Her­rera the an­swer in Man United mid­field?

Cape Argus - - Sport -

MANCH­ESTER UNITED face their first real test of the sea­son when they travel to Liver­pool, in one of the most fa­mous fix­tures in the Premier League cal­en­dar, to­mor­row.

The Lan­cashire ri­vals – the two most suc­cess­ful teams in English league his­tory – meet at An­field, with the re­sult im­por­tant to both after dif­fer­ing starts to the new cam­paign.

For United, vic­tory would be a state­ment of in­tent as they look to keep pace with neigh­bours Manch­ester City at the top of the ta­ble in what is their first clash with one of the big sides.

With seven points be­tween the two, the re­sult could be even more cru­cial to Liver­pool, who have won just once in their past four Premier League out­ings.

United will be with­out a num­ber of key mid­field­ers, with Paul Pogba, Michael Car­rick and Marouane Fel­laini all in­jured.

De­fender Phil Jones is also doubt­ful after pulling out of Eng­land duty, so United man­ager Jose Mour­inho will use the full depth of his squad.

“An­other one plays and it’s no prob­lem for me,” said Mour­inho, who could bring An­der Her­rera into mid­field.

“Not just An­der. We trust every player. We lost play­ers last sea­son and we lost play­ers this sea­son. With our way of thinking and feel­ing, it really is no prob­lem.

“We never hide be­hind this or that player or this or that in­jury. We trust the ones that are go­ing to play.”

In-form striker Romelu Lukaku will be fit after re­turn­ing from in­jury to play for Bel­gium in mid­week.

Liver­pool will miss for­ward Sa­dio Mane, their lead­ing scorer, who in­jured him­self on in­ter­na­tional duty with Sene­gal.

For­mer Liver­pool man­ager Kenny Dal­glish, speak­ing to the Liver­pool Echo news­pa­per, said he ex­pects United to try to hit the home side on the counter-at­tack.

“I think United will come and set up quite de­fen­sively, but at the same time they have fan­tas­tic front­men in Mar­cus Rash­ford, Romelu Lukaku and An­thony Mar­tial,” he said.

“I think Jose will try to make sure the pres­sure is on Liver­pool, but the pres­sure is on ev­ery­one when it comes to a game like that.”

Dal­glish said Liver­pool, who will wait on the fit­ness of de­fender De­jan Lovren be­fore de­cid­ing their line-up, just need a bit of for­tune to go their way to get back on track.

“At the mo­ment United are play­ing very well and Liver­pool haven’t had the breaks. But their luck is bound to change at some time or other... hope­fully this week.”

City, who top the ta­ble on goal dif­fer­ence from United, could be boosted by a sur­prise re­turn for Ser­gio Aguero, who has re­cov­ered much faster than ex­pected after a re­cent ac­ci­dent.

Aguero was ex­pected to be out for at least six weeks but he is in con­tention to face Stoke to­mor­row.

“I still do not know if I am go­ing to play on Satur­day,” the Manch­ester Evening News quoted him as say­ing. “To­day I trained nor­mally, but with­out the group.

“To­mor­row I will get into the group to see how I feel, but at train­ing it’s not the same as a game, I want to see if I have pain.”

Third-placed Tot­ten­ham will try to break their Wem­b­ley duck this sea­son by win­ning at home in the league for the first time against Bournemouth on Satur­day.

Spurs have strug­gled at their tem­po­rary home but they should be con­fi­dent, es­pe­cially with striker Harry Kane hav­ing con­tin­ued his rich scor­ing form with Eng­land in mid­week.

Fourth-placed Chelsea travel to bot­tom side Crys­tal Palace, a team still look­ing for their first goal and first point of the sea­son. Ar­se­nal will hope that Lau­rent Ko­scielny is fit to re­place Shko­dran Mustafi, who is out for up to six weeks with a ham­string in­jury, as they travel to Wat­ford.

Burn­ley, rid­ing high in sixth, host West Ham, Swansea play Hud­der­s­field, strug­gling Ever­ton are away to Brighton and Southamp­ton wel­come New­cas­tle in other week­end fix­tures.


HOT FORM: Manch­ester United striker Romelu Lukaku has been a stand­out since ar­riv­ing from Ever­ton.

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