Can Moyes Break His Anfield Hoodoo?
The term “Super Sunday” is mainly a catchy marketing term from Sky to try and draw your attention but this Sunday truly is “super” as two of the biggest rivals in English football square off at Anfield – Liverpool and last years’ Premier League champions Manchester United. Can David Moyes continue his unbeaten league start with United? Can Liverpool make a serious statement of intent with victory? These questions will be answered on Sunday but, for now, let’s see how both teams shape up heading into the big match:
Liverpool have made a solid start to the Premier League season with 2 wins and 2 clean sheets thus far and are looking to make it 3 from 3 for the first time in the league since 1994. However, there are mounting injury problems for the Reds to deal with. The midweek extra time win over Notts County saw 3 players hobble off injured and all of them look unlikely to play. New signing Aly Cissokho is out with an ankle injury while Joe Allen has hamstring trouble. However, perhaps the most concerning one for Liverpool fans is the groin problem Kolo Toure has. The Ivorian has made a great start to life at Anfield and his partnership with Daniel Agger has been promising. With Sebastian Coates out for a while as well, Brendan Rodgers looks as though he will turn to the recently fit again Martin Skrtel. Additionally, much of the team expected to play on Sunday played most of the midweek game meaning that fatigue could play a part later on against a fresher United side. Liverpool will be looking towards Daniel Sturridge for goals with Luis Suarez still serving his 10 match suspension from last season and Sturridge has responded with 8 in his last 7 games in the league. Simon Mignolet will also be looking to continue his good start to the season with another clean sheet as Liverpool look to keep clean sheets in their first 3 games for the first time since 2005.
Following on from their first goalless draw in 82 games on Monday night against Chelsea, United will be looking to repeat their victory from last season at Anfield and make it a fourth consecutive win over their rivals from down the M62 (the previous three all finished 2-1). United boss David Moyes has not won at Anfield in his 12 visits there as Everton manager and his hopes of changing that are boosted by the fact he has no new injury concerns. Defender Phil Jones is expected to retain his place in the team despite hurting his back against Chelsea with Wayne Rooney also expected to start after his impressive performance on Monday. Moyes knows he has to, at least, avoid defeat at Anfield to appease the fans who expect immediate success and the stats are favourable for the new boss. United have scored 9 times in their last 2 away games in the league and have scored in every away games since their 1-0 defeat at Norwich in November of last year. United have also not had back-to-back goalless draws in the Premier League area suggesting that this one may have goals in it. With more difficult games on the horizon for Moyes, this game has become very crucial for both him and the fans.
With Liverpool-United games becoming so controversial and incident-packed over the years, I can say with absolute certainty that this will be a game you don’t to miss. I also think that United are going to struggle at Anfield. United have in recent years as has Moyes and with the fact that they are still in the teething stage of Moyes’ system, I am going to back Liverpool but only just. It will be tight and passionate with both teams giving all they’ve got and I see it finishing 2-1 to Liverpool.
There is my match preview. Did you agree with my prediction? Let me know as feedback is always welcome.