This is undoubtedly the biggest game of the FA Cup weekend as these two giants are pitted together. There’s been plenty of hype leading up to the game but it’s taken a further twist this weekend with the news that Roy Hodgson has been sacked as Liverpool manager. That means that Kenny Dalglish will lead the Reds into this one – and he knows the importance of avoiding defeat against one of their biggest rivals.
Had Manchester United been offered this position at the start of the season, obviously they would have taken it with open arms. However, this campaign hasn’t been as fluent as their league position hints and while the Old Trafford outfit do lead the Premier League, they’ve certainly been on a rollercoaster. It wasn’t too long ago that they looked well and truly out of the race with Chelsea dominating, but recent results have turned things on their head and United are comfortably in the driving seat. They have now won four out of their last five and having not lost a league game this season, they’ll be full of confidence as they prepare for their fierce cup tie.
Liverpool meanwhile are in all sorts of problems and their new owners must be wondering just what sort of job they have taken on. Following weeks of speculation, they were forced to make their first big decision on Saturday when they removed Roy Hodgson from his position as manager. It was a decision that certainly didn’t surprise the footballing world and having won just once in their last five, they enter this fixture with some terrible form behind them. Kenny Dalglish is the man who has been given the reigns while the club search for a permanent successor and considering his deep affiliation with the club, he will know the importance of getting at least some sort of result at Old Trafford this weekend.
On the team news front, Sir Alex Ferguson has numerous problems heading into this encounter with both Wayne Rooney and Edwin van der Sar doubtful through injury and flu respectively. Elsewhere, Paul Scholes and John O’Shea definitely won’t feature as they continue to rehabilitate from their injuries. The visitors meanwhile don’t have any new concerns although caretaker boss Dalglish is almost certain to make changes following the recent dreadful form, with Joe Cole and Maxi Rodriguez both possible candidates to be dropped.
Liverpool may have tried to freshen things up by installing Kenny Dalglish temporarily, but we just can’t see past United in this game. They’ve got some superb form behind them and with Liverpool struggling immensely in recent weeks; our prediction will be a straightforward 1-0 win for the Old Trafford side.