Ready for lift off!
History will repeat itself again at Anfield this saturday. Liverpool will once again defeat Manchester United. rivalry is an understatement when you are talking about these two teams. it is serious enough for me to call it what it is: War.
this game for me, epitomises the famous quote from legendary Liverpool manager Bill shankly, “Football, is not a matter of life and death, it is more important than that.” in terms of importance, i think this match will be more crucial for the home team. Having already lost two matches this season, they cannot afford to give out any more points if they still want to be in the running for the top four spots.
truth be told, they are still some way off from being champions of the league. six points separate Liverpool (5th place, 13pts) from league leaders Man United (19pts). yes, the number “19” is a sensitively sore topic at Anfield.
However, aided by talented players like Luis suarez and steven Gerrard, the focus at Liverpool now is solely on improving with each game. Nothing too fanciful, please. the top four spots are definitely still within reach.
one player can make a world of a difference and suarez is that kind of a player. How he danced his way in the red Devils box and was a constant pest the last time both teams met at Anfield in March.
steven Gerrard should also start this game, having recovered his full fitness. Kenny Dalglish would definitely be a fool if he leaves Gerrard on the bench, with this match being hailed as ‘match of the season’ and with the red Devils being unbeaten so far.
it will be interesting though to see what kind of mindset Wayne rooney has in light of his trouble in the England team and the allegations against his family. i thought he would be way above that, but he crumbled under pressure and got sent off when he was playing for England.
As the top striker for United, his mindset definitely affects the whole team. He might be England’s problem right now, but tomorrow, he could be Man United’s matchwinner. sir Alex Ferguson has come to rooney’s defence, even stating that his “fiery temper” isn’t a bad thing.
Ferguson, as a manager of vast experience, will adopt the fatherly approach. He needs his best player to have a cool head at Anfield and put his team right – United have yet to pick Man United have yet to win at anfield since dec 2007 and Luis Suarez might just keep them waiting longer. up any points at Anfield since Dec 2007 (Carlos tevez with a scrappy winner).
on the field, there are certain weaknesses in both teams that can be exploited and this game will surely be an interesting tactical bat-battle.
As far as backlines go, both teams have issues to sort out. Man United’s defence will not be able to keep out suarez, while Liverpool’s defence is creaking with age. How many times can Jamie Carragher rough up an opponent before he gives away another penalty? Nani should remember Carragher well enough. All said, there is a lack of pace in Liverpool’s defence which, i feel, can be exploited by Javier Hernandez.
Although Man United’s defence has not been punished by opponents in the Premiership (remember Norwich or Fernando torres’ comedy miss?), it will be a very different case if they are going to give away chances to Liverpool, who can surely capitalise on them.
in what surely will be a stormy affair, experienced referee Andre Marriner will also another crucial factor to this game – didn’t he give Nemanja Vidic the red card (two bookable offences) when Liverpool beat Man United at Anfield in 2009?
As with any game involving Daglish and Ferguson, the mind games should also be entertaining.
Personally, i do think that the Mighty reds have more experience as compared to the red Devils, and they will be inspired by the home crowd (Liverpool’s 12th man), who will accept nothing less than a win.
Coming into the game between the two English giants, there are no advantages and disadvantages and every match starts on a level footing.
top teams strive under pressure, so this will be a good opportunity for both teams to show off their true potential. We will definitely see goals for both teams, without a doubt. n Catch Shebby Singh on Monday Night Verdict every Monday at 8pm on ESPN, and his insight and views during ESPN’s live match presentation of the Barclays Premier League