Manchester United host North West rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford in the lunchtime kick-off on Sunday.
The two teams have experienced very different fortunes this season.
Liverpool are in the thick of the title race in second place, while their opponents currently sit sixth in the Premier League table.
One crucial factor in Liverpool’s success so far this season is the strike-partnership of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
The Reds strike-force have scored 45 goals between them this season in all competitions.
Suarez has found the net 24 times this season in the Premier League, which is more than Norwich and Crystal Palace have scored this season. Sturridge’s 18 Premier League goals are just one less than Palace’s league tally.
The Liverpool forwards are proving to be the best partnership in the Premier League this season. There were debates about who were the best strike-partnership in the Premier League earlier this season.
The likes of Manchester City pair Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero and United pair Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie had claims for the best attacking pair in the Premier League, but I think it would be hard to argue with Liverpool’s forward line’s claim as the best in the league at the moment.
Manchester United have of course got their own partnership in attack with Rooney and Van Persie, who have not been as dynamic as last season. Van Persie played a major part in United’s title victory last season and was expected to have a similar effect on the team this season.
However, the Dutchman has endured a difficult season with injuries hampering his campaign. In 17 appearances Van Persie has scored 11 goals, which by most people’s standards is a pretty good return.
The former-Arsenal man has not looked like the same player that struck fear into the hearts of Premier League defences last season though. In fact so much so that he had to come out in the media and state that he was happy at Old Trafford.
Van Persie and Rooney’s partnership does not seem to be working at the moment. Rooney has arguably enjoyed a more successful season. The England international has in fact scored one less top-flight goal than Van Persie this season, but has delivered more assists for his teammates.
Van Persie’s perceived unhappiness at United had led to talk of a move away from Old Trafford. His proclamation of happiness may just stamp out some of the talk of a move, but no doubt speculation will continue about the Dutchman’s future.
Liverpool’s strike-force has even recently received praise from Wayne Rooney himself. The former-Everton striker told MUTV:
“Suarez, for me, is up there with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the best players in the world,”
“He has been that good and the two of them together have been in great form this season. We will have to do everything we can to stop them on Sunday.
“I think they are both fantastic players and obviously it is good to see Sturridge doing well because he has never really had a chance at his previous clubs. Brendan Rodgers has given him a chance and he has taken it with both hands. That is good for England as well.”
Both Liverpool and United’s defences have been leaky this season. In fact only Tottenham out of the top seven teams in the Premier League have conceded more goals than the pair. With the attacking players on display tomorrow’s game should be a very entertaining encounter.
The home side are very slight favourites to claim victory in this one at odds of 8/5, despite Liverpool’s goalscoring prowess. However, it is difficult to write-off Suarez and co. in this one
Suarez and Sturridge as usual will pose a threat to the Manchester United defence. Liverpool fans will be hoping that their dynamic duo continues their scoring form. Victory over their North West rivals will keep the Reds right in the race for the Premier League title.
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