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Thread: Man Utd v Liverpool preview

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    Honor Administrator <<ELVIS>>'s Avatar
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    Thumbs up Man Utd v Liverpool preview

    Man Utd v Liverpool preview

    Lancashire rivals clash on Grand Slam Sunday

    Liverpool have discovered a new-found sense of self-confidence as they prepare to travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United on Grand Slam Sunday.

    The Reds had been offered as potential Premier League champions ahead of the current campaign, but when United became the first - and so far only - visiting team this season to leave Anfield with three points in December that prospect appeared as unlikely as the two fierce Lancashire rivals agreeing to let bygones be bygones.

    However, over recent weeks there has been a gentle subsidence in the talk of Liverpool's main objective being their battle with Merseyside rivals Everton for fourth spot in the table as aspirations have quietly drifted three places higher.

    Table-toppers United, though, have been there, done that and have collected the Premier League winners' T-shirt on nine previous occasions and they will feel they have heard all the stereotypical Scouse self-confident swagger before.

    Having thought they had polished off the Reds' title talk four months ago, United will be looking forward to once again ending any speculative wagging of tongues this weekend.

    Ferdinand doubt

    United boss Sir Alex Ferguson openly admits his enjoyment of the intensity of this fixture and he will be desperate to maintain his unbeaten league record against his opposite number Rafa Benitez to end any further speculation of a Reds resurgence and reinforce his side's hopes of defending their title.

    However, Ferguson has doubts over the fitness of defender Rio Ferdinand as he prepares for the visit of Liverpool.

    Ferdinand has been struggling with a back injury and missed Wednesday's victory over Bolton as Ferguson experimented with a new look defensive formation to accommodate for the centre-back's possible absence.

    Gerard Pique came in for Ferdinand and Ferguson insists he would have no qualms in continuing to select the Spaniard, but Patrice Evra and Wes Brown could be recalled.

    Agger absence

    United also have concerns over goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar (groin) and striker Louis Saha (knee) as Ferguson faces a selection dilemma, but the Scot will have no doubts in picking the top-flight's leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese trickster took his haul in all competitions this season to 33 on Wednesday to surpass George Best's record for goals in a campaign.

    Meanwhile, Benitez has no new injury worries ahead of Liverpool's short journey down the East Lancs Road.

    Defender Daniel Agger is out after having had a third operation on a broken metatarsal earlier this week and Benitez does not expect his return until next season, while Harry Kewell - whose Anfield days appear numbered - will be missing as he is set to captain Australia in Singapore.

    Benitez has seen his side record seven consecutive victories in all competitions since February's FA Cup defeat to Barnsley and he is expected to maintain a settled line-up, although the experienced John Arne Riise may get the nod over Ryan Babel.

    Star striker Fernando Torres, the man largely responsible for Liverpool's recent 100 per cent record, will lead the line as Benitez looks to add to the gossip in Lancashire.

  2. #2
    Honor Administrator <<ELVIS>>'s Avatar
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    Re: Man Utd v Liverpool preview

    Wenger - We will win title

    Arsenal boss feels consistency is key

    Arsene Wenger is confident that Arsenal will rediscover their top form and become Premier League champions.

    The Gunners have drawn their last four games to slip three points behind Manchester United, while Chelsea will also overtake them and move up to second with a home win at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

    However, Arsenal have lost just once in the league this season and Wenger believes his side's consistency will see them emerge triumphant.

    Wenger accepts that the clash with Chelsea and the game against United later in the season could determine whether Arsenal can indeed finish top, but he is also looking at the other six matches and feels there will be very few dropped points.

    "I believe we will win it in the end because we are the most consistent team," he said in the News of the World.

    "We know for now for us to win, it is down to us to beat Chelsea and then we play Manchester United.

    Eight games left

    "I won't set a specific points target. All I say at the moment is that we have eight games left.

    "The target is to get the maximum 24 points from them and that will win us the title."

    Wenger has played down Arsenal's recent run of results, optimistic that his team will deliver the goods against The Blues.

    "I know people will point to the fact we haven't won in four games and we are not the form team, but we still have only lost one game and if we keep that record until the end of the season then I can't believe we won't win the league.

    "Yes we have had a little dip - but we are over it now and we can show that on Sunday."

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