The fiercest derby in football returns tomorrow evening when Manchester United play Liverpool at Old Trafford.
It seems like a long time ago club football existed and International football was there to give a break for the clubs who were aiming to get a good start to their domestic competitions. However, so much has happened during that time including the closure of the transfer window and plenty of talking points for everyone to talk about now that the season continues. Now fans of club football will want their teams to get on with their performances and retain the focus.
Firstly, the transfer window was a surprising and shocking one for us Red Devil’s. The surprise was the collapse of the De Gea deal to Real Madrid as the fee was agreed and both clubs publicly releasing statements of their events of how it unfolded. To be honest, I would not care about Real Madrid as they should have negotiated earlier in the window but props to Van Gaal to not giving away much. On the positive note, the club announced today De Gea has signed a new lucrative contract for four years with an option to add another year. We need this news as he has been a life saver in the past two years. You can only see improvements to his career at United. The fans wanted a striker and the club signed Anthony Martial from Monaco for a very heavy price of £36m and add-on’s that could take it to £58m. For a 19 year old, it’s a lot of pressure to live up to and what fans will need to realise, he will need to adapt, fit in with the team and adjust to the league standards. He is more than capable to show that during his future.
A shock was to see Adnan Januzaj go out on loan to Borussia Dortmund for the season. At the time of need of flair and attacking players, the club decided to trim down the squad. It did not help with Javier Hernandez also leaving the club with a permanent move to Bayer Leverkusen. Sad to see you go Chicharito as you were lively in the box but you wanted more match time. Maybe in the future there are more transfers to come but that’s enough rambling about transfers for now.
Van Gaal would not comment on whether De Gea will start although he would not want to lose any more points especially Romero making a few errors against Swansea. Carrick is available but Phil Jones remains out. No other injury concerns only Pereira was the only one to return with an injury from international duty. Rodgers will be without Coutinho who is suspended so Ings or Ibe could be pushing for a start. Henderson and Lallana are doubtful and Sturridge has returned to training.
Wayne Rooney will be delighted to become England’s record goal scorer by scoring two goals in two games. His confidence will be sky high and he will now need to end his draught in the Premier League. They will be plenty of fantasy football manager’s needing points. It depends on Martial starting as a striker as there have been many number 9’s who have made their debuts against Liverpool. Fellaini or Herrera could be used as an option behind Rooney if Martial is not selected to start. The defence is looking strong with Shaw and Darmian on the flanks. Smalling is improving and growing into the leader at the back. Can his partnership with Blind continue or Marcos Rojo replace him?
For Liverpool, they have invested in a lot of players in the summer. A 3-0 home loss to West Ham will be a tough one to take in but form is never a tactic to rely on in these high tensed games. Without Coutinho, who brings the attacking style to the team, he will be missed with his fancy foot work. There is still danger from Benteke who can give defenders a nightmare. Last season United won 3-0 and it was a dominating performance where it looked like they were at their best. This season, with the players Van Gaal has, the experience and quality is there to get a win. Although, Liverpool will not want to lose to their rivals, it will sure be an entertaining game.
Possible starting XI:
Man Utd; De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw, Carrick, Schweinsteiger, Mata, Herrera, Memphis, Rooney.
Liverpool; Mignolet, Clyne, Srktel, Sakho, Gomez, Can, Lucas, Milner, Ibe, Firmino, Benteke.