After Manchester United’s disappointing draws with Everton and Rangers in the past week thoughts turn to Sunday and the visit of Liverpool. Still the season’s biggest fixture for most supporters, the Merseysiders arrive with a new manager in Roy Hodgson but boardroom chaos threatening to engulf the Anfield club’s season.
Not that Liverpool’s financial troubles are any concern of United of course, with Liverpool’s arrival at Old Trafford on Sunday the perfect tonic after a traumatic week. Not only did United rack up the second and third draws of the season but winger Antonio Valencia suffered a double leg break and ankle dislocation that will keep the Ecuadorian out until at least the spring.
With so many star names rested for the Champions League clash with Rangers’ on Tuesday Sir Alex Ferguson’s side will be fresh for the encounter with the club’s biggest rivals. It’s a clash United needs to win to regain momentum in the Premier League title race after Chelsea’s excellent start.
“We took a calculated risk in terms of the squad for Tuesday and we still had enough big players there to get the result. You have to give credit to Rangers the way they set out their stall,” Ferguson told the press on Friday.
“I’m looking forward to Sunday now. I don’t think Liverpool will play five at the back like Rangers. Maybe six!
“I say it time and again – this is THE fixture. The form in these fixtures fluctuates quite a bit. There was a period of about five years when we didn’t lose, then we lost a cup tie and they won about three of four in a row then.”
United, already four points behind Chelsea, could see the champions seven points into the distance if the unthinkable happens at Old Trafford Sunday lunchtime. The sides shared the results last season, with Liverpool scoring a third win in a row at Anfield in October before Ferguson’s side broke the sequence with a 2-1 at October in March.
Baring any reaction, the Reds will welcome back Rio Ferdinand to the Premier League side after the defender played the full 90 minutes against Rangers on Tuesday. Ferguson is set to make eight further changes, with only Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Darren Fletcher retaining their places.
The England captain will, however, not regain the role at United, with Ferguson confirming that Nemanja Vidic is now the team’s permanent skipper. Ferguson will of course be without Valencia, who’s long-term injury was so traumatic for supporters, player and team in midweek.
“Antonio had his operation and it was successful,” added Ferguson.
“The break was clean and we are delighted to announce that. It was a major concern for us at the time.
“There’s ligament damage but we’re looking at the end of February, which is better than we thought on Tuesday night. He’s a strong boy and he’s very positive about it – being positive helps in these situations.
“There’s a mental part to it. When Alan Smith got his injury against Liverpool, he was so positive about it. He was so nonchelant about it and that helped him.
“It’s a blow but in the context of the squad we have we should cope with it. Having players like Nani, Giggs, Ji-Sung Park, Obertan and Beb&eactue; means there are options there.”
Ferguson is set to deploy two strikers once again after the failed experiment with Dimitar Berbatov in the lone role against Everton. Although the Bulgarian’s personal performance was again excellent, United’s defensive frailties cost Ferguson’s side two valuable points.
Indeed, the former Tottenham Hotspur striker is in the finest form of a United career that has so often flattered to deceive. While few supporters doubt the player’s quality, Berbatov’s application is so often the root of his problems. No so any more, says Ferguson.
“I think the situation is when we buy a player for a lot of money there’s a focus. If he has the odd bad game there’s a lot of criticism that other players don’t get. I think we need to dismiss the press, although I think he worries about it himself,” adds Ferguson.
“I concede that at times he seemed to struggle, but if you are satisfied about a player’s credentials you must persevere and trust your judgement, you must have faith, and I think we are being rewarded this season for our confidence in a player who has a touch of genius about him.
“Certainly this is a big season for him that could determine the rest of his career, but he has accepted the challenge and responded in a way that has made him one of our major successes so far!”
Meanwhile, Hodgson’s side arrives, with the former Fulham manager having rested the majority his stars during the Europa League win over Steua Bucharest on Thursday night. Liverpool will be without both Fabio Aurelio and Dirk Kuyt but out-of-form Fernando Torres will play.
Liverpool – 4-5-1 – Reina; Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky; Maxi, Poulsen, Lucas, Gerrard, Cole; Torres. Subs from: Jones, Pacheco, Kyrgiakos, Babel, Ngog, Agger, Meireles, Wilson, Spearing, Darby, Shelvey, Kelly, Jovanovic
Referee: Howard Webb
Assistant referees: Darren Cann & Mike Mullarkey
Fourth official: Mark Clattenburg
United – WWDWDD
Liverpool – WLWWDW
141 thoughts on “Reds welcome Liverpool seeking new momentum”
I couldnt concur that it was a failed formation/experiment last week with Berbatov as lone striker just because we looked so shaky at the back. I thought Berba excelled as you mention and the midfield play going forward was marvellous – and it was the right decision to leave Rooney out given his poor form in the same fixture last term….
Agree with your team for tomorrow – lets hope Fergie prefers Giggs to Park too – we need to go for it, Johnson and Konchesky are vulnerable.
Looks like a good side. One possible difference could be Gary Neville at right back, he always lifts it for Lpool.
Is this the matchday thread?
Apparently Fergie said Berbatov is starting so we’ll probably play 442
Rooney on the left, Nani on the right?
I’d rather have Rooney on the left than play 442 against them
Now that Mascherano is gone, they’re not as strong up the middle.
Neither are we
And don’t forget Torres will arse rape Vidic, as usual
Ferdinand will be there to bail him out this time though. First time those two have started a game together in how long?
SAF needs to win. Anything less will make the sorry excuse for a mid week performance seem even more pathetic.
I would like to see
Roo Berba Nani
Anderson Scholes Fletcher
Evra Rio Vidic Rafael
aye justin that looks a good side, still think shunting rooney out left is a bit of a waste, hes better central and more direct,
the bet is united 2-1 nani fist goal 55/1
please no park or oshea
Won’t be watching the game today….no reason….but I really cannot stand Liverpool to the point of sickness!
So I’ll allow my nerves to win an I’ll avoid it.
Also I see O’Shea an Evans are starting…. with Giggs an Scholes… dear O dear
lol bri.. you say the samething every year. You are going to miss O’shea scoring of his arse today
Man Utd: Van der Sar, O’Shea, Vidic, Jonny Evans, Evra, Nani, Fletcher, Scholes, Giggs, Berbatov, Rooney.
Subs: Kuszczak, Brown, Owen, Anderson, Smalling, Macheda, Gibson.
Giggs on the left wing
No Ferdinand FFS he’s supposed to be fit
Hope Anderson gets half an hour
rio was seen out last nite with saha……must have picked up a few tips
FFS need a decent stream!!
does anyone know why this game is not commentary on 5 live?
its on talkshite….sorry talksport
that tosser collywhore is making me want to stop listening
pressure against the scum so far
need to make it count
Hi Han , lets kick some scouse ass today.
Try that Sid.
hi mad red
am vexed its not on 5 live
have to listen to that intellectual muppet stan colleyfucker on talkshite radio instead
stan colleyfucker how nasty
nani wide just then
What the fuck!!! we should have scored there!!!!
Oh, Nani… just hit the fuckin thing.
Should have scored
Great move, quick thinking from Berba
need to make this good start count
tbf to nani…he should have scored the fucking gonad
is webb supposedly england’s best referee?
berbs looking every bit a king porno star
most of our attacking threat is coming from the right side thus far with nani up against that konchesky twat
come on united
Well, there’s no problem controling the midfield Sid… just can’t find a way through.
I get the feeling a goal will kill Liverpool off
They’re comfortable on the ball but not doing ‘owt with it
Giggs is in the middle with Scholes & Fletch most of the time
Nani is the only proper winger tight to the line
i’ll like it even more when we score against those cunts
they are there for the taking. we should be scoring atleast once this half
Oh ffs Nani ya big girl.
nani ffs get the fuck up
please someone shoot collycunt
why are we letting them back into the game
Fuck me we cant even score against a shite Liverpool side.
now fucking stay focused u poofs and score another
lol torres was busy bumming Berbatov
cruise mode we now have a goal !
Berba is totally spineless
come on United. one more before half time
Now the Verrrmin cunts will have to come out more.
Great time to score… Ferguson will have an easy half time talk.
that motherfucker collycunt says it was ball to hand – what shit has he got in his eyes
Scouse heads have dropped
But the way we have defended recetly this game is not over, even if we go 3-0 up
If The Verrrmin don’t offer more in the second half, expect Hodgson to get some grief from their fans.
Pretty lame stuff from them so far.
scouse tactics will change 2nd half – they will have to attack a little more and so should suit us
how much longer on for giggs and scholes – need to score before they can come off
I wanna see Anderson
in the shower?
That almost took the post out of the ground
fucksake the way we’ve been dominating, we should have been out sight by now. Even O’shea is making good runs into the box
did he mean that?
Oh my goodness.
now that was a cracker
lets tear them a new hole now
what a ball from Fletch to start that move
WHAT A FUCKING GOAL
Stuff of legends that
All you Berbatov haters just fuck off
all i want now is for rooney to get 1
he has done well today Sid but that doesn’t make up for 2 years of shiteness
Aye aye, top ball
He’s hit a couple of stunners today
fuck. penalty. Evans you twat
Fuck off Evans you cunt
Here we fucking go again
Fuckin gift back into the game.
now to live on the edge
Now we need a strong midfield to dominate the ball and take control
That’s embarrassing stuff from Nani.
ffs losing it now
calm down u cunts
we are bottling it big time
fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck
Just fuck off
grow a pair u cunts
Webb you bald idiotic fuckin cunt
This is fucked, right, when the worst Liverpool side in years can come to Old Trafford and score twice you know you’ve got problems
Fergie, you cunt
this is fucking cruel
Chance, should have been 3-2
We’re not controlling midfield anymore and our defence is fucking hopeless
aarghhh I simply cant sit through it. We are playing a pile of shit and we are only level. FFS!!!
Liverpool can win this
We really are fucking weak
this is hilarious it seems we have learnt bugger all from recent games does it.
stick owen on?
we can score again
come on reds
i dont want us to draw this. atleast let in 2 or 3 more so that we dont have any excuses
Where the fuck is AJ the League and the CL not even in your fucking dreams.
saf needs to shake it up quickly
finally Macheda is coming on
and whats the point of Owen he will do fuck all as well as the rest.
Fletch has been godawful after their second goal
What a game from Berrrrrrrrrrbs…….
fuck off you scouse twats
all is forgiven
FKIN GET IN
Even a late winner won’t mask our frailties
berba 3 yes
Well done Berbatov but it still doesn’t alter the fact that we have been shite !!!!!!
BERBATOV HATRICK OU CUNTX
Anderson on for Berbs..
Ace to see Ando
Not getting too excited
Still time for another defensive fuck up
stop inviting them ffs. we are miles better than this pile of shit
Rooney has been wank again.
how long to go.
Out of fucking jail thanks to Berba’s genius
Fucking class hatrick from a top player
Obvious frailties though that need to be sorted out. Any cunt can score against us now except the riff raff
3 needed points and a brilliant game from Berbatov but as previously mentioned we were fucking shit in that we once again let the opponent back in and this has and will continue to happen.
we let them back in with our defensive fuck ups
rio needs to come back damn fucking quickly
evans fucked up under pressure and our wall with fletcher and o’shea was shite by all accounts
but berbs has finally come good – superb performance and well appreciated after he has had a fair share of bollocking
Right… United v Verrrmin games are seldom straightforward, so I’m not too concerned about the soft/weird goals we conceded… it’s not like we were beaten from open play.
A penalty, and a free kick that the wall should have blocked…
Berbatov was awesome… Nani is still being a big jessie, and that is really pissing me off… but the biggest concern for me is Rooney… still not right.
Anyway… 3 points against the Verrrmin… can’t be bad, can it?
fucking brilliant. riding a high. gotta love beating the scousers
evans needs out of the firing lin for a bit but he’ll be fine, oshea…
…..o’shea did provide the cross for berb’s 3rd….
we need to learn how to defend. but any win over the vermin is always fantastic
Class performance from Berbatov. Finally looking the part.
Great to see Anderson and Kiko.
You should be concerned Alf if it was only Liverpool then fine but it isn’t to many are letting today’s result cloud there judgement.
i thought we played very well. it ws easy, berbs genius, nani was excellent although he falls over at the slightest touch, vida had torres in his pocket the ginger prince cotrolled from midfield… great day for me
lets face it
any win over the scum is a joy
to win today after being pegged back with our much haranged striker scoring a hat trick was icing on the proverbial cake
enjoy the win even if there are issues to address
All in all, we were full value for the win. We weren’t helped by the ref and linesmen giving every contentious decision in Liverpool’s favour.
We were excellent going forward. Defensively, we looked comfortable for the most part. Only Fletcher will know why he decided to go chase Mereiles instead of stay in the wall.
I’m pretty happy overall.
Gerrard’s camera kissing antics are getting tiresome. If I was the cameraman I would have smashed Gerrard’s face in with the camera and then pleaded that I was doing it in ‘self defence’ because the rat faced Scouse cunt was coming at me.
was the ladyboy trying to knob our porn star before berbs scored the 1st goal?
We were shite..should have scored 6 and not let in 1 soft goal..amd Evans, ffs, he was lucky in getting a Yellow, and that Scottish Prat should man up and take the ball on his chest instead of acting like a 2 bit ladyboy from Singapore!
Is Giggsy getting shat on by the Refs? in every game! me thinks a conspiracy is on!