Former Liverpool defender and now BBC pundit, Mark Lawrenson, believes Sheffield United can try and expose Fabinho from set-pieces this evening.

The Reds head into the game without Virgil van Dijk, who could miss the entire season thanks to a serious knee injury suffered at Everton last weekend.

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(Photo by CATHERINE IVILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Brazilian midfielder Fabinho has stepped effortlessly into the void in his absence thus far. However, Lawrenson believes the former Monaco man can be exposed in the air if the Blades can get it in and around him.

“Fabinho will be fine in open play, it is from set-pieces where I’d worry about him. Van Dijk was such a massive influence when it came to defending corners and free-kicks – he basically had a magnet on his head,” Lawro told BBC Sport.

“Sheffield United will be trying to test Liverpool in those situations, especially with Adrian in goal. So, I’d back the Blades to score at Anfield and, although I’d back Liverpool to score more, I just think it will be a bit tight.”

Sheffield United v Fulham - Premier League

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It remains to be seen who Chris Wilder will go with this weekend. However, those comments from Lawrenson would suggest Oli McBurnie will play, if, of course, the Blades boss has any sort of similar thoughts to the BBC pundit.

Rhian Brewster may also get a full debut for United, following his cameo appearance last weekend.

Lawro is right, there is something there for us to aim at

Fabinho is a world-class player. Nobody is denying that. He’s got more than enough in his locker to contain the Blades’ strikers.

But, and this is crucial, he is NOT Virgil van Dijk. Lawro is right in his comments and it is something United should be looking to expose.

McBurnie missed chance last weekend but he is a threat in the air no matter what. Expect Wilder to go all out for the win this weekend, with McBurnie at the top of the pitch to lead the charge.

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