Louis van Gaal’s team have the chance to make it six wins in a row and to avenge last seasons defeat
After the 3-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool at Old Trafford last season it was the lowest point during David Moyes’ miserable reign at Old Trafford. Things can change very quickly in football. Now Manchester United occupy third place in the table after 5 straight wins in the league while Liverpool sit in ninth place following the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona and don’t look anywhere near the heights they reached last season. Liverpool crashed out of the Champions League on Tuesday after just one win in the group with confidence low at the Merseyside club United know they must take advantage and further cement a place in the top 4.
Louis van Gaal is set to welcome back record signing Angel di Maria to the match day squad following a minor hamstring injury. Whether the United number 7 will start or not remains to seen. There has been alot of talk about formations and systems in recent weeks with the defence constantly being changed from a four to a three. Its widely expected the United manager will go back to a back four as he has done with all games at Old Trafford recently. With Liverpool more than likely to set out with a 4-4-2 diamond van Gaal could opt for a 4-3-3 system to get control of the midfield. Midfield will be key in this game a midfield three of Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellani will provide the perfect blend and balance to allow United to dominate the game and to give Liverpool a lot of problems to deal with. Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia have been deputising for Luke Shaw and Rafael respectively in the full back positions. I expect Valencia to continue at right back but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Tyler Blackett came into the side for Young allowing Marcos Rojo to move to left back a position he is very capable in. Rojo is more defensively aware than Young which is vital against someone like Raheem Sterling who has blistering pace on the counter attack. Robin van Persie who scored twice against Southampton is set to partner Wayne Rooney upfront with Radamel Falcao once again set to be on the bench.
Liverpool look a shadow of the side they were last season with no Luis Suarez and the injured Daniel Sturridge Liverpool look very lacklustre upfront which will be a relief to Louis van Gaal who once again has to reorganize a injury ravaged defence. Liverpool could have Mario Balotelli in the match day squad following injury but United will more than likely come up against Rickie Lambert from the start. As West Ham and Crystal Palace both proved when they welcomed Liverpool to their home grounds the best way to beat Liverpool is to get at the defence with the goalkeeper and entire back four struggling. Fellani will allow United to go get balls into the Liverpool box which they appear unable to deal with almost every game. Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney will be licking their lips with the chance to go up against the Liverpool defence. Radamel Falcao will also fancy his chances against the Liverpool defence should he get on the pitch. Of course these games are different but at Old Trafford with the crowd behind them I fully expect United to go for the jugular from the start. Pressing high up the pitch and getting at the Liverpool defence and warn Liverpool they’re not going to enjoy their visit to Old Trafford this season.
Predicted Team Line-up:(4-3-3)
Valencia Evans Blackett Rojo
Herrera Carrick Fellani
Di Maria Van Perise Rooney
Score Prediction: Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool