5th February 2011
Liverpool will have a great chance to show they have matured under Kenny Dalglish when they host their fierce rivals at Anfield and the Reds could definitely use another morale-boosting victory. Manchester United can make a giant step towards the Premier League title by winning this game, especially after Arsenal failed to beat Sunderland today.
Liverpool’s results have improved a great deal under Kenny Dalglish as the Kop legend led the Reds from the brink of the relegation zone to 6th place in the standings, so everything suggest King Kenny will be given the job on permanent basis. Following the departure of Fernando Torres and the arrival of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll, we can expect the process of rebuilding the team to be continued in the summer and after quite a while, Liverpool fans again have something to hope for. The reds ended the good run of results by sharing spoils with Wigan before losing at Boleyn Ground, but that is unlikely to play any part in such an important match as this one. Kenny Dalglish is hoping Andy Carroll, Raul Meireles and Daniel Agger will be fit to play, but Martin Kelly and Jonjo Shelvey are out injured. The hosts are expected to start with Luis Suarez as a lone striker, with Andy Carrol likely to enter the field in the second half.
Manchester United have just found out that their unlucky defeat to Chelsea wasn’t as costly as it had been expected to be, with Arsenal failing to beat Sunderland, but another slip-up could put them in a very difficult position. In all fairness, United played a very good game at Stamford Bridge, but they had a couple of refereeing decisions go against them and that is the main reason why they lost the derby match. Things don’t look too good at the moment for Sir Alex Ferguson, especially at the back, with Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans all unavailable. This basically means that Wes Brown and Chris Smalling will start in the heart of defence, which is hardly an ideal situation for Sir Alex Ferguson. Patrice Evra and Michael Owen are doubtful, while Antonio Valencia, Owen Hargreaves, Anderson and Ji-Sung Park are also out.
If Vidic and Ferdinand were available, Manchester United would be the favourites here, but in this case, I feel that the match will be much closer than expected. Both sides will be looking for a win, but they could easily end up canceling each other out.
Verdict: Draw (X)
Best Odds: 2/1
Bookmaker: Victor Chandler