Liverpool vs Man Utd: Injury News, Preferred Team & Predicted Score
In one of the greatest sporting rivalries, Manchester United heads to Anfield to do battle with their most-hated adversary, Liverpool, in the Barclays Premier League. United and Liverpool both go into the 182nd edition of the always explosive North West derby on the wrong end of their last results, which will certainly add extra spice to this already steamy rivalry, because it is imperative for them to quickly turn around their misfortunes.
United has tasted sweet victory in the last three derby matches, all at Old Trafford, but Anfield, on the other hand, has not been a very kind place to the Red Devils as they have lost their last two games there. Despite their disappointing loss to Chelsea, United is still in first place in the Premier League, and they still maintain a four point lead over Arsenal, but the Gunners have a game in hand, so it could, potentially, be cut to a single point.
Liverpool come into the match following a 3-1 setback to West Ham United at Upton Park, and that loss, coupled with Chelsea’s win, has all but ended their slim UEFA Champions League hopes for next season.
With rivalries though, records and form are tossed out the window, because it is always feisty affair when United and Liverpool square off.
The two pair of Reds have already met twice this season, which has resulted in two very lopsided, one-goal wins for United – 3-2 win in the Premier League, and, most recently a 1-0 the FA Cup. Like most North West Derbies, in cup competitions especially, the match had a couple of boiling points, so United’s 1-0 will be marred by two correct, but very contentious decisions made by the referee.
Howard Webb awarded United a penalty in the first minute of the game, which was expertly converted by Ryan Giggs, but he also showed a straight red card to Liverpool’s captain, Steven Gerrard, for a very aggressive tackle on Michael Carrick, who just signed a new contract extension.
Currently on 39 points, Liverpool has a tight two point advantage over Bolton and Sunderland for the Europa League spot, which is quite impressive when you consider where the Reds were after eight games. Following their controversial financial bailout by the New England Sports Ventures (NESV), Liverpool have climbed 13 places in the league standings over their last 20 games.
Liverpool’s saving grace, which coincidently came when Kenny Daglish was appointed manager, has most certainly been their home for, and the Reds boast the fourth best record in the Premier League at Anfield by winning eight of their 14 games. At home, and even though they drew their last game, a one-all draw with Wigan Athletic, Liverpool have bagged 23 goals and has only not scored once.
Defensively, Liverpool has only conceded 11 goals at Anfield, which is tied for fourth best in the Premier League, so United will have to be more decisive in the offensive-third than they were against Chelsea.
After losing his patience with Liverpool’s lack of success, Fernando Torres handed in a transfer request and the Reds suckered Chelsea into paying £50 million in January for him. That cash did not stay in NESV’s hands long, as they quickly tied about imminent transfer of Luiz Suarez from Ajax, and made a shock move to get Andy Carroll, whose inclusion for the derby remains a mystery, for an astonishing £35 million.
Gerrard has recovered from another injury, and should be fit for the match to add some more potency to the Liverpool attack. Liverpool’s best player over the past month has been the emergence of Raul Meireles, who has scored five goals in six games, but he limped off with an apparent knee injury against West Ham.
Another injury concern for Daglish is their young right-back, Martin Kelly, who has started 10 Premier League matches, after he pulled his hamstring against the Hammers.
The most damaging news for United has been that Nemanja Vidic, who picked up two bookable offenses in the loss to Chelsea, will miss the match through his mandatory one-game suspension. The ban for Vidic leaves Sir Alex Ferguson with a major selection headache with Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans both still suffering from their respective injuries.
After watching his starting XI play with a lot more determination during the first half against Chelsea, Sir Alex should take a long, hard moment to think about whether he should go with a 4-4-2 or the less desirable 4-5-1 formation. The North West derby usually offers some sort of fireworks in the match, and this match between Manchester United and Liverpool should not be any different – especially with some much riding on this Barclays Premier League match.
Out: N. Vidic (suspension), O. Hargreaves (hamstring), Anderson (knee), R. Ferdinand (calf), J. S. Park (hamstring); Doubtful: A. Valencia (leg); Questionable: J. Evans (ankle), P. Evra (ankle)
E. van der Sar; Rafael, W. Brown, C. Smalling, J. O’Shea; Nani, M. Carrick, D. Fletcher, R. Giggs; D. Berbatov, W. Rooney
Liverpool 1 Manchester United 2
Submitted by The United Religion
/ 6 hours ago
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