Kickoff: 12:30PM UK
On the telly: BBC One
Date: Saturday February 18th 2006
Manchester United held Liverpool to a goalless draw at Anfield last September, but beat the Reds at Old Trafford a couple of weeks ago thanks to a late Rio Ferdinand header. Last year, the Red Devils did the double over Liverpool, making them one of the only teams Rafa has not masterminded victory against.
Manchester United: Loss 4-3 @ Blackburn, win 4-2 vs Fulham, win 3-1 @ Pompey
Liverpool: Loss 2-0 @ Charlton, win 1-0 @ Wigan, win 1-0 vs Arsenal
Other team news/facts:
- Xabi Alonso has been ruled out with a thigh strain sustained in the Arsenal match.
- Robbie Fowler is cup tied after appearing and scoring a hat trick in a match for Manchester City earlier this year.
- The Reds have not defeated United in an FA Cup fixture in eighty-five years!
- Peter Crouch looks to return this weekend after a heel injury
- The last time the Reds made it to this stage of the FA Cup, they were knocked out by Portsmouth (2004).
- Liverpool have not lost at Anfield since late September, a run which has seen 9 wins and 1 draw from Benitez’s men.
- Pepe Reina will return following his three-match ban and looks to step straight into the side.
One to watch:
Liverpool: Luis Garcia. The little Spaniard is often the difference maker in matches like this (just ask Arsenal).
Manchester United: Wayne Rooney. The ex-Bluenose has not scored in 2006 yet but will be pumped against these longtime rivals.
“I enjoyed his company in the last UEFA Coach’s Seminar, it was good. We were sat beside each other on the coach going to the meeting and I think he’s a straightforward guy.”
-Sir Alex on Rafa Benitez. Was that a compliment?
“Games against Manchester United are always big ones for players to play in and I’m sure it’s going to be a great game on Saturday.”
-Exiled keeper Jerzy Dudek who did well stepping in for Reina during his absense.
“We shouldn’t have lost at Old Trafford, it is as simple as that. I’d love another crack at them because I fancy us to get the result this time.”
-Peter Crouch wants revenge against United for that undeserved victory last month.