United v Liverpool Preview
After the thrilling draw at Stamford Bridge, a game where we rescued a point where it looked as if we were slipping to a defeat, we`re back on home turf to take on old foes Liverpool this Saturday lunchtime.
Naturally, the eyes of the media will be focused on Luiz Saha as he encounters Patrice Evra for the first time since those racist comments ensured a lengthy ban was served. Hopefully, it`ll be the on-field football that catches the headlines this time and not anything unsavoury.
Plus, we also have an FA Cup defeat to avenge do we not!
Ryan Giggs, our leading appearance maker of all time, has been in the united side that has gradually overhauled Liverpool as the country`s top flight title holder record breakers, with United eclipsing Liverpool`s mark last season.
Talking about the forthcoming clash, Ryan had this to say,
"They`re a club similar to us with a massive history. It`s the club we tried to catch for so long and now we`ve caught them, the challenge is to stay ahead."
"We`re the two most successful teams in the country, so we know we`ve got to perform and play well to get anything from any game against them."
So very true! Liverpool may be struggling to reach the heights they`ve previously attained but, on their day, they can be a match for anyone, as our recent FA Cup clash showed.
United Team News:
Sir Alex Ferguson will be grateful that he`s starting to get some of his injury hit squad back. Last time out, at Chelsea, David De Gea, Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Young all returned and all, if they picked up no knocks, should be available for selection for the visit of Liverpool.
We`re also hearing that Tom Cleverley might very well feature having been pulled out of a planned appearance for the reserves last night. Chris Smalling could also feature but Phil Jones is unlikely to feature.
But, United will still be without long term absentees Nemanja Vidic and Darren Fletcher whilst Anders Lindegaard is also side-lined following the sustaining of an ankle injury in training a week or so ago.
Player to watch: Wayne Rooney
He gave a master-class at Stamford Bridge last Sunday and was responsible for dragging us back into the game. Wayne will be looking to take the game to Liverpool and would, being an Evertonian, like nothing better than to score against them!
Liverpool Team News:
Kenny Dalglish brings his squad to Old Trafford deliberating over whether Luis Suarez should start, the forward could be in for a hard time following recent events.
Jose Enrique could also return after missing the drab 1-1 draw with Spurs, on Monday night.
Player to watch: Steven Gerrard
Although Gerrard has recently stated he`ll be at Liverpool for the rest of hi splaying career and beyond, it must be galling for a player of his stature to never have won a Premier League medal. Nevertheless, he remains a fine operative on the park and has the ability to lead his side to a result, if we let him!
Match Facts & Stats
The stats would seem to indicate that a win should be the result with only 2 of the last 23 ending in draws.
Recent clashes between the two sides, at Old Trafford point to United being the victors with United having emerged victorious in 6 of the last 7 meetings, the only blip on the record book being the 4-1 win Liverpool achieved back in March 2009.
The clash of the titans a clash fit for public consumption and the ideal opportunity to claw back the two point lead Manchester City have over us, albeit possibly on a temporary basis. But it is essential to do just that and although Liverpool could be a tough-nut to crack, we see no reason why we can`t take all three points. We`re not saying it`ll be easy but we`re tipping United to come out of this, winners by two goals.
Let`s look on the bright side, it`s a new competition for us so it`ll be a new experience, but it still hurts me to say that our next fixture, against Ajax on Thursday, will be our debut in the much-maligned Europa League!