Friday 20 March 2015

Match preview: Liverpool v United, Sunday 22nd March

There is always much at stake when United and Liverpool lock horns in English football's fiercest rivalry. 

There is nothing worse than losing to the Scousers (even defeat to City is not as hard to take) but Sunday's encounter is one that United simply cannot afford to lose.

We head to Anfield sitting one place and two points above Liverpool, but Brendan Rodgers' side are the Premier League's form team and are unbeaten in the league in 2015.

They have not tasted defeat in the top flight since the reverse fixture- United's 3-0 win at Old Trafford in December- and have dropped only six points since.

What bigger incentive to put an end to that run and open a five point lead over them this weekend in a critical match in the race for the top four.
The return of Daniel Sturridge from injury has been integral in that run and he, along with England colleague Raheem Sterling and Brazilian schemer Philippe Coutinho, are a match for even the most accomplished of defences.  

Robin van Persie misses out once more through injury and Jonny Evans is suspended but Angel Di Maria is available again after his one match ban.
Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo (who turned 25 today) aren't fit enough to start but could be on the bench.

There are no new injury concerns for the Reds ahead of the match. 

United manager Louis van Gaal said on Friday:
"I want to win against them again and I know that for the fans this is the biggest game also.
"It's very important.
"I think every player knows the importance of this game, we are in a very crucial stage and cannot lose.
"When you are at Manchester United, you know every day the significance of the games at Liverpool,  so it shows it is a very particular match especially for the fans.
"It also helps us to concentrate on this match.
"We know that it will not be easy as they are in the rat race also and have not lost very much but the confidence and belief of my players is high."

Form guide: Liverpool W L W W D W United W L W W L W
Match odds: Liverpool 15/13 Draw 5/2 United 14/5 (bwin)
Referee: Martin Atkinson 

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