LFC Talk

Match Preview: Liverpool v Manchester United by lfctalk
September 12, 2008, 23:56
Filed under: Match Previews

Rafael Benitez is looking for a first Premiership victory over rivals Manchester United at Anfield. After facing Alex Ferguson’s men on eight previous occasions, the Spaniard has only seen his side collect a single point from a 0-0 draw in the 2005/6 season.

Both clubs will be looking for morale boosting victories early in the Premiership title race after slow starts to the campaign. Despite poor form, Liverpool find themselves second in the Premiership level on points with pacesetters Chelsea. Both sides remain unbeaten and will be looking to maintain that record after this fixture.

Benitez has been handed a major boost ahead of fixture with the news that both Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres have been passed fit for the game. Manchester United’s starman, Cristiano Ronaldo, remains sidelined however and will miss the game. The Portuguese superstar is yet to appear for his club after a Summer transfer saga that saw his desired move to Real Madrid postponed for the time being.

Sami Hyypia and Philipp Degen are sidelined for the hosts, but new signing Albert Riera could be handed a debut for the Reds. The Spanish winger made his first Premiership debut, for Manchester City, against United and helped beat them 3-1. All Liverpool supporters will be hoping for a repeat of that success for the Spanish international.

Ferguson has new £30.75m man Dimitar Berbatov available for his debut and Michael Carrick has given him an injury boost by being passed fit. The same cannot be said for Owen Hargreaves, who has been ruled out after a recurrence of a knee injury in the UEFA Super Cup loss to Zenit St Petersburg.

Alex Ferguson has stoked the prematch fires by questioning the logic in Benitez spending £19.3 on Robbie Keane. The Spaniard replied by claiming the comments would only inspire Keane to put United to the sword. Liverpool fans will be hoping that does happening after a disappointing start to the season by the Irish forward.

Liverpool will be looking for their first goal at Anfield against United in the Premiership under Benitez’s management. The Spaniard has a solitary victory over the Red Devils, which came in the FA Cup run of 2005/6. Peter Crouch scored the winner in a 1-0 victory at Anfield on Gary Neville’s birthday.

2007/8: Liverpool 0-1 Manchester United (Tevez)
2006/7: Liverpool 0-1 Manchester United (O’Shea)
2005/6: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United
2004/5: Liverpool 0-1 Manchester United (Rooney)

Possible lineups:

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Dossena, Carragher, Skrtel, Mascherano, Gerrard, Kuyt, Riera, Torres, Keane.

Manchester United: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Fletcher, Scholes, Tevez, Rooney, Berbatov.


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