Manchester United – Liverpool
Sir Alex has had the lion’s share of success in the past few seasons, but it is Rafa Benitez who has gotten the better of his English counterpart the past 3 times these teams met. Despite Liverpool’s struggles this season, they managed to unseat title holders Manchester United in October at Anfield. The Reds have been steadily improving since January and now have the chance to jump Tottenham for a top four spot. Torres scored a brace against Portsmouth last weekend, but the Reds’ defense looked spotty at times which led to a late Pompey goal.
If Steven Gerrard is the talisman of Liverpool, then Wayne Rooney may just become the symbol of United’s greatness. The young Englishman has scored 24 goals in his past 22 games and is considered by many to be the best performer worldwide at the moment. Sir Alex saw his team go top of the table last weekend with a 3-0 victory over Fulham. Rooney once again made his presence felt by scoring a brace, but second place Chelsea still have a game in hand and could jump the Red Devils on Saturday as they face Blackburn. Regardless of the result at Ewood Park, Alex Ferguson will field a tough squad who will be motivated not only to stay at the league’s summit, but also to get revenge for the past 3 losses to their local rivals.
Manchester United vs. Liverpool FC
Sunday, March 21, 2010 – 2:30 PM (CET)
31st match day
Old Trafford – Greater Manchester
Possible starting XIs:
>> Manchester United: Van der Sar, Evra, Vidic, Ferdinand, Neville, Nani, Carrick, Fletcher, Valencia, Rooney, Berbetov.
>> Liverpool: Reina, Insua, Agger, Carragher, Johnson, Mascherano, Aquilani, Rodriguez, Gerrard, Babel, Torres.
Head-to-Head in EPL:
|25.10.09||Liverpool – Manchester United||2-0|
|14.03.09||Manchester United – Liverpool||1-4|
|13.09.08||Liverpool – Manchester United||2-1|
|23.03.08||Manchester United – Liverpool||3-0|
|16.12.07||Liverpool – Manchester United||0-1|
|03.03.07||Liverpool – Manchester United||0-1|
|22.10.06||Manchester United – Liverpool||2-0|
Despite Liverpool’s healthy squad and subsequent turn of form, the Red Devils are as strong as ever. This will be a hard fought match whatever the result, but expect Sir Alex to find a way past Benitez on Sunday. Both teams have a world class striker, but it is Rooney who has been more convincing lately. Manchester knows that it will take a win here to keep up with Chelsea in the title race and will give no quarter in their attempt to win 3 points.
Prediction: victory Manchester United