This Saturday is the biggest game in EPL in term of them all. On March 3, 12.45 UK time at Anfield, Liverpool will host Manchester United. this game is bigger for the fan than against any game against City,Chelsea, Everton or Arsenal. Even bigger than any London Derby included the upcoming Chelsea vs Arsenal.
In football term, Man United is the second biggest club in England After Liverpool. In economy wise they are the biggest in UK and are one of the biggest not only in football term but in sport term in the world.
The city of Manchester and Liverpool share the North West area of England. Perhaps this is the much of the reason of the rivalry. But they have their own history and tradition plus their very own success.
They are the current League leader with more than 9 points against the second place. They are also the most form team at the moment. Only Liverpool can match them in term of form. Ohh how Liverpool early season was really bad.
The Winger Wanderer Christiano Ronaldo
Recently Manchester United was laboring a bit to victory. they needed a Ronaldo special to beat Fulham in last dying minute. That was after Van Der Saar magnificence saves and the post being very generous.
Ronaldo is the key to Manchester United. without him Man United becomes a potentially a very good side with him they can potentially be great. this year Ronaldo 15 goals and many assist are so crucial to them. Don’t forget his dribbling, counter attack and dive!
Hate him or Love him, Ronaldo is a very special player even as teenager he had so many quality. It was a shame that Houllier did not try to buy him earlier when given an opportunity.
But his Ferguson and United was his fate and to their credit help developed him in a way that Ferguson earlier failed to developed another Young winger wizard in Ryan Giggs to his maximum. <i>that is for another story</i>
Man united usually employ two out and out winger. This is a rare occurrence. Most top team when playing 4-4-2 only employ one out and out winger whether in international or top club level.
Those that employ double winger like Chelsea they tend to sacrifice one striker. Some Top Team even rarely uses an out and out winger at all. Liverpool, Bayern, Ac-Milan and various top team seems not to need one.
Even Brazil don’t really employ one an out and out winger at all, only maybe perhaps in the bench. Their width is usually supply by their attacking half/flank back who do overlapping run and hogs the touch line.
Ronaldinho and Kaka are no out and out winger.
Man United then employ usually a defensive midfield plus an attacking or just central Midfield. But this season Man United has no holding Midfield. They now employ two Central Midfield in Scholes and Carrick and alternate in their job as the holding Midfield.
with a formation in 4-4-2 with two winger, two striker and one central attacking midfield Man united possess one of the most adventurous team in UK or even in Europe if they choose to play like that.
Oddly Ferguson is not very good in a different Tactic. He has numerous time to play a 4-4-1-1 or 4-5-1 or even 4-3-3 formation. he never employ a 3 central defense with wing-back(last 10 minute don’t count).
In Europe he may try to change and adjust his play. He had failed numerous time and was as lucky as Liverpool in winning the Champion League with such an attacking side. But being defensive or controlling is also not an option.
Liverpool may try to counter Man United as they did with Barcelona with some modification. That mean a formation 4-4-2 without winger. So no Pennant or Gonzalez. Liverpool will double up the both the flank to neutralize Ronaldo and Giggs.
Gerrard to the right, Xabi and Sissoko at the center. The left is a puzzle since only Risse is available. If Risse is push up then there is a hole in left back. Maybe Fabio is available or risk the new recruit. Maybe even risk Gonzalez as the out and out winger.
The striker is a puzzle. Kyutt will play but his partner is a mystery. Do we use Crouch height in a hammer with a less mobile pitch or just use Bellamy pace and reward his golfing antic? Maybe Crouch nose is a factor in this.
The key for Liverpool to win is to dominate the center and continue to tire Man United. Man United central midfield is really soft. No wonder they really wanted Owen from Bayern even when his leg is broken. But no matter how soft it is it can only be soft if you squeeze it.
Liverpool must play more actively and make all the Man Unites player work and run for the ball. Man United have many older 30 years old player in Scholes 32, Giggs 33, Nevilles 31, Larson 34 and Vander Sar 35. Wenger locker room talk should never be excluded!
So, Liverpool needs to play hard and make united work hard too. Liverpool cannot play a dull, slow and cautious game. But play an intelligent,active and fast game. and ten hammer them when given the opportunity.
But unlike Barca or Chelsea at Anfield but Manchester are very strong in the air. It is not so simple So he who score first will win the game!