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FA Cup

  • 9 January 2011
  • • 13:30
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 74727
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Manchester United – Liverpool Preview: Rooney and Van der Sar doubtful for hosts while Meireles and Agger return as Dalglish takes charge of Reds

Manchester United – Liverpool Preview: Rooney and Van der Sar doubtful for hosts while Meireles and Agger return as Dalglish takes charge of Reds

TEAM NEWS

Manchester United


Sir Alex Ferguson has hinted that he will select a strong side for the visit of struggling Liverpool after claiming to have erred last season in “picking the wrong team” after the Red Devils were knocked out in the third round by Leeds United.

Two men who definitely miss out are John O’Shea and Paul Scholes, while Wayne Rooney and Edwin van der Sar remain doubts. Javier Hernandez, meanwhile, may have forced his way into the starting XI with two goals in his last two games.

Possible starting XI: Kuszczak; Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson; Berbatov, Hernandez.

Liverpool


Caretaker manager Kenny Dalglish has virtually a full squad to pick from for the trip to Old Trafford, aside from the injured Jamie Carragher.

Sotirios Kyrgiakos is expected to miss out in favour of Daniel Agger in defence whilst Dirk Kuyt and Raul Meireles should also return, which means Dalglish has something of a selection headache in midfield for his first game in charge.

Possible starting XI: Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Konchesky; Kuyt, Meireles, Lucas, Gerrard, Cole; Torres.

Hosts aiming to pour more misery on Reds

The FA Cup may not be anywhere near the top of Manchester United’s priority list this season, but the fact that they been paired with bitter rivals Liverpool in the third round - added to last season’s early exit from the competition - means this is a match they will be taking very seriously indeed.

Sir Alex Ferguson will surely also be licking his lips at the chance to dump yet more misery on his arch-rivals, particularly in a season where his team are currently on target to surpass Liverpool’s record of 18 league titles.

Reds hoping for some FA Cup magic

They say that form goes out of the window in the FA Cup, and in derby games too for that matter, and Liverpool will travel to Old Trafford praying that really is the case. The Reds are under fire after a dismal season, and recent defeats to Blackburn Rovers, Wolves and Newcastle United means Kenny Dalglish has his work cut out in his first game in charge.

Yet the Merseysiders should need little motivation for this game, and a quick glance at the history books will give them hope. The last time the two sides met in the competition, in 2006, the Reds beat United in the fifth round courtesy of Peter Crouch’s first-half goal.

History also dictates that in every FA Cup tie between these two sides since 1985, the winners of the tie have gone on to lift the trophy. Motivation, indeed, if any were needed.

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Players to watch

Nani

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Despite their unbeaten record the league leaders have come in for criticism this season for a lack of flair, but one man who has frequently lit up Old Trafford has been the ever-improving Nani.

After a short spell out, the Portuguese was back to his best in midweek, setting up Javier Hernandez’s opener before curling home a stunning winner.

Able to play on either flank and against a Liverpool side whose full-backs, Glen Johnson and Paul Konchesky, have come in for plenty of criticism, he may just be the man to send the hosts into the fourth round.

Fernando Torres

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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  • 0
  • 0
Fernando Torres has come in for criticism of late for a perceived lack of effort, but the Spaniard seems to reserve his best displays for games against Manchester United and has the ability to reduce Nemanja Vidic to a quivering wreck.

Having helped Liverpool beat Chelsea almost single-handedly back in November, he’s also proven he is the player for the big occasion - and how the Reds need a big performance from his No. 9 on Sunday.

Editor's Prediction

Current form suggests this is a no-brainer; Liverpool have just won once away from home all season while United are unbeaten at Old Trafford.

However, the FA Cup doesn’t always work like that, particularly when you throw in the added spice that this fixture always produces and the fact that Roy Hodgson has now departed and new manager Kenny Dalglish arrived.

Yet Liverpool have provided little evidence in recent weeks that they are capable of the “remarkable coup” Hodgson claimed victory would be, and anything other than a home will be seen as a major shock.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Manchester United

Liverpool

Wins
3
0
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Manchester United FC MNU
Manchester United FC Manchester United
Draw
Liverpool FC LIV
Liverpool FC Liverpool
37%
60%

Top 3 Predictions

Manchester United FC MNU
0 - 3
Liverpool FC LIV
Manchester United FC MNU
1 - 3
Liverpool FC LIV
Manchester United FC MNU
2 - 0
Liverpool FC LIV

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