Liverpool v United Preview!!
The destination is Anfield and a fixture that has so many historic values that it is surely one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures of the season, it pitches two famous names against each other and each of those will be desperate to ensure that they take the three points, and subsequent bragging rights.
As you`d expect, this tussle will be played out in front of an audience of millions courtesy of the live Sky Sports coverage. Let`s hope it is a game that is remembered for all the right reasons and that it is a game that entertains the nation, and that we win off course!
You get the impression that this is a fixture that Sir Alex Ferguson loves. It`s a chance to lock horns with the club who watched as we eclipsed their record number of top flight title wins with our 19th last season.
But you also get the impression that Sir Alex feels his side need to toughen up when he comments,
"On a couple of occasions we`ve been out-fought by them, which has been disappointing."
"Off course, every time we go to Liverpool it`s as if it is the biggest game of the century."
"But we need to be better than we have been in recent seasons and this team can do that."
As for the opposition boss, the wily Kenny Dalglish, he`s poured scorn on Sir Alex`s suggestion that this is Liverpool`s biggest fixture, responding,
"People say this is the biggest game of the season but I don`t look at any game as being big or small."
"It`s another game, another three points to win."
"The only difference is if we win this one we`ll move a bit closer to them."
Anyone else sense that familiar dry-humour creeping in?
Continuing, Kenny then comments on our start to the season, commenting,
"United have started the season very well. They`re sitting on top at the moment and that`s where everybody wants to be."
"They`ve had a lot of injuries too but coped well with them. Like all managers, Fergie is waiting to see how his players are after playing for their countries."
All fit and well we hope!
Liverpool Team News:
The Liverpool side of this season is far removed from that at the same stage last season. Struggling under Roy Hodgson, the pleas for Kenny Dalglish to take over were granted and Kenny has gone on to transform the once famous side. Following the sale of Fernando Torres, the club purchased Luiz Suarez and Andy Carroll with the cash and have also added Jordan Henderson (Sunderland) and Enrique (Newcastle) as well.
The side, this season, has blown hot and cold, although we should point out that Steven Gerrard has been missing with a groin injury all season, but just as you expected for such an occasion the midfielder will be fit for this one.
Player to watch: Steven Gerrard
After a long lay-off, courtesy of a groin problem, Gerrard is hotly tipped to make his first start of the season this Saturday. No doubt Liverpool`s favourite son will be looking to make an instant impact in front of his adoring Kop. Don`t let it be a comeback to remember lads!
Manchester United Team News:
United head off to Anfield buoyed by the news that the starting eleven could be boosted by the return of club captain Nemanja Vidic and the influential midfielder Tom Cleverley.
Of the natural choice starting eleven, we`re hoping that Ashley Young will have shaken off the knock that saw him substituted by Fabio Capello in Montenegro.
With regards to Chris Smalling, who has missed several games lately; we`re still awaiting news of his availability.
Sir Alex will need to assess who he starts with up front with Welbeck now being fit again, Rooney will naturally start but will it be Welbeck or Hernandez who partners him?
Two games in four days for Scotland, could rule Darren Fletcher out of contention with regards to a starting place.
Here at Vital Manchester United we reckon the starting eleven could resemble the following:-
De Gea, Evans, Vidic, Jones, Evra, Anderson, Cleverley, Nani, Young, Rooney, Welbeck
Player to watch: Nemanja Vidic
Having played for Serbia, in midweek, you`d hope that Sir Alex Ferguson will take the plunge and pitch him straight back into the starting eleven. Although our form has been great this season and we remain unbeaten, the defence has looked a little shaky. Restoring our club captain to the heart of it, possibly alongside Phil Jones, could go a long way to tightening it up
Match Facts & Stats
A lot has been made of the fact that this fixture pitches two Scots against each other, two Scots who know what it`s like to lead clubs to premier League glory. But what do the statistics show when it comes to clashes between the pair?
The record books show that they`ve been pitched against each other 24 times with Fergie coming out on top winning 42% of those games compared to the 21% of Dalglish, the remaining percentage, 37% having ended all square.
So if you were a betting man, a United win, followed by a draw, look the safest options to take!
Andre Marriner is the man in black for this highly charged fixture.
A trip to Anfield is always a great fixture, it doesn`t matter how many places there are between the two sides in the table we`re always, usually, guaranteed a close affair. I`ve no doubt that the game, this Saturday, will be packed with incident and it wouldn`t surprise me in the least if Andre Marriner waved a red card, or two, around. But, heading into the fixture, I`ll be honest and admit that our recent defensive woes worry me. Liverpool, carried along on a sea of optimism, will be sure to test us and I can see our goal coming under siege. The crux of the fixture, in my mind, will be whether we can score more than them. Part of me reckons we can whilst another part has, if our form in the game against Norwich is anything to go by, doubts it. I reckon we could very well see a high scoring draw. How about 2-2 anybody?
Our next Premier League fixture is a real corker, it sees us welcoming fellow title challenger, Manchester City, to Old Trafford next Sunday. In between, we continue our Champions League campaign (hoping to get our first win in three games) against the minnows in our group. SC Otolul Galati, on their patch.