A former Old Trafford favourite thinks the Uruguayan frontman could have a vital role to play in this weekend’s top-of-the-table clash
Edinson Cavani can be a “big weapon” as Manchester United seek to deliver a psychological blow to Liverpool at Anfield, according to Dimitar Berbatov.
United will travel to Merseyside to take on the defending Premier League champions on Sunday afternoon, with three points currently separating the two sides at the top of the table.
A 1-0 win at Burnley on Tuesday night saw the Red Devils reach the summit after New Year’s Day for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in 2012-13, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now being tipped to bring a 21st league title to Old Trafford come May.
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Cavani returned to Solskjaer’s starting line up at Turf Moor after serving a three-match ban, with his physical presence and shrewd link-up play giving the team a valuable outlet in the final third of the pitch once again.
The 33-year-old has scored four goals in 15 appearances since joining United on a free transfer in October, despite mainly being used from the bench, and Berbatov thinks he could have a vital role to play at Anfield this weekend.
The former Red Devils striker also thinks the Burnley match-winner Paul Pogba is capable of being a thorn in Liverpool’s side, but he wants to see his old club keep things “simple” in a heavyweight clash they can ill-afford to lose.
“I think it’s going to be an even game, both teams have got a strong attacking force with very quick players upfront in [mohamed] Salah, [Sadio] Mane, [Anthony] Martial and [Marcus] Rashford,” Berbatov told Betfair.
“I think if Cavani is going to play he has that experience and intelligence to know how to unlock a defence like Liverpool and he can be a big weapon.
“If Pogba continues like he did in the last game, with that desire to get up and down the pitch with his big strides, technique and vision, then he will also cause problems.
“At the back, as long as United don’t overcomplicate things, play simple, take the ball and give it to someone else with one or two touches then I think United will be okay.
“In my opinion, it’s more important for United not to lose, one point can be a big difference at the end of the season and it can make you champions.”
The ex-Bulgaria international added on the bearing a positive result against Liverpool could have on the title race: “If United win it will be a big blow for Liverpool psychologically, it will also be a big statement to the Premier League and United will be sending a message that we are back.
“However, if they do win, they can’t sit there and enjoy it because six points is nothing in the Premier League and that’s something we’ve witnessed before.
“It will be a great boost for the team and the confidence if they do win but you don’t stop and smile, you must build on it until the very last game and you’re singing ‘we are the champions’, which is a great feeling.
“I hope they can believe that they can bring the title back to Old Trafford. Just like they have already surprised people by reaching top spot, they can surprise everyone at the end of the season by becoming champions.”