Tag Archives: Luis Suarez

Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 18

Chelsea-TOTW

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting eighteenth gameweek in the Premier League. Chelsea and Liverpool provide not one, two or three but four players each, while there is one each from Manchester City, Manchester United and Reading.

Adam Federici (Reading)

Aston Villa’s Brad Guzan was one of the top performers of the week as he was virtually playing alone against Chelsea, but on a matter of principle I just couldn’t select a keeper who conceded eight goals in a match and so I went with Federici. The Reading goalie frustrated the Premier League champions Manchester City for 90 minutes and was very unlucky to concede a stoppage time goal in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City)

Manchester City have yet to hit top gear but they still remain very much in the hunt to retain their Premier League title. It is fair to say that not everyone at City is pulling their weight at the moment but it would be harsh if its said the same about Pablo Zabaleta. The right-back has been in terrific form and if it wasn’t for his persistence – and cross for Gareth Barry’s winning goal – City would not have eked out Saturday’s late win.

Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)

The Serbian was given one of the toughest jobs of the weekend – mark the inform Christian Benteke. He and Gary Cahill combined well to nullify the Belgian’s threat very effectively, recording a clean sheet in the 8-0 thrashing of Aston Villa on Sunday. He even managed to increase his goal tally for the season with a poacher’s goal after Cahill’s shot was palmed his way.

Martin Skrtel (Liverpool)

To be honest, Saturday’s action Premier League action fell dull until the late kick-off between Liverpool and Fulham at Anfield. The goal which brought the weekend to life was just superb from defender Martin Skrtel. A nice touch to control the ball before unleashing an unstoppable volley past Mark Schwarzer to open the floodgates for the Reds on their way to a 4-0 win over the Cottagers.

Patrice Evra (Manchester United)

Its been a funny season for Manchester United at the back. Their defenders are leaking goals but at the same time scoring at the other end of the pitch. Evra is a perfect example of this during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Swansea. The Frenchman did superbly well to score with a header from a Robin van Persie corner but then was caught out of position as Michu equalised for the Swans.

David Luiz (Chelsea)

Chelsea may have scored eight against Aston Villa, but none was better than David Luiz’s freekick. It was very similar to how Didier Drogba used to hit them for the Blues. It was not only the Brazilian’s goal which earns him a place in the Team of the Week. Played just in front of the back-four, Luiz looked right at home in the Obi Mikel role and the African must surely be a worried man now.

Ramires (Chelsea)

The Brazilian did not even start the game but yet he makes our Team of the Week. The midfielder, who is not known for his goal scoring, came on in the second half for Frank Lampard in Chelsea’s thrashing of Aston Villa on Sunday, and ended the match as one of the star performers and became the only player to score more than once in that match. He scored the Blues’s fifth and eighth goal of the night.

Stewart Downing (Liverpool)

Downing makes the Premier League Team for the first time ever. Perhaps this is what the Mayans were referring to? Back in his regular role of a winger, the former Aston Villa wide man put in an excellent performance in Liverpool’s easy win on Saturday. He set Steven Gerrard for the hosts’ second goal of the night and scored one himself in the second half. His first assist and goal in the Premier League since joining the Reds last season.

Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

Competition in midfield is tough this week given Chelsea’s hammering of Aston Villa but there was no chance of leaving Steven Gerrard out. The Liverpool skipper has been in patchy form this season as he adjusts to Brendan Rodgers’ style of play. However, we saw the Gerrard of the old as the Liverpool legend provided two assists for his teammates, but also got his own name on the score sheet too.

Eden Hazard (Cheslea)

After a blistering start to life in the Premier League, Eden Hazard has positively cooled off. Any worries should be abated now, though, as the Belgian wizard ran riot on The Blues’ left flank against Aston Villa. His holding midfield duo controlled the game and were able to find him regularly, so he had ample opportunities to shine. He also got himself on score sheet by scoring his side’s seventh goal of the night.

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Suarez was back to his best on Saturday. The Uruguayan bagged the final goal of four against Fulham and it was a perfect reward for his efforts all game long. Even though the goal came very late and technically unimportant at the stage of a comprehensive rout, it was important for Liverpool’s only injury free senior striker to get back among the goals after failing to score for more than a month.

TOTW GW 18

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Steven Gerrard – The Pied Piper Of Anfield

Pied-Pipper-Of-Anfield

One of the greatest midfielders, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been the lynchpin of the Reds for the past decade or so and has also been the part of the transformation plans of four managers since the triumphant spectacle at Istanbul. However, the critics have doubted the current influence of the 32-year old English captain.

Under the current Chelsea interim boss – Rafael Benitez, Anfield was a place most teams around Europe feared to go. It was a fortress in its true sense. A young Gerrrad was given a more advanced role to play, just behind the target man Fernando Torres, Peter Crouch or Andrei Voronin. With Xabi Alonso at the centre of the park and the smart Javier Mascherano as the holding midfielder – the link between the midfield & the back four – Gerrard was handed the responsibility of handling the attacking side of the game. Liverpool were known for their direct style of play, fluent passing and classic counter attacks. The 2008-09 season was the highlight of this Liverpool side’s strength and ability. Benitez was clearly a manager who understood each player’s psychology, style of play and the suitable position required for his effective influence in the side’s game. Gerrard was at his very best and had expressed his happiness under the Spanish boss.

Benitez-Formation
Liverpool’s formation under Rafa Benitez

Liverpool’s inability of holding on to Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano, the stalwarts of the Liverpool midfield was followed by the exit of Benitez. This led to a beginning of a doubtful and disappointing transition in the history of the football club. The entry of Roy Hodgson led to a hope for the Koptites as the former Fulham manager seemed like a hopeful perspective. But his tenure ended after just 31 matches following a run of disappointing results. Meanwhile, the Liverpool skipper suffered a recurring hamstring injury in training.

The sacking of Hodgson meant that Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish would step in his shoes. After a struggling start and a serious injury Lucas Leiva, Gerrard was given a role of playing behind Jordan Henderson and play as a deep-lying playmaker, a position to which the English midfielder was not much acclimated to. The introduction of Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Henderson meant that the injury affected captain had to play behind the attacking midfielders. However, this was the time when the then 31 year-old midfielder suffered his major injury setbacks. He was sidelined for six months with a grueling groin injury and was again sidelined for an infection injury on his right ankle.

Dalglish-Formation
Liverpool’s formation under Kenny Dalglish

These injuries forced the manager to play him in a safe deep position which would keep him away from exertion and hard tackling and thus keep him away from further injuries. However, the fan favourite had mentioned in his interviews that he was more than willing to play the same role that he had played for Liverpool over the years but was happy with any role given by the manager. A 1-0 defeat on the final day of the season at  Swansea City meant the end of a disappointing era for Dalglish. Gerrard was criticized by many as a player too old for the British game but was still able to get 8 goals in the meager amount of games that he played.

Then came Brendan Rodgers. The former Swansea boss provides a whole new type of game of retaining the ball as quickly as possible and playing an aggressive & fast game. Meaning, the type of game Gerrard longs to play, with wholehearted commitment in every tackle.

Rodgers-Liverpool

However, the current role given to Gerrard has frustrated many a Liverpool fan. The influential and committed skipper has been given a tamed role of playing the ball in the final third from a deep position. But with a lack of strike force and a berserk Luis Suarez when it comes to finishing the obvious chances, the only support in the front-line, the midfielder is forced to give away the ball due to lack of options. The main and obvious remedy to this is to bring in a new striker, especially a striker who can make his presence felt in the box. The reason being that Jose Enrique and Raheem Sterling do all the hard work on the wings, taking defenders to the byline and then when they look up there is hardly a shadow in the box to aim at. Due to the inexperienced midfield comprising of Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Allen, Gerrard is given the responsibility of handling the defensive duties as well. For a 32-year-old it is too big a task. Allen after an impressive first three games has exposed his physical weakness and has given the ball away cheaply especially against the likes of Chelsea who have a hefty attacking line-up.

Remedy-Formation
The formation that Brendan Rodgers should play, which will get the best out of Gerrard

A makeshift solution can be of playing Lucas and Allen as the holding midfielders and Gerrard playing in front of them. This will enable him to move to either wing to support Sterling or the newly fullback turned left midfielder Jose Enrique as also of playing the final ball to Suarez or taking the shot on from outside the area, for which he was so feared till a season or two ago. The main problem is that the more deep he falls in the midfield the more the midfield looses its experience and the dynamic presence of an attacking and creative midfielder and thus his influence in the game reduces drastically. For a man who has given everything for his home club and wants to fulfill his only desire of winning the Premier League title, he should be given the role of a trequilesta, even if it drains out all his energy and has to sit out a third of the game.

Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 12

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting eleventh weekend in the Premier League. Arsenal, Liverpool, Norwich City and Southampton provide two players each, while there is one each from Manchester City, Sunderland and West Brom Albion.

John Ruddy (Norwich City)

The England keeper was in instrumental form in his side’s shocking 1-0 win over Manchester United at Carrow Road on Saturday. He made a succession of crucial saves – especially from Ashley Young – and two right at the death, to frustrate United and keep them at bay.

Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton)

Southampton have conceded the most number of goals this season, but Clyne is one player to keep an eye for in the future. In the biggest game at the bottom of the table, he was rock solid in defence when his team needed him and going forward he chipped in with an assist as his team got the better of QPR at Loftus Road.

Carlos Cuellar (Sunderland)

The former Aston Villa defender has been rock solid at the back for the Black Cats this season and he was once again at his best against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday. He put in a very impressive defensive display and also scored his first goal for the club by heading home a corner.

Michael Turner (Norwich City)

Turner struggled at the start of the season but on Saturday he was at his very best. He was the heart and soul of the Canaries’ spirited defensive display and dealt brilliantly with both Javier Hernandez (later replaced by Danny Welbeck) and Robin van Persie. He put his body on the line and successfully got his head to numerous crosses to keep United’s attack at bay.

Jose Enrique (Liverpool)

This is the second consecutive time the Liverpool left-back has made our Team Of The Week and he completely deserves it. Played in an advance role in Saturday’s comfortable win over Wigan, the Spaniard put in his best performance of the season so far and ended the game with a goal and an assist.

Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

Arsenal fans and manager Arsene Wenger may be split on whether Theo Walcott is worth the money to keep at the club past this season. However, on Saturday in the North London derby at least Walcott put in a brilliant display. His contribution included an assist and an injury time goal.

Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)

The little Spainiard has been the Gunners’ best player this season and on Saturday he was at his creative best against Tottenham, making the most of Arsenal’s one-man advantage. He was involved in most of the hosts’ intricate build-up play, and topped off his performance with a goal and a brilliant assist in the 5-2 thrashing.

Jason Puncheon (Southampton)

He provided the impetus from the right side of midfield for Southampton, on his first return to Loftus Road, having played there on loan last season. His two assists and a sweet left-footed curling goal from the edge of the box was just the reward for his impressive performance.

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Another weekend and its Suarez again. The Uruguayan international is in the form of his life and without him I really can’t see Liverpool being a serious threat. However, he now has ten goals this season and increased his tally over the weekend with two well taken finishes in the home win over Wigan.

Shane Long (West Brom Albion)

The former Reading man spent a good 60 minutes terrorising the Chelsea defence and David Luiz in particular on Saturday. His goal involved great movement and his assist for Peter Odemwingie was of the first order. He has adapted very well to the life in the Premier League and now can produce performances capable of dismantling top sides.

Carlos Tevez (Manchester City)

The Argentine striker ended his barren spell of just one goal in his last 12 appearances for City, with a brace in the 5-0 thrashing of Aston Villa. His first came from the penalty spot, while his second was a close-range tap-in. But, his performance will be the most pleasing thing for Roberto Mancini.

Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 10

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting tenth weekend in the Premier League. Manchester United and Norwich City have provided two players each, while there is one each from Reading, West Ham, Aston Villa, Swansea, Everton, Liverpool and West Brom.

Alex McCarthy (Reading)

The Royals may still be looking for their first win of the season, but the 22-year-old put in another inspired display for his team in the 1-1 draw against QPR at Loftus Road. He first excellently tipped Esteban Granero’s free-kick onto the crossbar and then produced another inch-perfect save to deny Adel Taarabt in the closing.

Steven Whittaker (Norwich City)

Making your debut in the Premier League is not at all easy, even for a seasoned professional like the former Rangers man – who was handed his Norwich City debut against Stoke on Saturday.  Whittaker was very impressive at the back, especially his crossing as the Canaries picked another welcomed win and kept a clean sheet.

James Collins (West Ham United)

Manchester City started with Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli at Upton Park and then introduced Sergio Aguero in the second half, but they couldn’t find a way through the West Ham defence. Collins, alongside Winston Reid, marshaled the Hammers’ back four brilliantly and restricted the reigning Premier League champions to a number of half-chances.

Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa)

Clark provided the defensive foundation for his side to build an important 1-0 win over Sunderland on Saturday. On the one-occasion when Clark was stretched defensively, the centre-back recovered excellently to block Sunderland’s Stephane Sessegnon from scoring an almost certain goal.

Patrice Evra (Manchester United)

The Manchester United left-back has had a lot criticism recently, but it was all-smiles for the Frenchman during Saturday’s 2-1 win over Arsenal. The defender was hardly troubled by the Gunners, who didn’t at all have pace in their attack. He also scored United’s second goal, which turned out to be the winner with Arsenal scoring with the last kick of the ball.

Pablo Hernandez (Swansea City)

The Spaniard was at the heart of Swansea’s attacking threat, constantly probing with intelligent passing and movement. Hernandez created a host of Swansea chances before taking it upon himself to net the equaliser with just two minutes left on the clock, following a well-taken finish from the edge of the box.

Marouane Fellaini (Everton)

Everton will feel as though they should have left Fulham with all three points on Saturday, with David Moyes’ side dominating at Craven Cottage. A 2-2 draw, however, keeps them in the top four and Fellaini has been an influential figure for them this season. He bagged a brace at Fulham over the weekend to take his tally to five goals in nine matches.

Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City)

The Norwich City playmaker has always had the talent to play at the top level, but his inconsistency has often been the problem. However, against Stoke he was near to his best, pulling the strings as he drifted effortlessly from one side of the pitch to the other.

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

The Uruguayan striker scored one of the goals of the season as he dug Brendan Rodgers’ side out of another hole. Full of craft and skill, Suarez appeared unplayable at times, and will haunt the Magpies skipper Fabricio Coloccini after his trickery tempted him into a clumsy challenge, which resulted in a red card for his fellow South American.

Robin van Persie (Manchester United)

Van Persie took just three minutes to remind Arsene Wenger why his absence is a massive blow to Arsenal’s lofty ambitions this season, when he capitalised on an uncharacteristic error by Thomas Vermaelen to give United the lead. His clever movement and constant attacking intent caused the visitors endless problems at the back.

Peter Odemwingie (West Brom Albion)

Odemwingie was the star of the show on Monday night as West Brom defeated rock-bottom Southampton 2-0 at the Hawthorns, with the Nigerian international striker grabbing a deadly double to pile pressure on Nigel Adkins’ side.

Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 9

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting eighth weekend in the Premier League. Arsenal and Manchester United have provided two players each, while there is one each from Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Norwich, Tottenham and Wigan.

David De Gea (Manchester United)

It was the same fixture last term that helped De Gea cement his place as United’s number one. The Spanish keeper was again at his best making a number of fine saves to keep the Blues at bay towards the end of first half, including a couple with his feet.

Bacary Sagna (Arsenal)

The Frenchman made an excellent return from injury to give Arsene Wenger a selection headache between him and the impressive Carl Jenkinson ahead of the important clash against Manchester United this weekend. Sagna fired in a string of crosses as he got forward for the Gunners while was also sound defensively as Arsenal picked up a clean sheet.

Ivan Ramis (Wigan Athletic)

The Latics defender was very impressive against West Ham at home. He scored the game’s opener in the eighth minute with a sizzling left-footed, while at the same time kept things tight at the back. He along with his defensive partner successfully dealt with the treat possessed by Andy Carroll.

Michael Turner (Norwich City)

The former Sunderland and Hull City centre-back was solid at the back for the Canaries as Aston Villa were restricted to just one chance in the 1-1 draw at Villa Park. Adding some gloss to his display, he scored a late equaliser, heading home Wes Hoolahan’s corner.

Leighton Baines (Everton)

The Everton left-back was very unlucky to be on the score-sheet for Liverpool in the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park. However, he didn’t allow this disappointment to affect his overall game and he went on to enjoy a good solid afternoon. He was a constant threat on the left hand side and also created some good chances for his team-mates.

Juan Mata (Chelsea)

Mata is no stranger to our Premier League Team of the Week and contributed another excellent display against Manchester United, playing a key role as the Blues came back from two goals down. The little Spaniard scored a brilliant curling freekick at stroke of half time to inspire Chelsea’s revival but couldn’t stop them losing after going down to nine-men.

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

Returning after a 17-month injury lay-off Wilshere was in superb form for the Gunners as he took up his usual place in the heart of midfield. It looked like the youngster had never missed any football as he made several attacking runs and linked up well with Santi Cazorla.

Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)

The Welshman was at his very best and was a constant threat to the Southampton defence throughout the game. He saw his efforts rewarded with a well-taken opener, nodding home Tom Huddlestone’s through-ball with apparent ease for his fourth headed goal of the season.

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Suarez caused problems for Everton’s defence throughout the Merseyside derby as he enjoyed a great afternoon, seeing his shot deflect into the net by Baines for the Reds’ first then adding another six minutes later. The Uruguayan forward should have had a third in the dying minutes but it was wrongly ruled out for offside.

Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham)

The Bulgarian looks like he is enjoying his football. There are very few players who leave Manchester United and rediscover their old form and Berbatov is one of them. He was outstanding for the Cottagers against Reading and capped-off a fine performance with a well deserved goal.

Robin van Persie (Manchester United)

The Dutcman looks like he has picked up form for United from where he left at Arsenal as he was once again impressive for the Red Devils against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Van Persie saw saw a fourth-minute shot deflected in off David Luiz before lashing home Antonio Valencia’s cross for the home side’s second eight minutes later.

Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 6

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting sixth weekend in the Premier League. Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham have provided two players each, while there is one each from Sunderland, Stoke, Manchester United, Everton and Newcastle.

Simon Mignolet (Sunderland)

The Belgium international played a vital role in ensuring Sunderland registered their first win of the season. Mignolet made series of superb saves to keep Wigan at bay and also added to his clean sheet at Arsenal.

John Terry (Chelsea)

After the week he had, everyone though he won’t be completed focused on the game but he proved everyone wrong. The Chelsea skipper lead his team to victory by marshaling his troops and was rock solid at the back.

Ryan Shawcross (Stoke)

The Stoke skipper was as solid as a rock at the back along with Robert Huth. Shawcross symbolises the hard working and fierce nature of Tony Pulis’ side as he worked tirelessly to limit Swansea’s threat and keep a clean sheet.

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)

The Belgium international has to be one of the signings of the season. The versatile centre-back who started as a left-back combined with Gareth Bale to score the opening goal within two minutes which helped Spurs beat United at Old Trafford for the first time since 1989.

Juan Mata (Chelsea)

The Spaniard was the best player on the pitch against Arsenal. He troubled the Gunners’ defence in open play and was equally dangerous from set-pieces. His freekick in the second half won the Blues the game. He was the difference between the two sides.

Paul Scholes (Manchester United)

The 37-year-old, who came out of retirement last season, has been one of United’s top player in the midfield this season and against Spurs he was again at his very best. His perfect diagonals and long balls seemed as the only outlet for the Red Devils and he was at the heart of almost everything of the comeback effort.

Nuri Sahin (Liverpool)

The Turkey international scored both the goals in the Capital One Cup win over West Brom during the midweek and was once again at his very best against Norwich on Saturday. The on loan star from Real Madrid scored his first ever league goal for the Reds in his third league appearance and completely bossed the midfield.

Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)

The Welshman was one of the star performers for the Andre Villas-Boas’ team against United as he was no match for Rio Ferdinand and his defensive colleagues. He ran from the halfway line into the United box before striking a right-foot shot past Anders Lindegaard. He also set up Clint Dempsey’s second half winner.

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Suarez was perhaps the best player of the weekend as he repeated his last season’s hat-trick at Carrow Road as he troubled the Canaries. The Uruguayan international had chances to score more goals but was very unselfish at times as he set up Nuri Sahin and was denied a clear cut penalty.

Nikica Jelavic (Everton)

The Croatian international forward has not lived up to the standards he set last season but looked very sharp against Southampton as he scored twice to help Everton ease past the Saints 3-1 at Goodison Park.

Demba Ba (Newcastle United)

Newcastle’s Senegalese striker is one of forwards who has been in some top goal scoring form this season and he proved that by scoring a brace against Reading. His both the goals were worth a mention as the first one was a magnificent volley, while the second one was very controversial.

Liverpool v Manchester United Preview

One of English football’s oldest and fiercest rivalry will be renewed this Sunday as Liverpool and Manchester United go head-to-head at Anfield.

The encounter promises to be an emotionally-charged affair, marking the Reds’ first home game since the recent report into the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy in which 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has already confirmed the Red Devils will offer any assistance possible in ensuring the day goes smoothly, calling for mutual respect from both sets of fans.

The lastest fixture between the two sides at Old Trafford saw Liverpool’s Luis Suarez refuse to shake the hand of Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during the pre-match hand-shake following a much-publicised race storm, but reports ahead of Sunday’s game suggest there will be no such incident at Anfield, with the players not expected to cause further controversy on such an emotional occasion. The two teams are also expected to release 96 red ballons before the match as a tribute to those who passed away in the disaster.

TEAM NEWS

Liverpool

Manager Brendan Rodgers will bring back his big names for the visit of Manchester United. Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Joe Allen and Martin Kelly were rested for the 5-3 Europa League win at Young Boys but will return as they go looking for their first Barclays Premier League victory of the season. Forwards Fabio Borini and Raheem Sterling, substitutes in Switzerland, are likely to start while midfielder Jonjo Shelvey pressed his claims for inclusion with a two-goal second-half cameo.

Manchester United

Winger Ashley Young has been ruled out for two to three weeks with a “bruised cartilage”, Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed. The 27-year-old missed out on the England squad for the World Cup 2014 qualifying double-header against Moldova and Ukraine this month, and Ferguson now expects to be without the player until October. The United manager has also ruled out Wayne Rooney but could feature next weekend, while Darren Fletcher would play from the start in Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup tie at home to Newcastle United. The Scotland midfielder came on as a substitute in the 1-0 Champions League win over Galatasaray in midweek, his first competitive outing since last November.

HEAD TO HEAD

Played – 185
Liverpool Wins – 62
Draw – 51
Manchester United Wins – 72

HEAD TO HEAD FIXTURES (LAST FIVE)

11-Feb-12 – Premier League – Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool
28-Jan-12 – FA Cup – Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United
15-Oct-12 – Premier League – Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United
06-Mar-11 – Premier League – Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United
09-Jan-11 – FA CUp – Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool

FORM GUIDE

Liverpool – WDLDD
The Reds are yet to register a win in the Premier League this season under new manager Brendan Rodgers and he will be desperate to break that duck against their fierce rivals.

20-Sep-12 – Europa League – Young Boys 3-5 Liverpool
15-Sep-12 – Premier League – Sunderland 1-1 Liverpool
02-Sep-12 – Premier League – Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal
30-Aug-12 – Europa League – Liverpool 1-1 Hearts
26-Aug-12 – Premier League – Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City

Manchester United – WWWWL
United come into this match on the back of four back-to-back wins in all competitions and are sitting second behind Chelsea in the Premier League table.

19-Sep-12 – Champions League – Manchester United 1-0 Galatasaray
15-Sep-12 – Premier League – Manchester United 4-0 Wigan Athletic
02-Sep-12 – Premier League – Southampton 2-3 Manchester United
25-Aug-12 – Premier League – Manchester United 3-2 Fulham
20-Aug-12 – Premier League – Everton 1-0 Manchester United

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
The Uruguayan will surely be the one to watch when these two sides meet tomorrow at Anfield. Suarez has dominated all the talk in the last two games between these sides at Anfiedl, but for different reasons. His mesmerizing performance helped Liverpool outclass United in March 2011 while the incidents involving him and Patrice Evra made the headlines after the last league game. With the ability to produce something out of the extraordinary, he will be hoping to do his best to help his team beat their fierce rivals while his battle with Evra will also not go unnoticed.

Robin van Persie (Manchester United)
The 28-year-old striker could not have asked for a much better start to life at Old Trafford. After scoring on his full debut against Fulham, with his very first shot, the ex-Feyenoord man then notched a hat-trick in the very next game against Southampton. Liverpool know all too well about van Persie’s predatory instincts after he scored both goals in the 2-1 win for his former side Arsenal at Anfield last season. Centre-back pairing of Agger and Skrtel will have improve on their showings so far this season if they are going successfully stop Dutchman from scoring.

PROBABLE LINEUPS

Liverpool (4-3-3): Pepe Reina; Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique; Steven Gerrard (C), Joe Allen, Jonjo Shelvey; Fanio Borini, Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling.

The regular first teamers are expected to return after rested against Young Boys. Reina will start in goal, with Johnson, Skrtel and Agger to take back their regular positions. Jose Enrique might get the nod ahead of Martin Kelly in the starting XI. Gerrard and Allen will be back in place Henderson and Suso, while Shelvey is expected to keep his place in the side at the expense of Nuri Sahin, following his two goal second half cameo. Sterling will provide the Reds with natural pace and width on the left, while Suarez and Borini will complete the rest of the front three.

Manchester United (4-4-1-1): David De Gea; Rafael, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic (C), Patrice Evra; Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes, Nani; Shinji Kagawa; Robin van Persie.

Not many changes are expected to be made to the side that defeated Galatasaray at Old Trafford during the midweek. De Gea, Rafael, Vidic and Evra are all expected to keep their place in the defence, while Ferdinand will come in for Evans. The rest of the side is expected to be the same with Valencia and Nani on the wings and Carrick and Scholes in the centre of the midfield. Kagawa, who has excelled in the role behind striker, will start again behind Van Persie, who will lead the line on his own.

OPTA FACTS

  • 0 – Danny Welbeck has had 0 shots on targets in the Premier League this season, despite 10 attempts. 7 of them came in last week’s win over Wigan.
  • 2 – Nemanja Vidic has been sent off in his last 2 games at Anfield. 3 of his 4 red cards in the Premier League have been against Liverpool.
  • 2 – Liverpool have won just 2 of their 11 Premier League games at Anfield in 2012 (W2 D4 L5).
  • 4 – Robin van Persie scored both the goals in the 2-1 win against Liverpool for Arsenal at Anfield last season and has netted 4 times in his last 5 games against the Reds
  • 12 – Luis Suarez has created more goalscoring chances than anyone in the Premier League (12), but has yet to register an assist.
  • 75 – Liverpool have had 75 shots so far this season – the joint-most in the Premier League – but only 15 of them have been on target.

REFEREE

Name – Mark Halsey
Based – Lancashire
Age – 51
Games – 3
Yellow Cards – 6
Red Cards – 1

MATCH ODDS

Liverpool 7/4, Draw 9/4, Manchester United 13/8

PREDICTION

It has been an emotional week in the North West after the Hillsborough report’s release and the emotional atmosphere might play spoilsport. The two sets of players will have to rise above the occassion to make the game a football spectacle. These derbies are rarely open, free-flowing, end-to-end affairs, so expect a cage game until the first goal is scored. United are in form having won three of their four Premier League games, with summer signing Van Persie scoring four in his two starts. But Liverpool are a hard team to break down at home, especially against Manchester United and their ability to take their chances might decide the outcome of the game.

Predicted Score: Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United