Its back! One of the most anticipated and fiercest English Derbies of all times is back, as a “very confident” Liverpool play host to a “promising” Manchester United. A win for either side will take them to top of the table. On the other hand, a defeat for Liverpool would mean concern in terms of maintaining the consistent run of form, while defeat for Moyes’s side would mean they will have 4 points from 3 games, thereby equalling their worst start to a league season since 2008-09. Ironically enough Liverpool this season have managed to equal their best start to a league season since the same 2008-09, where Manchester United were pushed all the way by Benitez’s Liverpool until their penultimate game.
LIVERPOOL’S POTENTIAL RE-EMERGENCE
Being a Manchester United fan myself, it feels good in a competitive sense that English football’s second most successful team in Liverpool are showing the same old promise, the fight and the much required consistency under the leadership of the Irishman, Brendan Rodgers. This is what “time” can do to a team; one should appreciate their Owners for giving Rodgers the much needed time to execute his plans and here we see the club heading in the right direction. Although the season is too early to arrive to conclusions, they could potentially be one of the dark horses this season to watch out for, who can give any team a run for their money to finish on top four if they manage to kill those games where they are superior and grind out wins when the going gets tough.
Their weaknesses outplay their strengths at the moment, which has been evident in all their 3 grinding wins so far both in league and cup matches. Thanks to Simon Mignolet’s heroic performances in the two league games, for their defense looks like being run over every time they step into the field. And without the supreme finishing prowess of Luiz Suarez who is currently serving his 10 match ban, Liverpool have become over dependant on the English Striker Danniel Sturridge. Sturridge in every aspect has been a worthy buy, for he has been their only goal scorer in league matches this season. If only they can re-create the creativity this season which has eluded them for quite a while especially with a midfield that boasts of Steven Gerrard, Coutinho and promising duo of Sterling and Aspas, Liverpool will be a tougher team to handle tomorrow which the Legendary Bill Shankly will be proud off on the eve of his 100th birthday on Monday.
MOYES’S FIRST “REAL” AWAY TEST
The Scott is settling down well at the so called his “new-home”, with 2 wins away from home and a draw. Not at all bad to start off a new career; and deep down one would admit that Moyes came out on top with flying colours over Jose Mourinho, who had other priorities to concentrate on. This should give him plethora of confidence to take on Manchester United’s long lasting rivals and with not even a single win posted during his Everton Days at Anfield, Moyes for once would look to amend & rewrite this record.
Unlike Liverpool, there haven’t been any new player changes, which is both a boon & bane to Manchester United. The players know each other very well, have a good chemistry which is a boon while failing to up their quality by not having added anyone except Zaha means that the current team will have to play out of their skins, if they are to be more successful than last year especially in the current competitive climate. With the air around Rooney’s situation much clearer now in addition to his brilliant all round performance in the 120 odd minutes, Manchester United look a different side now altogether. All qualms around their defense should have been put to rest, for a midfield of Chelsea’s magnitude was successfully defended. Saying so, several failed attempts to bring in quality midfielders shows the desperateness and worries that Moyes has in their current midfield, which lacks vision and creativity. Kagawa could be the long term solution, but needs more playing time and if introduced in the right position against a defense of Liverpool’s side could just be ideal to build up confidence.
Liverpool will be without the services of their new defensive duo of Sissoko, Kolo Toure, midfielder Joe Allen who are all ruled out due to Injury suffered during the Capital One cup tie, while Luiz Suarez will be serving his 7th match ban out of the 10 match ban handed over to him. Sebastian Coates is their long term absentee
Manchester United are getting back to full strength where Nani and Chicarito have started training in the last few days, while Rafael & Fletcher are the players ruled out due to Injury.
Liverpool (Probable From): Mignolet; Agger, Skrtel, Johnson, Jose Enrique; Lucas, Aspas; Henderson, Gerrard, Coutinho; Sturridge (4-2-3-1)
Manchester United (Probable From): De Gea; Jones, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Carrick, Cleverley; Valencia, Rooney, Welbeck; Van Persie; (4-2-3-1)
Says Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers on the Upcoming Fixture,
“We know it’s a really difficult challenge but we’ve shown enough in the last number of months, the second half of last season and the beginning of this season, that we can sustain a challenge. That’s something we’re very determined to do.”
Says David Moyes on Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United future,
“Wayne Rooney has been a great player for many years for Manchester United. I felt he played very well the other night and he’s looking in good condition and is mentally in good shape too. We told you and everybody else from day one (that he wasn’t for sale) so I don’t think there’s anything else to add today”
- Liverpool are looking to win their first 3 league games of the season since 1994.
- Liverpool last maintained 3 successive clean sheets at the beginning of the season during 2005-06 season.
- Overall, Liverpool with 63 trophies are just One Trophy behind in terms of success compared to Manchester United’s 64 trophies.
- Danniel Sturridge’s impressive form continues having scored 10 times in last 8 competitions and netting 16 goals in as many starts for Liverpool.
- Manchester United are chasing a fourth consecutive 2-1 win over Liverpool.
- David Moyes with 7 draws and 5 losses has not yet won a single match at Anfield, while at Everton
- The 0-0 draw against Chelsea last week was the first goalless draw in 82 matches for Manchester United.
- Manchester United have remained unbeaten during their last 13 away games in the Premier League.
With lot more than winning at stake, Liverpool find it a necessity to defend out of their skins. Failure to do so would mean throwing the opportunity down to Manchester United’s to run away with the game.
Liverpool 1 – 2 Manchester United