Liverpool vs Manchester United | Sunday 01 September | Anfield | 14:30
The 2013/2014 Barclays English Premiership season is now in full swing and promises to be one of the most intriguing yet, as all three of last season’s top performing clubs have changed management. The third round of fixtures takes place this weekend and heading the bill on Super Sunday is the Anfield clash between two of England’s most successful teams, Liverpool and Manchester United. The fixtures don’t come any bigger than this for these two clubs and unlike Monday night’s dull stalemate at Old Trafford, this one promises to be a spectacle.
To Win (90mins)
Manchester United 7/4
The Reds have watched their rivals’ success under Ferguson with envy for just over two decades and are surely glad to see the back of the former United gaffer. They, along with many other premiership rivals, would have taken much heart from the retirement of the great man and will certainly aim to heap misery on new United boss, David Moyes. Liverpool seems determined to finally break the shackles and have enjoyed their best start to their domestic campaign in five years. Brendan Rogers’ men were comfortable for large parts of their opening day 1-0 win over Stoke, but did make heavy weather of things late on and had their new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to thank as he saved a penalty and the rebound, just two minutes from full-time. Striker Daniel Sturridge got the only goal of the game for The Reds. Their second match of the campaign was always going to be a tricky affair as they visited a resurgent Aston Villa, fresh from their win away to Arsenal and a rather unfortunate loss away to Chelsea. However, the visitors acquitted themselves well in the first half and after an intelligent dummy from Coutinho, Sturridge pulled away from the defender, rounded the goalkeeper and toe poked the ball high into the net for his second goal of the campaign in as many weeks.
Sturridge signed for Liverpool during the January transfer window and boasts an impressive record of twelve goals from sixteen league appearances for the club and will certainly be watched closely by the Red Devils. Villa did come hard at the Reds in the second half but some spirited defending from Rogers’ new signing, Kolo Toure and his fellow teammates, coupled with some excellent goalkeeping, ensured they held out for the victory and, more importantly, another clean sheet. It might be early days yet, but there are certainly some promising signs developing at Liverpool and with the Suarez issue all but resolved, the long suffering Anfield faithful could have plenty to cheer about this season. This though, will certainly be their acid test. The Reds will be up for it and there could be a real tempo to this match.
VERDICT: Draw 23/10
Form has never really meant much when these two titans clash but Liverpool come into this contest with plenty of confidence, whilst United are still feeling their way under David Moyes, who quite astonishingly has never won at Anfield. It won’t be surprising to see Moyes go very defensive in this contest and look to gain a point against the high flying opposition. Back the draw with confidence.