Blog by: Gautam
Kick-off:1945 GMT, 25 September, 2013, 0015 IST, 26 September 2013
Location: Old Trafford, Sir Matt Busby Way, Manchester, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Arguably the most-anticipated tie of the tournament so far, Manchester United take on Liverpool at Old Trafford in what is set to be a mouth-watering cup tie in the North of England. That both clubs will be looking to use this tie to bounce back from potentially demoralising defeats suffered over the weekend only adds more flavour to this game.
Last five fixtures: LWWLD
22/09/2013: 1-4 vs. Manchester City (A), Barclays Premier League
17/09/2013: 4-2 vs. Bayer Leverkusen (H), UEFA Champions League
14/09/2013: 2-0 vs. Crystal Palace (H), Barclays Premier League
01/09/2013: 0-1 vs. Liverpool (A), Barclays Premier League
26/08/2013: 0-0 vs. Chelsea (H), Barclays Premier League
Manchester United are undergoing a period of transition that is going to take some time, given the enormous amount of influence Sir Alex Ferguson has had in shaping into the modern-day behemoth it is today.
New boss David Moyes’ results have been sketchy at best, but the one positive he can take from games is that a majority of the big teams have been dealt with and he can now focus on grinding out results against more unfancied opposition.
Both teams locked horns very recently. On the first of September, Daniel Sturridge’s goal separated the two teams at Anfield and former Everton manager Moyes will be looking to even the odds against Brendan Rodgers.
Last five fixtures: LDWWW
21/09/2013: 0-1 vs. Southampton (H), Barclays Premier League
16/09/2013: 2-2 vs. Swansea (A), Barclays Premier League
01/09/2013: 1-0 vs. Manchester United (H), Barclays Premier League
27/08/2013: 4-2 vs. Notts County (H), Capital One Cup
24/08/2013: 1-0 vs. Aston Villa (A), Barclays Premier League
Liverpool’s form seems to have tailed off in their last two games and unless put right, this could lead to a slump that Brendan Rodgers will not want just days after saying he is the right man to take Liverpool back to the European elite.
Against Southampton, Liverpool were exposed because of a serial lack of depth. No full backs meant Southampton pierced the Reds defence time and time again and they will want to avoid against United what Dejan Lovren did to them at Anfield.
Their trip to Old Trafford is a great opportunity to right their season and take enormous pleasure in beating their old rivals in their back yard in the process.
United missed Robin van Persie over the weekend and his pelvis injury is set to keep him out for this game as well. Darren Fletcher has been out for a long time with a chronic bowel condition and he is joined on the treatment table by Rafael (hamstring) and Phil Jones (foot)
Squad (from): David de Gea, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Anderson Oliveira, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Chris Smalling, Anders Lindegaard, Javier Hernandez, Nemanja Vidic, Michael Carrick, Luis Nani, Ashley Young, Daniel Welbeck, Shinji Kagawa, Tom Cleverley, Alexander Buttner, Wilfried Zaha, Guillermo Varela, Larnell Cole, Marouane Fellaini, Will Keane, Ben Amos, Adnan Januzaj, Sam Johnstone, Fabio da Silva
Probable Starting XI: Lindegaard, Smalling, Evans, Vidic, Fabio, Fellaini, Kagawa, Carrick, Young, Zaha, Hernandez
The Reds’ biggest addition will be the return of Luis Suarez, whose suspension ended over the weekend.
Daniel Agger’s rib injury is affecting his breathing and he will not play this game. Philippe Coutinho’s shoulder rehabilitation will keep him out until the end of November. Glen Johnson has an ankle sprain and loan signee Aly Cissoko has a foot injury sustained on debut.
Squad (from): Phil Jones, Jose Enrique, Kolo Toure, Luis Alberto, Steven Gerrard, Iago Aspas, Victor Moses, Jordan Henderson, Daniel Sturridge, Mamadou Sakho, Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen, Tiago Ilora, Raheem Stering, Jordan Ibe, Martin Kelly, Samed Yesil, Martin Skrtel, John Flanagan, Adam Morgan
Probable Starting XI: Mignolet, Kelly, Toure, Ilori, Flanagan, Leiva, Allen, Gerrard, Sterling, Alberto, Suarez
Suarez’s return does in no way guarantee a win for the Reds. This game will be one that could go down to the wire.
Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool