Manchester United Preview: Proving Grounds

Daniel Sturridge scores against Notts County in the Capital One Cup. Photograph: LFC Images

Sunday 9/2/2013

8:30 EST / 5:30 PST

Anfield, Liverpool

Referee – Andre Marriner

Where to watch – NBC Sports Network

Previous Results:

1/13/2012

Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool (Van Persie 19′, Sturridge 54′, Vidic 54′)

9/23/2012

Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United (Gerrard 46′, Rafael 51′, Van Persie 81′ PEN)

Players to Watch:

Robin Van Persie – The Dutch striker lead the Premier League in goals last season with 30 in all competitions and scored in both appearances against Liverpool.

Daniel Sturridge – Sturridge has scored in all three games for Liverpool this season and has tallied 15 goals in 19 games for Liverpool in all competitions after making his move from Chelsea in January.

Something to keep in mind:

Manchester United has a 13-match road undefeated streak in league play but new manager David Moyes has never won at Anfield in 12 trips.

Robin Van Persie has scored two goals for Manchester United this season. Photograph: AP

Injury/Ban Report:

Manchester United

Jones (back) – probable

Keane (knee) – out

Rafael (hamstring) – out

Nani (groin) – out

Evans (ankle) – out

Steven Gerrard has scored four goals in his last six Premier League appearances against Manchester United. Photograph: LFC Images

Hernandez (hamstring) – out

Liverpool

Kolo Toure (groin) – doubtful

Joe Allen (hamstring) – out

Aly Cissokho (ankle) – out

Sebastian Coates (knee) – out

Luis Suarez (suspension) – out

Projected Line Ups:

 Manchester United

Liverpool

Quotables:

“I’m going there with a different situation now,” said Moyes. “I’m going with the champions to Anfield now, so it’s a different situation from where I was before.” – David Moyes

“Liverpool v Manchester United is a massive game. It’s more than a football game, it’s a story of two cities and you’re representing the people of your city and the history of that city. It’s more than a football match. But it’s important that you retain that calmness and belief on the field, to get the result – because, ultimately, that’s what it’s about.” – Brendan Rodgers

Verdict:

 It is hard to tell what approach David Moyes will take as he heads into his first game against Liverpool as Manchester United manager. The game could be wide open if Moyes insists upon getting his first ever win at Anfield and throws his attackers forward. Alternatively, he could decide to sit back and attempt to hit Liverpool on the counter attack. Whether he sets out to attack or do damage on the break, Liverpool’s defense will have to deal with a plethora of scoring threats. The key match up will be Van Persie and either Martin Skrtel or Kolo Toure, fitness permitting. The uncertainty at the back is a major concern for Liverpool. On the other end, Sturridge continuing his scoring form on his 24th birthday would be a boon to the Reds. Philippe Countinho must break out of his mini slump to have more of a positive impact.

Prediction:

Liverpool 2-2 Manchester United

A Van Persie brace is canceled out by goals from Gerrard and Strurridge as both teams leave with a point.

Topics: Liverpool FC, Manchester United

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