Manchester United: Overtaking Liverpool For Good This Weekend?

Rocky GettersSenior Writer IJanuary 16, 2009

When Manchester United travel to the Reebok stadium this Saturday they will be hoping to finally take the league summit for the first time this season. With Chelsea's form declining and Liverpool getting usurped by internal problems, it looks like this could be the beginning of another road to the title for the Red Devils.

Confidence is never a problem for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, as they are in top form since returning victorious from Asia. They kept another clean sheet on Wednesday by beating Wigan 1-0. United continued at the weekend, demolishing Chelsea on Sunday.

Though, injury worries are a major concern. Wayne Rooney is out for three weeks due a hamstring injury, and third-choice striker Carlos Tevez is doubtful. Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand are already out injured.

Bolton will be missing some key players as well, as captain Kevin Nolan will have to sit out his ban and Gavin McCann is out injured.

United will be hoping for a different result than last season when Bolton defeated them 1-0 in an exciting affair. But if current form is anything to go by, Bolton are in for a troublesome evening. Manchester United have won their last three matches, while Bolton have lost their last three.

After a dismal performance last Sunday, Chelsea failed to keep a clean sheet midweek against a League One side. They will need to prove a point when they host Stoke, but Stoke's last week gritty performance against Liverpool means it won't be that easy.

League leaders Liverpool are facing a crisis, as manager Rafael Benitez rejected a new offer from the club owners. Unrest in the backrooms is untimely with a crucial Merseyside derby match Monday against Everton.

Keeping in mind how well David Moyes's side is doing, despite missing their key strikers, if the Toffees beat the Reds, it won't be a huge surprise.

Hull City will look to repeat their fantastic win at the Emirates against Arsenal, but it will be tough. But lying six points behind them, and with a game in hand, Arsenal aren't a concern for Man Utd right now.

When the new year started with Rafa's criticism of Sir Alex Ferguson, it was clear this was going to be anything but a boring second half of the season.

But with Man Utd closing in on Liverpool, Chelsea's defensive problems growing, and Rafa himself having showing the travails of pressure, it looks like Ferguson will have the last laugh—as always.