United v Liverpool Preview
Sunday will see another clash between two giants of the English game. However, whilst United have remained on top of the English pile in recent years, Liverpool have slipped from grace and it is an eternity since they last one a top-flight crown. Nevertheless, with Brendan Rodgers in charge, the Merseyside outfit will arrive at Old Trafford keen to show they can still produce the kind of performance to upset the apple cart. With United`s defence being somewhat fragile this season, will Liverpool be able to derail a United side that could go even further clear, at the top of the table, this weekend.
Liverpool always presents a challenge. The fierce rivalry that exists between the two sides always dictates that the atmosphere and fierce competiveness between the two sides makes the occasion something to savour.
United, clear at the top, will be looking to extend that lead as they seek to wrestle the Premier League crown back off of Manchester City and Jonny Evans believes we`ve bene able to establish such a lead courtesy of our fine form against our big-rivals with the Irishman, tipped by Sir Alex Ferguson to be a future United captain, remarking to the media,
"We`ve beaten Chelsea, Liverpool and City away. Sometimes we haven`t got results in those big games, so that`s a big boost."
And three points against Liverpool, at Old Trafford, should set us up nicely for the weeks ahead.
United Team News:
Sir Alex Ferguson goes into this fixture with some good news on the injury front. It would appear that both Nani and Anderson have finally shrugged off their ailments and are available for selection.
As for another of the injured, Wayne Rooney is back in training but isn`t likely to be selected although some news source are inferring that he may make the bench.
Player to watch: Robin Van Persie
In a game that could, quite easily, be billed as the battle of two of the best strikers in the Premier League, our Dutch ace will be keen to shows he`d top-dog!
Liverpool Team News:
Brendan Rodgers brings his squad to Old Trafford with Daniel Sturridge now in the ranks and the ex-Chelsea striker may make his Premier League debut for his new club. However, he does have some injury concerns in his defence with Jose Enrique and Martin Kelly both absent. Another absentee is the summer signing Fabio Borini who is on the long term injured list.
Player to watch: Luis Suarez
Public enemy number one after his spat with Patrice Evra, but nonetheless a fine striker who is probably the best, in that position, Liverpool has to offer.
Match Facts & Stats
Things usually go swimmingly well for United against Liverpool at Old Trafford. Seven of the last eight meetings have seen United emerge winners, the only blot on the copybook during those eight fixtures being the traumatic 4-1 defeat we suffered in March 2009.
Another statistic shows that fixtures between the two sides rarely end in a draw with only one of the last twenty-four ending all square, that being almost thirteen years ago, in March 2000.
Both sides go into the fixture on a good run of form with United having won eight of their last nine Premier League fixtures and Liverpool having won five out of their last seven.
The nominated officials for this encounter between us and Liverpool are:- Referee - H. Webb Assistant - M. Mullarky Assistant - D.Cann Fourth Official - J. Moss
Although there is history between these two sides, the gulf in class between them has grown in recent years. Liverpool may once have been the power-house of English football but those days are long gone. I expect our Scouse rivals to put up a good fight but come the final whistle, I know where my money`s going as far as the points are concerned!
Next up for Manchester United is the FA Cup 3rd round replay, against West Ham United, at Old Trafford this Wednesday evening followed by a trip to take on Tottenham Hotspur the following weekend, in the Premier League.