty

It has been nearly six months since mass protests against Manchester United’s ruling Glazer family – and their support for a separate European Super League – turned violent and led to the postponement of English club football’s biggest fixture, United v Liverpool. Cause.

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It was an unprecedented event – the first time a Premier League match was canceled due to fan unrest.

And as United prepare to ‘welcome’ their bitterest rivals again tomorrow, a delicate calm prevails.

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For once, the ruling family of United did not ignore the rebellion directed at them.

Joel Glazer has been involved in fan forums, planning for Vetier supporter involvement in decision-making, raising the Faded Theater of Dreams described by Gary Neville as ‘rusty and rotting’.

And, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo is back in town, providing Stardust, nostalgia and goals.


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The horrific atmosphere on 2 May, the day of the riot, was in stark contrast to the air of liberation around Old Trafford, when Ronaldo made his triumphant homecoming, scoring twice in a 4–1 win over Newcastle the previous month – even though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team has not been convinced since then.

Anti-glare feeling is sporadic. The regime’s most steadfast critics took the lead and formed a new club, FC United of Manchester.

And while green and gold Rebel scarves can still be seen around Old Trafford, most matches focus on pro football.

After all, it’s not like the Glazers are the boss of the most troubled Premier League—the Florida venture capitalist doesn’t preside over public head-cutting or disincentives of disgruntled journalists like Newcastle’s new Saudi overlord.

The shiny new signing could take a lot away – the return of Ronaldo, the £77million arrival of long-term target Jadon Sancho and Real Madrid centre-back Rafael Varane has fueled rebellion among United fans this summer pacified.

And while the vast majority of paid punters – in contrast to United’s huge global backing – remain staunchly loyal to Solskjaer, a rout from Liverpool can always represent a mood-changer.

Solskjaer has yet to enjoy a Premier League victory over Jurgen Klopp’s men in five tries and United have won just one of their last ten such matches.

Liverpool are a better team unit with a better manager. They are unbeaten, they are faltering and Salah is in incendiary form, scoring in nine games in a row.

United must defy logic to win it. They must rely on individual talent and the daydreams of Solskjaer who believes in Ferguson-era folklore – the no longer-credible idea that United will always find a way out.

The visit to Liverpool will be United’s first match against a truly elite opposition this season – although both Villarreal and Atalanta’s dangerous Champions League underdogs have been beaten by goals from the late Ronaldo to dispel a sense of absolute distress.

Solskjaer has often taken a safety-first approach in fixtures against fellow elite clubs.

Last season, United played Chelsea (twice), Manchester City, Arsenal and in January, Liverpool were bored with goalless draws in a dramatic fall with the team.

Now, with Ronaldo adding more goal-scoring potential but further unbalancing the team, United seem less conducive to caution.

They should gamble and expect something golden from Manchester’s gray heaven for Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and – if chosen – Paul Pogba.

The defeat would leave United seven points behind Liverpool after just nine games.

Glazers may then have to put up barricades once again.

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