Manchester United travel to Anfield to face Liverpool on Sunday in a table-topping clash in the Premier League, and John Arne Riise believes the Red Devils are too reliant on Bruno Fernandes.
The Portuguese playmaker is widely regarded as United’s best player, having scored an incredible 27 goals in his first 48 games at the club from the middle of midfield.
He’s contributed 11 goals and seven assists in 17 games this season and has helped take United to the top of the table.
Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on Liverpool v Man United, Riise explained that he feels United rely too much on the playmaker.
In recent games, however, Paul Pogba has been proving his worth to the team, having made the difference in their last two wins in the Premier League.
He scored a brilliant volley against Burnley on Tuesday night to send United top of the table, and won a crucial penalty in the second half against Aston Villa, which Fernandes tucked away to seal a 2-1 win.
However, Riise claimed in his preview of Sunday’s match that Liverpool could have the advantage due to their strength in depth compared to United’s.
He said: “I think both teams will be thinking they can hurt Sunday's opponents by taking advantage of their defence, which makes for a great game. I'm going for a 3-1 win for Liverpool.
“Man United are very reliant on Bruno Fernandes, though. If he's out for any reason this season, they'll struggle.
“That's why I don't think United will be up there in May, because they're too dependent on that one player.
“Man City and Liverpool have so many players who can carry the team; Man United only have one.
“The weak side of United is defensively, and while it's a good opportunity for Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, at the same time we have to look at the Man United forwards.
“If they can keep a solid base, then Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford could cause damage to a weak Liverpool defence.”