Liverpool v Manchester United – Saturday 28th January – Anfield (14:45)
The historical FA Cup is the focus of the weekend as two English giants go head to head in an encounter that is never short of controversy. These two have a bitter rivalry and they will be going all out to knock their foes out of the competition and get the bragging rights.
Liverpool has been having a rocky season as results have not come easy for them. They currently lie 7th on the table and are not looking like the Liverpool that we all know. They were handed their 5th defeat over the weekend as they were outdone by relegation battlers Bolton. However in recent years Liverpool has showed that their league and cup form differ drastically as they often have successful surges in the historic cup. Liverpool have also enjoyed playing Man United in recent times as they have so often got the better of their rivals. The last time these two met Liverpool ran out 3-1 victors and Kenny Dalglish will be hoping for a similar result. Liverpool is lacking confidence and are missing their talisman Luis Suarez as they are finding goals hard to come by. Steven Gerard will be expected to rally his troops as he would love to put one over his bitter rivals.
Manchester United are flying high at the top of the table. They are on the heels of log leaders Man City. After City’s 3-2 win over Tottenham, United closed the gap to 3 points after with a 2-1 win against rivals Arsenal at the Emirates. This was a major morale booster as United are missing a few key players. Man United will welcome back Rio Ferdinand as he never took part in this weekend’s encounter due to a back strain. He should come in and restore the back line as he will add vital experience to a back line that is looking really stretched as the likes of Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans have been the cover. Sir Alex Ferguson has been full of praise for his Ecuadorian winger Antonio Valencia who was man of the match against Arsenal grabbing the opening goal and assisting the all important winner for Danny Welbeck. Sir Alex Ferguson will be wary of a Liverpool team looking to get the better of his team and knows that league form is thrown out the window when it comes to cup matches. Man United have not won the FA Cup for the last 8 years and Ferguson will be looking to add a 12th Cup to the cabinet.
Both teams are going through different phases at the moment but will be wary of each other as they have met on countless occasions. Liverpool has got the better of their foes in recent times and the home factor could play in their favour. Liverpool should just nip the win.