Article by Mouline
United would almost have the title in the bag had they turned just a handful of of their eight draws, some of which came right after letting in late ambitions, into victories. And following defeats in two of their very last three matches absent from property, to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea, one more away game at arch-rivals Liverpool would not have been at the top rated of Sir Alex’s wish-listing.
But Liverpool on their own have suffered one thing of a lull soon after a productive run under interim supervisor Kenny Dalglish. Following four consecutive wins without conceding a objective, the very last of which came at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool have picked up just 1 stage from 6 in opposition to two relegation battlers.
Initial, they have been held to a one-1 draw at residence by Wigan Athletic before being beaten 3-1 by West Ham United at Upton Park.
Dalglish might publically insist that he is approaching this game only worried with Liverpool’s fortunes, with the Reds at present sixth – which will only be good sufficient for a Europa League spot should two of the top 5 make the FA Cup last. But he could be forgiven for also wanting to provide a significant dent to United’s title cost as they look to move clear of Liverpool onto 19 English league championships, especially providing the lengthy-operating rivalry involving himself and Sir Alex which runs back again to his initial stint as Liverpool boss.
The two sides very last met on January 9, just hours soon after Dalglish stepped into Roy Hodgson’s shoes, with United advancing to the next round of the FA Cup courtesy of a Ryan Giggs objective even though Steven Gerrard was sent off. In the league game at Outdated Trafford in September, United won three-two with Dimitar Berbatov scoring 3 ambitions and Gerrard two.
Liverpool could entail £35 million file signing Andrew Carroll for the 1st time because his move from Newcastle United after recovering from a thigh injury, with a place on the bench most most likely. Defenders Daniel Agger and Fabio Aurelio are back again in contention even though Raul Meireles ought to be match despite becoming withdrawn at West Ham with a knee injuries. But Dalglish is without promising right-back Martin Kelly, which implies Glen Johnson is likely to change back again to his normal placement.
Gentleman United have troubles in central defence with Nemanja Vidic suspended and Rio Ferdinand still injured, so Chris Smalling will be joined at the back by Wes Brown who will make only his third Premier League start of the time.
Liverpool player to watch: Luis Suarez. After scoring on his debut against Stoke Metropolis – a goal which might nevertheless be reclaimed by the Dubious Objectives Panel – Suarez has been feeling his way into the English football, starved of more game time with his new group-mates by currently being ineligible for the club’s Europa League campaign. He has looked lively in his two starts against Wigan and West Ham, and could fire himself into Anfield folklore by downing United.
Guy United player to view: Wes Brown. A deal with so seldom seen at Outdated Trafford this period number of could be forgiven for considering he was no lengthier there. But he announced his return to fitness by scoring the only objective of the game versus Crawley Town in the FA Cup two weeks in the past. But a top rated-level Premier League game is a diverse prospect for a player who will make his initial Premier League start off considering that November 11. United did not keep a clean sheet on his other two league begins, from Wolves and Aston Villa.
Essential battle: Raul Meireles v Michael Carrick. Before becoming pulled off just soon after half-time from West Ham, Meireles had learned the Midas touch in front of goal – scoring 5 ambitions in six video games for Liverpool. With the shackles thrown off, Meireles has demonstrated a penchant for breaking into the box as a goalscoring midfielder. Michael Carrick, who signed a new deal on Friday even with not obtaining the very best of seasons, will have to keep a watchful eye on Meireles’ runs as he looks to ghost in.
Trivia: No player has moved straight among the two clubs for 46 decades following given that Phil Chisnall transferred from United to Liverpool for £25,000. Only 9 players have ever before produced the immediate switch: Tom Chorlton, Jackie Sheldon, Tom Miller, Fred Hopkin, Tommy Reid, Ted Savage, Allenby Chilton, Thomas McNulty and Chisnall. Only the last two of individuals nine moved in the very last 73 a long time.
Stats: This weekend will be Sir Alex Ferguson’s 50th league meeting with Liverpool. His record so far go through W23 D12 L14. One for Liverpool, as no team with much less than 42 points soon after 28 matches has actually completed in the Premier League top four. United have won 69% of the Premier League matches Michael Carrick has started since his arrival and 74% without him. Many thanks to OptaJoe.Click here to watch
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