This weekend, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men travel to merseyside where they face Liverpool. United will be looking to end a run of three consecutive defeats at Anfield. So, lets take a look at the pre-match stats.
Liverpool started their season with a 1-1 draw against Sunderland but responded well with two home victories versus Bolton and Wolves. They are yet to keep a clean sheet at home.
United won their first two away game against WBA and then demolished Bolton. They dropped their first points of the season in their last away game, drawing 1-1 at Stoke.
United currently sit top of the Premier League table after dropping only 2 points so far this season, in the away draw at the Britannia Stadium. Liverpool, on the other hand, have suffered back to back away defeats at Stoke and Spurs. They have also dropped points at home to Sunderland.
Overall against Liverpool, United have won almost double that they have lost, and have also won more than they have been beaten when playing at Anfield. However, we’re currently on a three game losing streak at Anfield after the following:
6 March 2011 – Liverpool 3 (Kuyt 3) United 1 (Hernandez)
25 October 2009 – Liverpool 2 (Torres, N’Gog) United 0
13 September 2008 – Liverpool 2 (Brown OG, Babel) United 1 (Tevez)
The United performances in these 3 games were far from the high standard they set themselves, often losing out in the midfield fight and conceding a few soft goals along the way.
The United team selection for this game will be an interesting one with the central midfield coming under a few questions after the last few games. Selecting a midfield 3 of Carrick, Anderson and Fletcher could very well be Ferguson’s best choice (unless Tom Cleverley can make a recovery from injury which looks likely).
Although our midfielders will need to be at the top of their games this weekend, the two players I have highlighted are Nemanja Vidic and Wayne Rooney.
Vidic has been limited to just 30 minutes of Premier League football this season after hobbling off injured in the opener against West Brom. Our backup defenders have done a decent job covering for the Serbian, but games like Liverpool away are where you want your best players, your captain, leader and rock at the back. Hopefully Vidic can shake off any rust during his international break and come back 100% fit and ready to lead his team out at Anfield.
Wayne Rooney started the season on fire. He has scored 9 goals and made 2 assists in only six Premier League starts. He has scored in 5 of the 6 games, including back to back hat-tricks against Arsenal and Bolton. United will need Rooney to be at his inspirational best, and goal scoring form if they want to come away from the old enemies with three points.