07 January 2011

Liverpool at Manchester United 01.09.11

8:30am ET, live in the US on FSC

Last four head-to-head:
2-3 United (a) 09.19.10
1-2 United (a) 03.21.10
2-0 Liverpool (h) 10.25.09
4-1 Liverpool (a) 03.14.09

Last three matches:
Liverpool: 1-3 Blackburn (a); 2-1 Bolton (h); 0-1 Wolves (h)
United: 2-1 Stoke (h); 2-1 West Brom (a); 1-1 Brum (a)

Goalscorers (all competitions):
Liverpool: Gerrard, Ngog 8; Torres 6; Kuyt 4; Maxi 3; Babel, Cole, Jovanovic, Kyrgiakos 2; Johnson, Lucas, Skrtel 1
United: Berbatov 15; Chicharito 9; Nani 7; Park 6; Fletcher, Owen, Rooney, Vidic 3; Bebe 2; Anderson, Evra, Gibson, Giggs, Macheda, Obertan, Scholes, Smalling, Valencia 1

Referee: Howard Webb

Howard Webb has to be in charge of any Liverpool/United match. It's in the Premier League rules. Look it up.

Guess at a line-up:
Johnson Skrtel Agger Aurelio
Kuyt Meireles Lucas Maxi

The unbeaten Mancs (yes, I know they lost in the League Cup to Jonathan Spector, but bear with me) against a Liverpool side that can't win away. A lame duck manager and morale plummeting through the floor. The narrative's already written. Either United will hammer the last nail in the coffin or Liverpool will complete a miracle on grass in beating in the Evil Empire. And either way, I've never been less anxious over a match between these two sides.

Liverpool will name a stronger team than against Blackburn even though the FA Cup means far less than Liverpool's terrible league position. Ideally, it will have Gerrard behind Torres with Lucas and Meireles in central midfield, but I'm not holding my breath.

Agger and Aurelio should both return, having been rested for Wednesday's match and having played far better than the counterparts who took their places against Blackburn. Cole might play instead of Maxi – Kuyt will reclaim a starting spot as well – but I hope that won't be the case.

Meanwhile, United also rested players in their last league match, with Ferguson ready to return Rooney, Ferdinand, and van der Sar to the starting lineup. Berbatov, who tallied a hat-trick when these sides met in September, is in excellent form. United also primarily uses 4-4-2 this season, but with players such as Nani and the 87-year-old Giggs, has the ability to get outside Liverpool's narrow back-line to excellent effect, as in the 2-3 league loss at Old Trafford. At least Poulsen and Konchesky aren't likely to start in this meeting.

And after the match, no matter the result, Slur Alex will tell us that Roy's had an impossible job made harder by the shit squad left by the nasty Spaniard and should be given until the end of season.

Happy days.

End scene. Cue curtain.


Noel said...

8:30 in the EST? Is it wrong of me to wonder how much night-before drinking it would take to sleep right through it? Suppose it could always end up being the most thrilling, exciting, phenomenal match the clubs have ever taken part in...

TimC said...

Best case scenario is a draw, right? Perhaps a lucky one, at that. The way I see it, a win would buy Hodgson more time to send us into the Championship while a loss would probably see Hodgson sacked, a day too late and with the club out of the FA Cup.

A dour, dour draw, though, with some fluke goal to earn a replay at Anfield, might be best. It would need to be bad enough to get Roy the sack while not quite bad enough to send the club out of the cup. Banks generally close on Sunday- maybe not the case in Manchester, who knows- but here's to hoping Liverpool opens up two banks of four on Sunday, a 0-0 draw with zero shots, period, and zero hope, leading to a new manager on Monday.

Bill said...

Hey Nate, I bet you ten bucks that Konchesky starts.

Anonymous said...

Just read that Hodgson's left & Dalglish in as interim. Amazingly good news but we still have big probs. Now let's get at these Mancs. Liverpool 4 ever.

extrafattyliver said...

what a lift for all of us.

dalglish in the dug out for the rest of the season.

nate said...

Still wanna make that bet, Bill?

Bill said...

I'm a man of my word, but it'll be the best ten bucks I'll ever lose