Manchester United travels to Anfield on Sunday to take on a Liverpool team full of confidence. In what is one of the fiercest derbies in English football, emotions are sure to run high during the game. Anfield is famous for the atmosphere generated by Liverpool's passionate support. Against Manchester United, arguably Liverpool's biggest rival, the noise in the stadium is always a few levels above normal. Furthermore, in tomorrow's game, Liverpool will be celebrating the 100th birthday of the late Bill Shankly. With the club set to honour the legendary manager before kick-off, fans are sure to create an atmosphere that should not be missed.
Early Season Form
Liverpool have begun the Premier League campaign with two wins out of two games. Brendan Rodgers' team will be encouraged by the start, although both victories were by narrow 1-0 margins. In these games, the team were able to hold on to their slight advantage until full-time, an ability that was noticeably absent last season. However, they might need to be more clinical in front of the goal to beat last season's league champions.
United followed their convincing opening day victory against Swansea City with a 0-0 draw against Chelsea. The team looked its fluid best against Swansea with Robin van Persie especially sharp in front of the goal. Manager David Moyes will also be encouraged by the performances of Wayne Rooney, who had two assists verses Swansea and played well against Chelsea. With David Moyes never having won at Anfield, a win on Sunday could be a moment, early on in his Manchester United career, that sets him on the path to success. A loss, however, would exponentially increase pressure from Manchester United fans, who would drop five points behind their great rivals.
With Kolo Toure's injury in the mid-week victory against Notts County (League Club), Brendan Rodgers has a defensive crisis on his hands. With Uruguayan center back Sebastian Coates out for the season with a knee injury, the Northern Irish coach may be forced to play out-of-favour Martin Skrtel alongside Daniel Agger in defense. New signing Aly Cissokho and Joe Allen also picked up injuries in the mid-week fixture and will not be available. Luis Suarez is still suspended.
For David Moyes, Rafael and Javier Hernandez are still unavailable. Wayne Rooney is expected to play behind Robin van Persie, meaning that Japanese star Shinji Kagawa will be on the bench. Kagawa, who joined the club from Borussia Dortmund, has not featured at all this season, prompting the German club's fans, who hold the player in high regard, to begin a #freeshinji campaign on the internet. The campaign is trending in Japan.
Where to Watch
Kick-off is at 6 pm IST (Sunday, 1 September) and live coverage is available on Star Sports and ESPN HD.