Alexander-Arnold: I won't ask for Manchester City favour from Lingard and Rashford

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The Liverpool defender hopes his friends from Manchester United will aid the Reds' Premier League title bid this week

Trent Alexander-Arnold won’t need to make the call or send the text.

“They’ll know they’d be doing us a favour,” he says, a smile appearing momentarily.

The Liverpool defender is talking, of course, about Manchester United, and Wednesday night’s huge clash with Manchester City at Old Trafford. A big game in any season, but in this one it could be a decisive one.

A City win would take them top of the Premier League with three games to go, and make them overwhelming favourites to lift their second successive title. Anything less, and it will be Liverpool in the box seat. The margins are that fine.

Alexander-Arnold has friends in the United camp. He has struck up strong relationships with Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford from playing with England. He needs a solid from his pals this week.

The three are in regular contact – Alexander-Arnold’s older brother, Tyler, is also close to Rashford’s, Dane – but that will not be the case in the build up to Wednesday’s game.

“Nah, I don’t think so,” said the Liverpool man when asked if he would contact Lingard or Rashford.

“Without even saying it they know they’ll be doing us a massive favour if they get anything. With what they’re going for and going for the top four, they probably need to get a result. I’m sure it will be a good one.”

Jesse Lingard Trent Alexander-Arnold England 2018

Though a boyhood Liverpool supporter, Alexander-Arnold’s family has ties to United through his uncle, John, who was club secretary at Old Trafford for seven years up until September 2017.

It will, though, be a strange feeling for the 20-year-old to be rooting for Liverpool’s fiercest rivals. But with a title to be won, some things just have to be done.

“Er…it’s a funny one,” grins Alexander-Arnold. “At this stage of the season you sometimes need to support someone you wouldn’t normally like.

“There’s no secret, for our ambitions and goals we need a team to do us a favour somewhere along the line. On Saturday we all supported Tottenham and on Wednesday the majority of Liverpool fans I think will want United to get a win.”

James Milner has already said he won’t watch Wednesday’s game, calling it “a waste of energy”.

It’s not a view Alexander-Arnold shares.

“I probably will watch it,” he said. “I don’t know if there are any other games on, but I’ll watch.

“It’s exciting, but you try not to get too caught up in hoping that City lose.”

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It’s been a good week for Alexander-Arnold, who on Sunday set up Liverpool’s opening goal in their victory at Cardiff, just two days after it was announced he had been shortlisted for the PFA Young Player of the Year award, alongside Rashford, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva among others.

“I found out after the away leg in Porto,” he said. “It’s exciting. I’m really proud to be mentioned, because there are six really good players. It’s nice to have respect from other players.

“[Liverpool sporting director] Michael Edwards told me. He spoke to my mum beforehand and I think my family knew before me but everyone wanted to focus on the game in Porto and get that out of the way before delivering the good news. It’s a proud moment, definitely.”