7:45am Eastern Time, live in the US on Setanta
Last 4 head-to-head:
3-0 United (a) 3.23.08
1-0 United (h) 12.16.07
1-0 United (h) 03.03.07
2-0 United (a) 10.22.06
Last 3 matches:
Liverpool: 0-0 Villa (a); 1-0 Liege (h); 2-1 Boro (h)
United: 1-2 Zenit (neutral); 1-0 Pompey (a); 1-1 Newcastle (h)
Referee: Howard Webb
Guess at a squad:
Arbeloa Carragher Skrtel Dossena
Kuyt Benayoun Riera
I hate this fixture. And with Gerrard and Torres most likely out, despite having trained today (I reckon that, at best, one or the other might be on the bench), I’ve no idea how Liverpool are going to line up.
Hopefully, as Liverpool wouldn’t have to fit both Torres and Keane in the team, Benitez will go back to the 4-2-3-1 that worked last season. But with Gerrard and Torres missing from that formation, who knows how potent it would be. A lot of pressure will fall on Keane’s shoulders, but he should be able to play in his preferred position tomorrow, and hopefully, that will make a massive difference.
In addition, it’s worth remembering that players were away with the international teams. For example, Masch only played Saturday’s game for Argentina, but Lucas, who started for Brazil on Wednesday, would have returned to Anfield quite late.
I still think I’d rather have Carragher-Skrtel-Agger-Dossena as the backline, but as we haven’t seen it yet, I’d be surprised if Benitez deploys it against the Mancs. Conservatism is usually the order of the day when they come to town.
Even though I put him in my guess at a squad, I’d also be surprised if Riera started, given it’d be his first game for the club and that he joined less than two weeks ago. But Liverpool’s often looked lost on the left, no matter if Benayoun, Babel, or Keane (?!?!?) has played there. Plus, Riera’s first match in England for Manchester City was against United, and the Citizens won 3-1. Let’s hope the trend continues. But if he doesn’t start, I reckon it has to be Benayoun or Aurelio on the left.
Seems likely Berbatov will make his debut for the Mancs, and I’m curious as to how Ferguson will play him, Rooney, and Tevez at the same time. The absence of Ronaldo probably leaves United little choice, and it’ll be interesting to see the midfield behind those three. Probably Scholes, Fletcher, and Hargreaves/Carrick (depending on fitness), but we’ll see. Pity Liverpool will the first guinea pigs.
We’ve seen all the articles about how Liverpool needs to turn around the recent record against United. Well duh. Not counting the 2006 FA Cup win, Liverpool hasn’t beaten the Mancs since 2004, and hasn’t won at Anfield in the league since 2001. It’s gotten unbearable. No better time to silence the critics and reverse that history like the present.