Manchester United fans are bound to give captain Wayne Rooney a hero’s welcome as he broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record and the Red Devils will hope that will provide a much needed boost for home players ahead of what is a very important game. Liverpool, on the other hand, head into the derby match low on spirits following the shocking 3-0 loss to West Ham, and they are likely to be without several key man at Old Trafford.
While jury is still out on Louis van Gaal, nobody can say that the first year under the Dutch coach has not been as exciting as they get. The former Oranje boss has lured quite a few high-profile players to Old Trafford and while he has not not exactly addressed all key issues, Van Gaal appears capable of taking the team to the next level. Another good news is that the transfer saga involving David De Gea is finally over, with the Spaniard widely expected to reclaim his place in the side after signing a contract extension. Meanwhile, football fans across the globe are eager to see summer recruit Anthony Martial in action and see why United have paid so much for the player who has scored mere 11 league goals so far in his career. Manchester United’s promising start to the season did come to an end as they were again beaten by Swansea, but Wayne Rooney’s big moment and debut of Anthony Martial should prove enough to neutralise the effect of the loss at Liberty Stadium. And with summer recruits Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian and Bastian Schweinsteiger slotting right in, United have a good chance to see off seriously weakened Liverpool, despite the fact that Michael Carrick might again miss out through a calf problem.
Having utterly failed to live up to the billing last term, Liverpool had no choice but to strengthen this summer, and the general impression is they have made some excellent signings, while successfully getting rid of Balotelli, Markovic and Borini. And while Brendan Rodgers was far from happy to stay without Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling, the likes of Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino, Nathaniel Clyne, Danny Ings, James Milner and Joe Gomez have seriously reinforced the ranks. But, with so many new players arriving in a short period of time and Daniel Sturridge again missing the start of the season, Liverpool were far from impressive in the opening exchanges, in spite of narrow wins over Stoke City and AFC Bournemouth. The goalless draw with Arsenal and shocking 3-0 home loss to West Ham showed there is still a lot of work ahead for Brendan Rodgers and his men, and this is definitely a bad time to be facing revived Manchester United. Namely, the Reds are without key midfielder Philippe Coutinho through suspension, whereas Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are expected to miss out as well. The good news is that Daniel Sturridge has finally resumed training, but he will not be considered for the clash at Old Trafford.
Manchester United definitely heads into the high-profile match in better mood than their rivals, and they look they can finally deliver against a top side. Meanwhile, Liverpool are far from the desired form and missing three key midfielders, so I cannot see them getting anything from this match.
Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 1/1