Onwards and upwards for Manchester United as the reds head to Anfield to take on Liverpool Sunday morning. Time to take down the scousers. After a draw against Chelsea earlier in the week in David Moyes’ Old Trafford debut, his side will need more of a cutting edge this weekend in order to secure maximum points fro Brendan Rodgers’ side. From a spectators point of view, we’d love to see this fixture come a bit later in the season when both clubs are well established and into their seasons; however, this match provides a true testament to players especially United’s, in a hostile environment that is Anfield.
At the same token, United v Liverpool could not come at a better time for the reds, as Liverpool overcame Notts County in the Capital One Cup in extra time. Their lowly performance towards the end of the second half is certainly worrisome for Rodgers’ and will need to be addressed, quickly.
Three departed Liverpool’s tie against Notts County – Aly Cissokho, Kolo Toure, and Joe Allen. Toure’s absence will be missed most as he’s developed a fair partnership with Daniel Agger in recent weeks to start Liverpool off on the right foot, taking three consecutive wins. With the Ivorians absence, the former Swansea City manager will likely be forced to employ either Andre Wisdom or Martin Skrtel in his spot in the center of defense. With Wisdom still a youngster, and Skrtel having not featured in what seems to be an eternity (January was his last appearance) this could be an area to exploit for Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.
As Michael Carrick is always steady in the heart of our midfield, if he’s able to pick up the pace a little against Liverpool on Sunday – he may just be able to open their defense with absolute ease. It certainly would be nice to see chants around the crowd asking for Jamie Carragher to come back from retirement, wouldn’t it?
With a solid performance against Chelsea early this week, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have been tested. Minus the slip up by Welbeck against Swansea, the defense has looked stingy despite missing Rafael. In his place, Phil Jones has done a decent job; however, he is not a right back. Jones tends to drift centrally more often than not, and it’s the most skilled against some of the more flashy players like Hazard, or Liverpool’s Coutinho.
Jones even stated this week he was a bit worried of Daniel Sturridge’s fine form, scoring two from two in the league. He noted “He’s a cracking player. He’s one that we’ll work on and watch out for.” Christ, Jones – make a bit more obvious as to who you fear the most. Nevertheless, with the help from Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young our wide backs will be able to handle Coutinho and Steven Gerrard’s midfield presence.
While David de Gea has not been tested too much in recent weeks, his counterpart in Simon Mignolet has put in a few Man of the Match performances – sprawling saves, and penalty stops to his name and we’re not even completed match day three. If United are to test Mignolet, both we’ll need a more cutting edge display from Welbeck, Valencia, and even Tom Cleverley in the midfield in order to catch him out of position. Service into the box has been a non-factor in recent weeks, therefore the reds must involve van Persie a bit more readily on Sunday. And with Rooney once again seemingly in love with United – maybe a goal to his name to liken the final critics?
As David Moyes will receive a hostile reception due to his Everton background, Manchester United know what they’re stepping into on Sunday. The Manc, Welbeck, is ready for whatever is thrown his way and knows this match will be massive, as it always has been. The lad stated “I can’t wait for the game. Ever since I’ve been at the club, coming through the U9s to 15s, 16s, youth team and reserves, no matter what the situation is, it’s massive.”
Another massive three points in order for United this weekend at the mercy of Liverpool, hopefully. Let’s walk out of Anfield with our heads held high, and Suarez sitting in the dark as any vampire would.