The men from Merseyside will be seeking their first win at the Theatre of Dreams since their 4-1 triumph back in 2009, whilst United will be hoping to shunt the title aspirations of their great rivals.
Whilst there will be Liverpool supporters dreaming of Steven Gerrard lifting the Premier League come May, Rodgers has played down their title aspirations, insisting they remain focused on securing a Champions League place. The Liverpool manager thinks a win at Old Trafford would put United out of the reckoning for a top four place, per Paul Joyce and Richard Tanner in the Express:
We are 11 points clear now, if it goes to 14, they can't do it.
Even 11 is going to be very tough because we are entering into a period where we are stronger. We are second in the league on merit. We have performed consistently for a long period of time and that makes us a very dangerous opponent
In truth, most United fans would say they’re already out of the running for a Champions League berth. And whilst it would be something of a fillip to scupper Liverpool’s title charge, United boss David Moyes insists his team are remaining focused on their own performances and making strides up the Premier League table, per Paul Wilson in The Guardian:
I view the game as a chance to take three points from one of the teams above us.
For me to talk about finishing in a Champions League position would be misplaced. I am not close enough to it. All I can talk about is winning the next game and getting closer to it.
The game against Liverpool starts a week that could define Moyes’ tenure at Old Trafford. After taking on their bitter rivals today, they will be tasked with overturning a 2-0 deficit in the second leg of their last 16 Champions League tie with Olympiacos on Wednesday 19 March.
But when Liverpool come to town, little else matters for the 20-time champions of England. Here's all the details you need on where to catch the game live:
When: Sunday at 9:30 a.m. ET
Sunday at 1:30 p.m. GMT
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Manchester United supporters were given a boost earlier in the week when star centre-forward Robin van Persie stated his commitment to the club.
The Dutchman’s future has been a cause for some doubt as of late, but he quashed any rumours he might be moving on by claiming he’d love to stay beyond his current contract, per Mark Ogden in The Telegraph:
Last time I checked, my head was still attached to my body. So I’m the only one who knows exactly what I’m feeling and that is not what I or the fans have been reading.
The truth is I’m very happy here at this club. I signed for four years and I’d be delighted to stay even longer, beyond the next two years I have left on my contract. I’m very happy with my team-mates and I’m very happy with my manager and his staff.
Those affiliated with United will be desperate for that show of loyalty from van Perise to galvanise the team and manifest into a winning performance against Liverpool.
A win over the Reds from Merseyside would provide a major boost ahead of Wednesday’s season-defining tie and surely help fester a more positive attitude around the club, one which van Persie insists Moyes is doing his best to instil:
More from Robin: “Moyes’ sessions and the things he says in his team meetings are spot-on. I really enjoy working under him.”— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 13, 2014
You suspect the performance of van Persie will be key to a United victory. He must be at his clinical best and take his chances when they come, for the opposition have goals aplenty in their line-up, most notably via messieurs Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
The latter of those two has just picked up the February player of the month award and has insisted Liverpool aren’t really thinking about the title but just enjoying their football, per ESPN:
Of course we want to do as well as we can in every single game and get maximum points if we can but it is important we keep playing the football we do.
I don't think winning at the weekend is going to change anything in regards to the title race, we are still four points behind and there are still teams ahead of us.
But if Sturridge keeps finding the back of the net in such prolific fashion, Liverpool are surely in with a shout of a shock Premier League triumph.
The England man has bagged 18 Premier League goals this season, per WhoScored.com, and a winning strike at Old Trafford would thrust his team to within one point of Chelsea, who lost 1-0 to Aston Villa on Saturday. And that would certainly get pulses racing on Merseyside.
It’s often said that form goes out the window when rivals lock horns, but it’s difficult to see anything other than a comfortable Liverpool victory here.
Rodgers' team have been playing with a swagger and a ruthlessness as of late. They'll boss United's midfield and cause no end of problems with their magnificent forward play. The movement and intelligence of Suarez, Sturridge and Raheem Sterling will be far too much for the United back four to handle.
Liverpool won't keep a clean sheet given the quality in United's forward line, but I'm going for Manchester United 1-3 Liverpool in this one, and that will give the Reds a very realistic chance of finishing top of the pile come the climax of the campaign.
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