Sunday lunchtime will see the first League meeting of the season between ourselves and our beachball-loving neighbours from Anfield. No doubt it will be the usual fiesta of football and neighbourly bonhomie.
Liverpool are in a bit of a mess right now but I’m sure that they’ll get their key players fit for Sunday and they will be more desperate than usual to beat us given their recent lousy form. In a way, this game has come at the right time for them because if they can’t rouse themselves to play us, there’s not much hope for them, really.
A lot of people have had a lot to say about the relative shallowness of their squad compared to United’s or Chelsea’s and I think that is a factor for them…as we saw at Sunderland last week, once you take Gerrard & Torres out of the team, they become very ordinary. The loss of Alonso is seen by many as being key to their indifferent performances this year, but I also think that so many of their peripheral players like Kuyt, Carragher and the like are really pretty ordinary and the form of Riera, Mascherano & Babel has been dreadful.. It will be interesting to see how Aquilani settles in – he played for Roma against United a couple of years back and was fairly ineffectual as well.
I’m anticipating a draw on Sunday as it seems likely that Rooney’s injury will not have healed enough for him to play. Also, United aren’t playing that well themselves with Vidic & Ferdinand looking very shaky of late. If Owen plays he will no doubt get dog’s abuse from the Scouse cognoscenti, but I think he can probably handle that. His goal against City in the Manchester Derby has bought him a little time, but the winning goal at Anfield on Sunday would probably secure him a contract extension until 2020!