22nd September 2012
Liverpool take on Manchester United just ten days after the truth about the Hillsborough disaster has finally been revealed, so there are no doubts there will be a special feel to this derby match. We all hope to see an entertaining match between two great clubs, and may the best team win!
Liverpool fans had high hopes for the new season despite the fact that club chiefs hadn’t done enough to properly reinforce the squad over the summer, and they can be a bit disappointed by team’s showings in the opening exchanges. The Reds have won two of three Europa League games, but remain winless on domestic stage, which cannot give them reason for optimism before the clash with Manchester United. While the back line is expected to improve now that Jose Enrique is back to the side and Glen Johnson back to the right-back position, the Reds will continue to struggle up front with Luis Suarez the only player capable of scoring goals on regular basis. Unless Steven Gerrard and Fabio Borini can start scoring goals soon, I’m afraid Liverpool won’t be able to mount a serious top 4 challenge. Having made no less than 11 changes to the starting line-up in the Europa League win over Young Boys, Brendan Rodgers is set to restore his strongest line-up for the crunch tie with United.
The title race defeat to Manchester City was obviously difficult to take considering the circumstances, but nobody doubted United would come back even stronger this year. The Red Devils were not too active in the summer transfer window, but they produced quite a coup by signing Robin van Persie and Sjinji Kagawa, both of whom have already made an impact at Old Trafford. With Nemanja Vidic and Darren Fletcher back to the side, the Red Devils look ready to mount another serious title challenge. Sir Alex Ferguson’s men recovered well from the opening defeat to Everton to win next four games in all competitions, even if they haven’t been too impressive in the process. Manchester United suffered several scares during their Champions League clash with Galatasaray, but once again managed to come out on top, proving they can win games even when they are well below par. Robin van Persie and Patrice Evra return for the Liverpool clash after being rested in midweek, but Ashley Young is set to miss next three weeks of action.
Neither side have been too impressive of late and with Liverpool largely struggling in the attacking department, we could easily see a low-scoring game. Manchester United would probably settle for one point from Anfield, while their opponents clearly don’t have enough quality and confidence to go all guns blazing at their rivals.
Verdict: Under 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 10/11