The tedium of the international break is over, and the Premier League is set to welcome us back with a bang. We’re heading to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in what could be one of the games of the season, and there aren’t many fiercer rivalries in the English top flight.
It’s been a bizarre start to the season for us, and having ground out wins against Stoke City and Bournemouth, we stepped up several gears against Arsenal at the Emirates, but were still only able to come away with a draw.
That was followed by a disastrous game against West Ham, and the entire team will no doubt be looking to bounce back.
There’s mixed news regarding injuries, and it’s touch and go for a number of players. Daniel Sturridge is back in full training after a lengthy layoff, and it’s a race against time for both Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson to be fit (via Liverpool Echo).
The trip to Old Trafford is likely to prove too soon for Sturridge, but it’s great news that he’s back in training.
Our biggest loss is likely to be Philippe Coutinho, who is suspended after his red card against West Ham. Brendan Rodgers may shuffle things around a bit to cope with the Brazilian’s absence, and there are a couple of options available.
Roberto Firmino could be moved centrally, with Jordon Ibe starting on the wing. Danny Ings could also get his first start for the club, although playing two up top away at Old Trafford could prove risky.
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Manchester United are fairly injury free, but there could be one absence after Michael Carrick pulled out of England duty with a calf injury (via ManUtd.com). Carrick has proved hugely important to United in recent seasons, so hopefully his absence gives us the boost we need.
Louis van Gaal’s side are coming off the back of a 2-1 defeat against Swansea, and we are more than capable of doing the same damage.