Manchester United v Liverpool, Where Form Counts For Nothing and Rivalry Escalates To The Next Level – A Match Preview

manchester united vs liverpool

The arrival of mid-January this year signifies two reasons to cheer up – one off course is the cold and smooth snowfall which would put the chill upon many a person, while the other reason is the Derby Day clash between two most successful clubs in the history of English football – giving us all, the much required warmth from snow and feisty battle at the Theatre of Dreams. Whatever is the season, whatever are the circumstances and whatever is the form that these two teams are in, all these goes in to ashes when these two teams meet, which is regarded as “the” most intense fixture in English football. And just to confirm this statement, Sir Alex still considers Liverpool fixture as his toughest Derby Match still, despite the emergence of the current EPL champions and Manchester counterparts, Manchester City.

Two contrasting tales over last few seasons

The Red Devils have had an immaculate season thus far, which oversees them going into the match 7 points clear at the top ahead of Manchester City and a whopping 21 points clear of their fiercest English Rivals, Liverpool. It has been two completely contrasting tales for these two teams over the last 3 to 4 seasons. Manchester United have been successful enough in knocking Liverpool off their perch during this period, reaching the Champions League final twice and finishing as Runners-up, won the Community Shield twice during 2010-11 & 2011-12 season. They are all set to go past The Reds by 2 titles as well, currently judging by the form they have been in and nobody can deny this fact with the Strike-power and team they currently have.

On the other hand, it has been completely the opposite for a team that finished runners up during the season (2008-09) where they were equally competitive as the Red Devils. Liverpool have seen 3 managerial changes in this space, an Ownership Change (which was much required), have lost a lot of quality players like Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres and their Talismanic Captain Steven Gerrard was out injured for most part of the last few seasons, requiring the team to be rebuilt from scratch. In short the

2

Stability that was seen often at Liverpool about a decade back is missing these days. It has been a downward journey for the boys from Merseyside, reaching such lows that they have seen their other Merseyside counterparts Everton, finishing a place above them last season. There has just been one sweet cup triumph for The Reds during these tough times, the Capital One Cup (formerly the Carling Cup) triumph last season against the Championship side Cardiff City, which also needed penalties to settle the tie in favour of The Reds.

Consistency the Key

It is not rocket science to summarize the fact that, consistency is the key to success and consistency alone brings solidity and the much required confidence that will allow results and the rhythm to go one’s way. It just took 2 games at the beginning of the season for Manchester United to hit this consistency bar in premier league and they haven’t looked back since then raking in 54 goals, 20 more and piling up double the amount of victories than Liverpool going into tomorrow’s clash. A victory tomorrow against the Reds will firm their grip on the Premier League title and give them supreme confidence going forwards with the satisfaction of doing this season’s first double over their arch rivals Liverpool.

The Reds have been having a see-sawing and inconsistent season which is acceptable because, their new Manager Brendan Rogers has had to try new things with a completely different style of team compared to his previous team Swansea City. He has had to cope up with a trim squad after a disastrous last day transfer seeing him sending Andy Carol out on loan with having been unsuccessful in getting his replacement. But one good thing that the Liverpool management have done is, by standing by through the most torrid and difficult times at the beginning of the season where they just had 10 points from their first 9 games, justifying the faith that they have in Brendan Rogers.

3

He hasn’t disappointed them either, as Liverpool has hit a purple patch off late winning 4 out of their last 6 matches in the league, which puts them in a solid 8th position and just 5 points away from the much coveted Champions League spot.

Leaking Defense and Two Top Scorers

Both the teams have been united in giving away so many goals this season that they both find themselves nearby, as far as giving away goals has meant. While it can be justified that due to various experimentation’s that Rogers has put his team through and his first season being a learning curve has cost them 26 goals at the back, there is still neither a reason nor a justification for the 28 goals that the Red Devils defense has allowed in. Taking away the Injury to their veteran Captain Nemanja Vidic, Manchester United have been conceding goals left, right and centre and have had to heavily depend on their attacking strike force to have them bail out for more than 15 times this season, coming from behind to either win or draw the match.

4

The forward line from both teams sees two most threatening goal scorers currently in premier league, with Robin Van Persie netting in 16 times in the league followed by Liverpool’s Suarez with 15 goals this season putting the entire goal scoring burden on these two over the entire season. While none can question the legitimacy of the manner in which RVP has scored all his 16 this season, there has been much controversy and many a finger has been raised in the direction of Suarez over the scandalous hand ball goal that he had scored against Mansfield in the FA cup tie which can be found in – http://www.soccersouls.com/2013/01/highlights-of-luis-suarez-handball-and-brendan-rodgers-reaction

Team News

For Manchester United, Nani and Anderson are back training and fit enough to make the squad bench. Though their front-man Striker Wayne Rooney is missing through a Knee injury and Phil Jones is also likely to be saved for the FA cup replay against West Ham on Wednesday. Apart from Rooney and Jones, Sir Alex has his full squad at disposal.

For Liverpool, their new forward signing Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea is in contention to start his first league game for the Reds after netting one during the FA cup tie against Mansfield on Sunday. Forwards Fabio Borini is also back in the squad after having been side-lined with a broken foot in mid-October. Martin Kelly is still side-lined with an injury.

Statistics over the years

Head-Head History

5

Scoring Minutes

6

Prediction

History has proved that, neither form nor circumstances matter when these two teams meet. This derby depends over the years has been riding upon that one moment of magic where the entire games has turned around its heels leading to the triumph for one of the two Red Brigades. The match will be a very tight affair, but considering the fact that Manchester United found the Resolve earlier in the season to secure a 2-1 victory at Anfield, we here predict a 3-2 victory in favor of The Red Devils, Manchester United.

[youtube width=”500″ height=”300″]JcVLq-Lz-DQ[/youtube]