Manchester United v Liverpool
Last Updated: January 7, 2013 10:26am
One of the fiercest rivalries in football reignites this January as the two most successful English teams do battle with Liverpool travelling to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United.
In last season's corresponding fixture, a Wayne Rooney double proved to be the difference in a close affair in a game which had threatened to be overshadowed by the pre-match handshake. Luis Suarez did manage to hit back for Liverpool, scoring a late consolation but United held on to claim a 2-1 win, and in the process, secured their 62nd league victory over their old foes.
The game at Anfield earlier this season marked the Reds' first home game since the report into the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy with tributes to the victims and their families being given ahead of kick-off. The first half was a close affair but ended badly for Liverpool when Jonjo Shelvey was shown red following a strong challenge on Jonny Evans. Fittingly, Steven Gerrard opened the scoring at the start of the second half, but Brendan Rodgers' ten-men couldn't hold onto their 1-0 lead as United again ran out 2-1 winners with goals from Rafael and the clinical Robin van Persie.
United have been firing on all cylinders in recent weeks, with van Persie leading the attack and grabbing 5 goals in his last 5 games. And with two clean sheets on the bounce, it looks like they've plugged a recently leaky defence. Their back four will come up against a stern test with another of the Premier League's hottest marksman - Luis Suarez, who himself has been in good form having bagged a brace in his last outing. With the recent arrival of Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool will be looking for the England international to take the load off the Uruguayan hitman in what could prove to be an exciting partnership.
The Reds' form has been up and down recently but they will be desperate to derail Sir Alex Ferguson and his United side as they bid to win their twentieth league crown. Both teams are coming off wins in the league, so this classic encounter promises to be a great spectacle for the neutral, with plenty of action and entertainment at both ends.
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Barclays Premier League
Barclays Premier League Pos Team P Pts 1 Manchester United 38 89 2 Manchester City 38 78 3 Chelsea 38 75 4 Arsenal 38 73 5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 72 6 Everton 38 63 7 Liverpool 38 61 8 West Bromwich Albion 38 49 9 Swansea City 38 46 10 West Ham United 38 46 11 Norwich City 38 44 12 Fulham 38 43 13 Stoke City 38 42 14 Southampton 38 41 15 Aston Villa 38 41 16 Newcastle United 38 41 17 Sunderland 38 39 18 Wigan Athletic 38 36 19 Reading 38 28 20 Queens Park Rangers 38 25