What: English Premier League
Who: Manchester United vs Liverpool
When: Sunday 19th September, 2010, at 13:30 UK Time
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester, England

Bouncing Back In Style

Manchester United have failed to record a win in their last two matches, making the fierce derby against Liverpool even more important for the Red Devils, who are currently trailing both Arsenal and Chelsea in the Premier League standings. Although results have not been going United’s way lately, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have shown real confidence, despite two draws, in the first of which they dramatically conceded two goals in injury time at Everton.

Desperate to get back on track, Man Utd will certainly be fully motivated to get one over rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford. Winger Antonio Valencia may be out with a long-term injury, but the likes of Nani, Ryan Giggs and Ji-Sung Park should be more than enough to fill the void. Having made 10 changes from the side which faced Everton for the Champions League tie with Rangers, Ferguson should once again turn to his established regulars, with Rio Ferdinand saying victory could put United "on the crest of a wave."

Finding that Premier League Confidence

Liverpool are coming off the back of an impressive win in the Europa League, but now attention switches back to the Premier League, where they have struggled so far. With just five points to speak of, the Reds will be desperate to get out of the middle of the standings and climb closer to the top four, where their fans expect them to be.

The Liverpool squad is still trying to integrate themselves into new manager Roy Hodgson’s system however, ensuring that the Anfield side will have a tough test in Premier League powerhouses Manchester United. But one thing they should be is fresh. Having left a batch of stars out for the meeting with Steaua Bucharest – "I had no doubt, given we have so many internationals, that this was the moment to give them a rest", said the Liverpool manager – Hodgson can hope for a display packed with energy and purpose at Old Trafford.


Recent form

Manchester United:
Manchester United 3-0 West Ham United (28/08; Premier League)
Everton 3-3 Manchester United (11/09; Premier League)
Manchester United 0-0 Rangers (14/09; Champions League)

Liverpool 1-0 West Brom (29/08; Premier League)
Birmingham 0-0 Liverpool (12/09; Premier League)
Liverpool 4-1 Steaua Bucharest (16/09; Europa League)

Key absences

Manchester United: Antonio Valencia; Michael Carrick; Owen Hargreaves

Liverpool: Fabio Aurelio; Dirk Kuyt

Players to watch

Manchester United – Dimitar Berbatov: The talented striker has started the season in fine form with five goals in four games, and having rested in midweek, the Bulgarian will surely be desperate to get back into action against Liverpool. With Wayne Rooney struggling to find the back of the net, Berbatov will be expected to carry a heavier load versus Liverpool.

Liverpool – Fernando Torres: The World Cup winner has proven a real threat to Manchester United in the past and regularly got the better of the Old Trafford defence, despite him not being 100% in terms of fitness. Torres is much healthier now, and will surely be the main threat to United’s backline, who face a daunting task trying to keep him quiet.

Match prediction

Although Manchester United have just come off the back of two draws, the results speak very little of how the Red Devils controlled and dominated large portions of those matches. With Liverpool still yet to find their form in the Premier League, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side may just edge it, especially with the Old Trafford crowd behind them. A 3-1 triumph for United seems a likely result.