English football’s biggest fixture is upon us – Liverpool v Manchester United!

The biggest game of English football takes place on Saturday 14th October; Liverpool v Manchester United. Anfield is always a tough place to go for any football team and when you’re Manchester United, the stakes are a lot higher.

United haven’t lost at Anfield since 2013, and with Liverpool only winning one game from their last seven, it seems that they’re due a performance and Jordan Henderson will have a Bryan Robson inspired performance. United’s early season form and the tactical nous of Jose Mourinho will make them favourites but anything can happen in these big matches, and I always believe form goes out of the window most of the time.

In this fixture last season, Jose Mourinho was heavily criticised for his tactics and was accused of ‘parking the bus’, even though he recognised where Liverpool’s strength’s lay and completely nullified their attack. However, the same people criticise Arsene Wenger for turning up at Anfield and playing open and expansive football. Mourinho understands that it is footballing suicide. I fully expect Mourinho to employ the same tactics, as Liverpool are very good going forward, and hopefully, with United’s ability on the counter-attack, it can cause the Liverpool defence some problems.

I believe a key battle within the match will be between Romelu Lukaku and Liverpool’s two centre-backs. There’s no doubt that Lukaku has the ability to make the difference on Saturday. He has scored in every Premier League match this season bar one, against Leicester, and can cause Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip problems if United give him the service. There are reports at the time of writing that Lukaku may be suffering from an injury so it will be interesting to see who starts should Lukaku join Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba in the sick bay. United will need to watch out for Philippe Coutinho who has been in decent form since his move to Barcelona didn’t materialise. Although, Sadio Mane will reportedly miss the game, after picking up a hamstring injury. That is a huge miss for them.

Recently I spoke to a United fan (UF) and a Liverpool fan (LF) to find out their favourite tussles between the sides, the favourite goals that have been scored, and what their thoughts are for Saturday:

Q: What is your favourite Liverpool v Manchester United match ever?

UF: Recently, it was the 2-1 where Juan Mata scored that scissor kick, during Louis van Gaal’s first season. Mainly because that goal was sensational, and who can forget the short-lived Stevie G cameo?! Also, I loved the 3-1 win at Old Trafford where Martial scored on his debut and basically ended Martin Skrtel’s time at Liverpool. Both great days for us.

LF: My favourite match would have to be the 4-1 win at Old Trafford. I just remember that match for Fernando Torres’ performance, he absolutely tormented Nemanja Vidic that day. His goal where he chased down Vidic and then slotted it past Edwin van der Sar was quality!

Q: What is your favourite goal scored in a Liverpool v Manchester United match and why?

UF: Has to be Anthony Martial’s I think. Just the significance of it. Every media outlet had written him off before he’d even kicked a ball, and were criticising the price tag. I think United fans found a new hero that day and now we love him as if he is one of our own. You’re always going to do well scoring on debut against Liverpool, especially in the way that he did. John O’Shea’s winner at Anfield has to be up there, too.

LF: It’s from that 4-1 match at Old Trafford, when Andrea Dossena lobbed Van der Sar because the big Dutchman was a class keeper and two it was the only thing Dossena did right, it was a miracle he scored!

Q: Is there one player from Liverpool/United who you have secretly always thought was a good player?

UF: They have had good players down the years, we’re just not supposed to admit it! I absolutely detest Luis Suarez but he’s a class player and has continued to show it since his move to Barcelona. Currently, you obviously have to say (Philippe) Coutinho, and (Sadio) Mane is a top player too.

LF: It’s a bit obvious this one but, I’ve always rated Ronaldo. You can’t deny the hard work he’s put in to write himself into the history books as one of the all-time greats. Nowadays, I really rate Rashford, the kid is an unbelievable talent and I’d love him at Liverpool!

Q: How do you see the match playing out on Saturday? Score predictions?

UF: I think Jose Mourinho will try to kill the game off as soon as he can, and he’ll want to make it physical, which is why I think Fellaini will be a big miss. The first 20 minutes are always the hardest at Anfield because Liverpool fly out of the blocks, so if we keep it tight for 20 and then we can hopefully start to pick them off. I’ll have to go for a 1-2 result.

LF: On recent form, you can’t look past United really can you? We’ve been awful recently and can’t stop conceding whereas United can’t stop scoring. If Mane is out then he will be a huge miss, too. I just hope with it being a big game, that Liverpool step it up and battle it out for a win or even a draw. I’ll be bold though and say 3-1 win.

There’s no doubt this match will be hyped up to no-end but hopefully, it’s for the right reasons off the pitch and on it. Here’s hoping for a safe trip to Anfield, and no trouble between fans plus a win for United!


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