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Manchester United V Liverpool: Previewing Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra's Rematch

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Manchester United V Liverpool: Previewing Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra's Rematch
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester United and Liverpool are the two most glamorous sides in the history of English football. Both sides have won the most trophies in the history of English football and their respective histories are both illustrious.

Yet there have also been some dark moments in the history of both teams. This was in focus during the last Premier League matchup between the two sides in October where Luis Suarez racially abused Patrice Evra, which caused a massive amount of controversy.

This led to Suarez getting suspended for eight matches, which Suarez only came back from earlier this week in Liverpool's scoreless draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

To put it simply, this will be a match that certainly will have lots of attention and some great individual battles.

Here are the scores from the last time that we saw these two sides face each other in all competitions.

Liverpool 2 Manchester United 1 (Jan. 28, 2012 - FA Cup fourth round)

Liverpool 1 Manchester United 1 (Oct. 15, 2011 - Premier League)

Liverpool 3 Manchester United 1 (March 6, 2011 - Premier League)

Manchester United 1 Liverpool 0 (Jan. 9, 2011 - FA Cup third round)

Manchester United 3 Liverpool 2 (Sept. 19, 2011 - Premier League)

Liverpool and Man United have each been strong at their respective home grounds during recent years. Liverpool have not won at Old Trafford since 2009 while United haven't won at Anfield since 2007.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Ryan Giggs scored an early penalty to win an FA Cup in 2011. This same match saw Kenny Dalglish return to Liverpool

Both sides have also had a fairly interesting run in form over the past several months. Here are each side's respective results from their last five matches.

Manchester United:

Chelsea 3 Manchester United 3 (Feb. 5 - Premier League)

Manchester United 2 Stoke City 0 (Jan. 31—Premier League)

Liverpool 2 Manchester United 1 (Jan. 28—FA Cup fourth round)

ArsenalManchester United 2 (Jan. 22—Premier League)

Manchester United 3 Bolton Wanderers 0 (Jan. 14—Premier League)

Liverpool:

Liverpool 0 Tottenham 0 (Feb. 6 - Premier League)

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Liverpool 3 (Jan. 31 - Premier League)

Liverpool 2 Manchester United 1 (Jan. 28 - FA Cup fourth round)

Liverpool 2 Manchester City 2 (Jan. 25 - Carling Cup semifinal second leg - Liverpool advances to Carling Cup final 3-2 on aggregate)

Bolton Wanderers 3 Liverpool 1 (Jan. 21 - Premier League)

 

Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Dirk Kuyt scored a late winner against United in their FA Cup matchup two weeks ago

Team News

Manchester United

After suffering injuries against Chelsea, both Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney will be available for this fixture.

Nemanja Vidic, Darren Fletcher, Anders Lindegaard and Phil Jones are all out, with Thomas Cleverely and Nani both questionable.

 

Liverpool

Not much has changed on the injury front for Liverpool. Jack Robinson, Lucas Leiva and Jose Enrique all won't participate in this match.

Of course, the biggest news is that Luis Suarez will probably start in his first match after getting banned for eight matches.  Earlier this week, Kenny Dalglish announced that Suarez will shake hands with Evra before the match.

 

Key Players


Manchester United

Patrice Evra has been one of the most important players for Man United over the past several seasons, and this match will arguably be the toughest match of his career.

With Suarez facing United, there will be much discussion over how Evra will play against the man that racially abused him several months ago.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Evra and Suarez will command much of the attention of this match

This will not be easy for Evra, yet this could be a career-defining match for the French defender. Evra's bravery will be put squarely in the spotlight, lets see how he responds.

 

Liverpool

Luis Suarez has been one of the most controversial players in the EPL since his arrival last January. Now Suarez will probably start in his first match of 2012 at Old Trafford.

Suarez will be the most followed Liverpool player in this matchup thanks to the racial abuse that Suarez directed at Evra during their last appearance on the same pitch.

Of course, this also is a chance for Suarez to prove that his fitness level is back and a goal in this match would be a nice accomplishment for the Uruguayan striker.

 

Interesting Stats

Javier Hernandez has scored in the final 10 minutes of the last two Premier League games against Liverpool.

United enjoyed just 44 percent of possession against Liverpool in the reverse fixture in October, lower than in any other match this season.

Dirk Kuyt has scored four goals in his last three appearances against Manchester United in all competitions.

Liverpool have converted the lowest proportion of their shots in the 2011-12 Premier League so far, with just 8.5 percent of their shots resulting in goals.

Michael Steele/Getty Images
Suarez has been controversial throughout his career

Prediction

This is probably the biggest and most anticipated matchup in the Premier League this season and it certainly will be a great match to watch.

There certainly are reasons to believe that Liverpool can win this match. After all, only Chelsea have won at Old Trafford more often than Liverpool in the Premier League (Chelsea have won five times, while Liverpool have won four times).

Yet United have made Old Trafford into a true fortress. United have won 29 and lost just two of their last 33 Premier League home games. The two losses were to Chelsea in April 2010, while Man City won at the Theatre of Dreams last October.

Liverpool have also won only once at Old Trafford in Premier League play since 2004, which shows that Liverpool has suffered like nearly every Premier League side has suffered at Manchester United's home during the last several years.

It is for that reason that I don't see Liverpool having a chance of achieving victory in this derby.

Manchester United 3 Liverpool 0

 

Follow me on Twitter @Andrew_Jordan

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