Written by Daniel
Ok Fellow Liverpudlians ! Let’s Discuss Liverpool ! Let’s Talk Some Reds !
The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester during the 20th Century has in recent decades been known for being Football’s most bitter of rivalries. The rise of Manchester City has somewhat reduced the attention of both clubs towards each other. However, enmity and animosity between the two clubs have grown. Liverpool’s defense has been a concern throughout the season ever since the injury to their Talisman VVD. United, on the other hand, has been more resilient. They have become more intelligent in their overall approach to their game plan. The top of the table clash at Anfield this weekend will once again be a high octane event. The multi-billion pound question everyone is eager to know is who will come on top ?
The city rivalry between the two giants Liverpool and Manchester is well known. The rivalry came into being when Manchester built a Canal to gain a passage directly to the Atlantic bypassing the Liverpool port. From this time on, the Liverpudlians and Mancunians hated each other. However, the Sporting rivalry, infamously known as the ‘Biggest game in English Football’ came to being when Liverpool became a footballing giant in the ’70s and ’80s. From this moment on, this game is billed as the ‘El Classico’ of England. The rivalry forged by Shankly and Ferguson has rolled on to the next generation as both Giants of English Football prepare to lock horns once again.
The rise of the Cityzens in the 21st century momentarily shifted the attention of both clubs towards them. The by-gone era classics between Liverpool and Manchester United were thought to be well in the past. In the 2010s, intercity-rivalry took precedence in the case of Manchester United. However, the Liverpool-United game was still the one big game for the fans. And they both took pleasure in playing the role of spoil-sport. The arrival of Klopp at Liverpool has made a seismic shift from such a mentality. Liverpool rose from their ashes and soon locked their 19th English crown. And thus the Liverpool- Manchester City game took the limelight in the last 3 seasons. However, the current season which is unpredictable and exciting in many ways has elevated the Biggest game in English football to a title showdown.
Liverpool are missing the defensive duo of VVD and Gomez due to the current injury nightmare. The build-up play from the back was such a foundation for Liverpool in the last 2 seasons. The current campaign has again raised the concern levels defensively though Liverpool has continued to play the high line. Fabinho has stepped well into the big shoes of Van Dijk. But Lapses in concentration and inexperience of the backup center-backs have cost them crucial three points. Liverpool are recovering well from an injury crisis. So, the United game is a litmus test to adjudge their title defense.
The game at Anfield comes at the right time for United. Their confidence levels are high on the back of 9 wins from 11 and an unbeaten run that stretches to 12 games. Momentum is a crucial factor and it favors Manchester United. However, Anfield is a ground Manchester United never enjoy playing. In fact, no team relishes the idea of playing at Anfield. It has always been a fortress for Liverpool. Moreover, In the last three years, Liverpool have not lost a single Premier League match at Anfield. And they are re-writing records each time they play there. It may have lost its noise but Liverpool are still an irresistible force and an immovable object at Anfield.
Manchester United looks to Marcus Rashford to provide in big moments. His goals and pace from the wings will be crucial for United to destabilize Liverpool’s already shaky defense. Rashford’s understanding with Bruno Fernandes has flourished this season, with both of them key, if United are to come with any points from Anfield. For Liverpool, the pinpoint deliveries from wide positions have been a strength to Liverpool’s armor in the recent seasons. The assist-masters Robertson and Alexander-Arnold need to shake their rusty form and produce big time.
Ones to watch
The midfield battle of Thiago and Pogba looks like one which should not be missed. The qualities they possess are unique and a pleasure to watch. However, creativity from midfield has not been a plus for both United and Liverpool. As such, the match is likely to be won and lost on the wings.