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Footage shows how Lisandro Martinez pocketed Darwin Nunez when he played for Ajax

Footage shows how Lisandro Martinez pocketed Darwin Nunez when he played for Ajax

The Man United centre-back has form for stepping up in big games, ahead of the visit to Anfield on Sunday

Manchester United fans are feeling as confident as they've felt for a long time, going into this Sunday's meeting with arch-rivals Liverpool.

And for good reason. United are riding the crest of a wave right now, they're in tremendous form after winning the Carabao Cup and still harbour hopes of winning an astonishing quadruple under Erik ten Hag this season.

United fans will also feel fairly confident about their defence and how Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez will handle Liverpool's forward line.

Martinez has been a revelation since agreeing a £56million move to United from Ajax in the summer – and some old footage of the Argentinian coming up against Liverpool's Darwin Nunez might just add to United fans' confidence.

Martinez and Nunez came up against each other in Ajax's Champions League last 16 clash with Benfica last season.

And despite the fact the Portugese side edged the victory over two legs, with a 3-2 aggregate win, that was little to do with Martinez's performance.

In fact, the diminuitive centre-back had Nunez in his pocket for most of the tie, home and away. Highlights from the games show Martinez dealing ruthlessly with attacking situations presented by Nunez and Benfica, and also exhibiting his usual prowess when playing the ball out of defence to his midfielders. Nunez failed to score in the 2-2 draw Ajax achieved away from home – although he bagged the second leg winner.

It still bodes well for Sunday, when Martinez and Nunez go head-to-head for their new English clubs for the first time. The Uruguayan striker missed United's 2-1 win over Liverpool in August due to injury.

Ten Hag was questioned by many when he first brought Martinez to Old Trafford. Ex Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was among those to query the signing, particularly Martinez's 5 ft 9 ins frame – claiming he was too small to play as a centre-back in the Premier League.

Carragher has admitted since that he was wrong. Last month, the Sky Sports pundit said: "Every player has weaknesses; the best players hide them or make sure they don’t get exposed. He's a really good player and he's surprised me the way he's coped. He’s been a big part of Manchester United’s spirit."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Lisandro Martinez, Darwin Nunez, Manchester United, Liverpool