Liverpool host arguably their fiercest rivals, Man United, in the lunchtime kick off (12:45) at Anfield on Saturday – knowing that defeat will put United another step closer to winning the title this season, and a step closer to gaining on the Reds’ record 18 league championships.
United currently have 15 title successes to their name and the thought of them being a step closer to matching Liverpool means most supporters would prefer to see Chelsea win the league this term.
Rafa Benitez’s side are defending an impressive 30 League matches unbeaten at Anfield and a club record 9 consecutive home league clean sheets.
With both teams facing crucial home matches in the Champions League next week, it has been predicted that both Benitez and Alex Ferguson will play not neccesarily their strongest line-up.
Fabio Aurelio could return at left back for Liverpool, and Riise could push into midfield. In midfield Benitez now has numerous options after Mascherano’s debut in the 4-0 win over Sheff United last week and Momo Sissoko’s return to fitness and form in the Nou Camp last Wednesday. Xabi Alonso is expected to return though after missing the match against the Blades.
|Last Season at Anfield||Head to Head Totals|
|Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United
18 September 2005
|Home and away
League: Liverpool 49 wins, Man Utd 55, Draws 43
Prem: Liverpool 7 wins, Man Utd 15, Draws 7
at Liverpool only
|This Season at Old Trafford||Match Info|
|Manchester United 2-0 Liverpool
22 October 2006
Scholes 39, Ferdinand 66
|Referee: Graham Poll
Live on Sky Sports
Discuss the match here
Stevie Gerrard ahead of the match:
“I’ve had supporters coming up to me and telling me that we have to try to stop United winning the title,” he said. “I live in the city and Liverpool fans are desperate for the win at the weekend and so are the players.
“People will think the title race is over if United win on Saturday. That makes it a massive game for both clubs. The rivalry over the years has got more and more and these games get built up more and more. But as a player, these are the games you want to play in.” Gerrard though, is not looking to the aftermath of a United victory, even if he accepts that they have shown the best form in the Premiership this season, while Liverpool have languished.
“Although it hurts to say, they have been playing some good attacking football this season but they are also really difficult to beat as they have great defenders as well,” he said.
“There is a slight disappointment there is not more resting on the game from our point of view.
“But you have to look back earlier in the season when we dropped silly points. That’s the reason the gap between ourselves and United is quite big.”
“There is a danger of the season fading away if we don’t get two results in the next two games.
“We’re out of two cups, we’re third in the league and we have a massive gap to catch Manchester United, so it’s important we try to take maximum points off them and get into the last eight of the Champions League.”