Nathaniel Phillips will be thankful that protests from Manchester United fans resulted in a cancellation of the game at Old Trafford as he was rushed back to face the Red Devils.
The 16:30 kickoff was delayed before ultimately being called off entirely due to protests outside Old Trafford as well as both team hotels.
Frustrations have peaked in recent weeks due to the European Super League while United fans have lost all faith in the Glazer family that owns the club. They broke into Old Trafford in the hours leading up to kickoff before the game was called off.
The game had huge ramifications for both the Premier League title race as well as the race for the top four, with Chelsea, West Ham and Liverpool all harbouring hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League tournament.
While the Reds were ready to take on United, I think Nathaniel Phillips will be happy, at least inwardly, that he will have extra time to recover after missing games against Leeds and Newcastle United due to a hamstring complaint.
After being named in the starting XI to face Manchester United in Stretford, Phillips will now have extra time to nurse his injury and to ensure that he remains fit for the remaining five games of the season.
Phillips’ return to the side was something I actually hoped for, writing yesterday that it would allow for Fabinho to start in central midfield where his interceptions and aggressive tackling would feature more.
United were heading into the clash with Liverpool on the back of a dominant 6-2 win over AS Roma in the Europa League semi-final first leg on Thursday. Starting Fabinho in his preferred no.6 role meant that it would prevent Bruno Fernandes getting on the ball as much.
The Portugal international scored a brace to spark the comeback against Roma with his 26 goals and 16 assists for United this season highlighting how dangerous he is for opposition sides.