I’ll just forget anything ever happened last Sunday at Upton Park and go straight for it.
This Sunday, it’s Man United. And as always talking points will be echoed time and time again until kick off:
1. Rooney shouldn’t be playing; he should be serving the second game of his ban for the unbelievable elbow on James McCarthy
2. Fergie will lead with his mind; try to lean on the referee just like last season. Just like every season.
3. The last time we met; Man United got the rub of it. The penalty in the first minute and the Gerrard sending off.
Rooney indeed should have been banned, but it never came. And if we are going to face Manchester United, we might as well face the strongest team they can offer.
Everyone’s probably heard, Phil Dowd is to referee the game on Sunday. His last headline grabbing antics involved the dramatic four all between Newcastle and Arsenal. Following the game cynicism from Wenger surfaced over dubious decisions made by Dowd. I don’t feel Phil Dowd is a bias referee. But I do feel he makes mistakes, big ones. So all we can hope for is that they go our way.
Kenny’s first game back was surrounded by the feeling that we’d been had off. The first minute penalty was not a penalty; on the other hand, Daniel Agger let the ball drop from about 50 yards away into the box. Something that would easily make Alan Hansen twitch and cringe in pain. The sending off may have been right, it was a lunge, and in fairness it was Gerrrad’s reaction to Meireles softly pulling out of a 50-50 challenge seconds earlier.
The Anfield game for me is more nerve racking than any other, as we should be beating everybody at home, regardless. This isn’t the greatest Man united team. But they have consistently gone on about their business clocking up points while everyone around them has slipped up.
What was missing from last Sunday. A strong dominating midfield, we need Gerrard at his best, we need Lucas doing what has harvested him plaudits for most of this campaign
And more service to Luis Suarez.
We don’t need:
Apparently against Chelsea was the first time Ferguson had used the same first eleven back to back in 165 matches, showing his great use of rotation. Bizarre, as this was something Benitez was heavily criticized for. Maybe expect the same again then? Or maybe the same 442, but with Fletcher returning to centre, Nani on the right and then Giggs on the left, dropping Carrick to the bench? Vidic is suspended, so apparently it’s Wes Brown and Chris Smalling at the back. Not as easy as we might think as Smalling isn’t a slouch and Brown is experienced. Or maybe Ferdinand might come out with one of his great tweets that he is playing. (I can’t understand how he has half a million followers). We don’t offer a lot down the left so he could risk the young Brazilian at right back, I have no idea which one is the left back or the right, so I’m sticking with young Brazilian. And most likely Rooney and Hernandez upfront.
As for us, another crack at the three centre backs that did so well against Chelsea? We are at home, but it offers good security. Aurellio left back, Johnson right, Carragher, Skrtel and Agger. Lucas just in front, Gerrard and then Meireles behind Kuyt and Suarez? Considering everyone is fit of course. And then Andy Carroll on the bench, to come on and make it three –nil in the final ten. Sounds great.
Maybe Liverpool will return to two five across the middle with Kuyt and Maxi on either side and Suarez on his own.
Dalglish’s press conference this morning was as good as ever. He offered the deserved respect to Fergie but also made sure he had one or two lines that would wind the Mancs up.
As with every home game, I’m expecting a win. Dalglish has brought the cocky swagger back to the fans that had all but vanished under Hodgson. It’s never easy against them, but if we play like we did against Wolves and Chelsea, holding the ball, dictating the pace and most importantly… Passing and moving we can indeed win this. I’m going for a 3-1 with Suarez getting the opener.
COME ON RED MEN!!