Manchester United vs. Liverpool FC: 5 Key Players for Sir Alex at Anfield

Nedu ObiAnalyst IIOctober 10, 2011

Manchester United vs. Liverpool FC: 5 Key Players for Sir Alex at Anfield

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    Manchester United are set to take on arch rivals Liverpool FC in an away fixture at Anfield, on Oct. 15.

    United’s start to the Premiership season has been nothing less than phenomenal—played seven, won six and the only blight on their season's record thus far is a (1-1) draw against Stoke.

    To add to their amazing feat, United have scored 24 goals whilst only conceding five.

    I’m sure Alex Ferguson, the United players and the fans will want to keep that record as is, whilst improving as they head into the next quarter of the season.

    Liverpool, on the other hand, are lying fifth in the league and are venturing into Champion’s League territory.

    The job for Ferguson’s men is to keep Liverpool in that same position come match day, and United can easily achieve that given the wealth of talent they have at their disposal.

    However, United have five key players that can make the difference between winning and losing come Oct.15...

5. Patrice Evra

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    Patrice Evra has been a key fixture in United’s triumphs ever since his move from Monaco in 2006.

    Ferguson has shown great faith in the French international, by electing to appoint him captain on several occasions this season.

    And Evra has repaid his manager with his outstanding form thus far this season.

    The left-back is known for his searing pace, and is not afraid to embark on forward runs to assist United’s midfielders and strikers.

    That, and his ability to shore up the defense with the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and the da Silva twins Fabio and Rafael, will be paramount in United overcoming their fiercest rivals.

4. Ashley Young

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    Since Ashley Young’s signing from Aston Villa in June 2011, he has created a deadly striking partnership with Wayne Rooney, for both club and country—17 goals in total.

    So far this season, Young has scored two goals in the premiership and four on the international scene, including in England’s (2-0) win over Montenegro at the weekend.

    Young also set up Darren Bent for the second.

    His creativity and awareness of the players around him make Young a great addition to the United camp and with his assists to boot, Liverpool will be keeping a keen eye on him.

3. Nani

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    The 2010/11 season saw Nani go from losing the moniker as the next Cristiano Ronaldo to a fantasista in his own right.

    Nani is a powerfully built winger who has got pace in abundance which defenders sometimes find impossible to handle. Add to the equation his sublime dribbling skills—then he’s a nightmare for any defense.

    This season has seen Nani mature, not into the genuine article, but near enough.

    His assists for the team are imperative to United sustaining their good run in the Premiership, coupled with his knack for the spectacular in front of goal.

    In United’s (3-1) win against Chelsea, Nani hit at 32-yard goal travelling at 81 mph that flew into the top corner of the opposition's net.

    With Nani’s form of late, Liverpool will have a hard time containing the brilliant Portuguese.

2. Anderson

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    Anderson is the heir apparent to the void left by Paul Scholes, who retired at the end of last season.

    Like the aforementioned, Anderson has grown into his role as a player who dictates the pace and rhythm of a game.

    Anderson’s effervescent style of football and ability to read the game was never more telling than in United’s 5-0 drubbing of Bolton Wanderers earlier this season.

    And if that wasn’t enough, Anderson has also scored twice this season which makes him a threat not only from midfield, but also in front of goal.

    Anderson has been United’s midfield general this season, and will be looking to emulate that leadership when United and Liverpool clash in six days time.

1. Wayne Rooney

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    What is there to say about Wayne Rooney? He had a dismal 2010 World Cup and a lacklustre performance for the Red Devils in the 2010/11 season.

    However, this season he’s back with a bang and has become extremely efficacious in front of goal—notching up nine goals in seven Premier League games, as well as two for England.

    This Saturday in the 2012 Euro qualifier, he got sent off in the 73rd minute for a blatant foul on Montenegro’s Miodrag Dzudovic.

    However, Rooney was still instrumental in England’s victory against the aforementioned.

    Rooney is in the best form of his young career, and given his history with Liverpool, he’ll be out for blood as well as continuing his mind-boggling streak in front of goal.