Liverpool vs Man United
Saturday, 12:45pm Kick off, Anfield
Liverpool host Man United at Anfield looking for their fourth consecutive home win over their fiercest rivals.
Much debate surrounds the formation and selection of manager Kenny Dalglish, with two burning questions revolving around the inclusion of returning captain Steven Gerrard, and whether to play two forwards or go with five in midfield.
Here’s all the build-up in pre-match quotes:
Kenny Dalglish on United’s dominance;
“They are in a position that everyone wants to be in and that’s top position in the league. You cannot argue with that because you want to be there yourself.
“There is no point in being envious. They’ve set a standard for everyone else to follow or surpass and it’s up to us to take up the challenge and we’ll try our best to do that.
“We’ve got an opportunity to reduce the gap and it’s up to us to take it.
“They are a fantastic team, a hugely successful football club, and we know it’s going to be a very difficult game.”
Dalglish on Gerrard’s return;
“Steven is a fantastic player and has made a huge contribution to this club.
“In Steven’s training and the match time he has had since he came back I don’t think we have noticed much difference.
“Steven Gerrard has not changed, he is probably fitter now than he was before, and we have all seen him charging forward – he did that against Wolves at Anfield (last month).
“We understand what Steven can do and he understands what the players can do. They haven’t played together a great deal but they have trained together a lot.”
Dalglish on injuries;
“We don’t have any problems with anyone on fitness, everyone’s come through their international games without any injuries. The lads who’ve been here have trained all week. I don’t think it’s happened too many times in the past but there isn’t anyone on the treatment table.”
Alex Ferguson on supporters showing respect for each other;
“The history of both clubs should be respected. Hopefully we can see that because it’s fantastic for fans to see these games – the rivalry, great footballers, the intensity.
“It is annoying when I hear silly chants about Munich and Hillsborough. It doesn’t do either club any good and if it came to a stage where fans were banned from each other’s ground it wouldn’t be the same game.”
Dalglish on the same subject;
“I don’t think there is any place at any football ground for any set of football fans to be abusive in their chants. Everyone’s got something that’s hurt more than you would expect to be hurt going to a football match and I think we should all respect each other’s misfortunes.
“Footballers expect to get a wee bit of stick. It’s a different thing when it’s banter but some of the abusive chanting goes too far.
“The game is much better for everybody if every team has respect for each other. The fans are there because they love their football club, and so they should, but we don’t need abusive chants.
“The sooner it’s cut out, the better it will be for everyone, and the more enjoyable the game will be for everyone.”
Stewart Downing on the international break;
“It’s a tough game but we’ll look forward to it and if we keep playing the way we are then we’ve got a chance of beating anyone.
“If we beat Manchester United we’ll say the break did us good. If we don’t people will point the finger and say the break killed us a bit.”
Charlie Adam on the big game;
“It is a massive game for the supporters and a massive game for the players.
“We know it’s going to be difficult and we have got a lot of new players in our squad who are still gelling together.
“It’s not about sending out a message, it’s your own pride and performance being at this club.
“We have to win every game at this club and that’s our challenge. We have had a couple of bad results but we have reacted in the right way.
“There’s no bigger test than Man United at home and if we can win it, it will be a big confidence boost for us.”