Robin van Persie’s absence will lead to another disappointment for the struggling Manchester United Red Devils Wednesday evening against rivals Liverpool.
“I don’t think Robin van Persie will play on Wednesday, but he has an outside chance for Saturday,” manager David Moyes said on Tuesday, per Mark Froggatt of Manutd.com.
Missing him last Sunday at the Manchester Derby with the same groin injury that is keeping him off the pitch against Liverpool, the Red Devils were embarrassed by Manchester City, losing 4-1.
Van Persie led all goalscorers a season ago and has already found the back of the net three times in four English Premier League tilts. His loss is a significant one for a side that has struggled to score against England’s top competitors.
But Van Persie's absence means something else for Moyes' club. Brendan Rodgers understands the importance of gaining a victory in the match, despite it's relative important in the grand scheme of his goals. After a disappointment against Southampton last weekend, he'll have his best set to hit the pitch.
And without Van Persie, United cannot say the same. His presence adds another dimension that forces opposing clubs to adjust their strategy to a more defensive approach.
Even with van Persie on the pitch, Moyes’ side was unable to crack Brendan Rodgers sides’ tough defense at Anfield in their first encounter. Think they'll be able to do much better without him out there?
Things could be different while playing in front of a jam-packed Old Trafford crowd for Wednesday night’s Capitol One Cup fixture. Chances are, though, the Red Devils will fail to keep pace and end up disappointed yet again; with Suarez back, the Reds’ own lackluster attack will get a much-needed spark.
Who wins Wednesday night at Old Trafford?
Marouane Fellaini is cup-tied so he will also be unavailable for Moyes’ side against the Reds. Losing a top striker and shot creator on an already troubled club doesn’t bode well for their chances, either.
Wayne Rooney will step up in the starting lineup again in the Dutchman’s absence. He could end up finding the back of the net to keep things close, but without fresh legs and another potent threat like van Persie, it’ll be much of the same we’ve seen lately for United when play stops Wednesday night.