Manchester United vs Liverpool – View from the enemy

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United away at Anfield. It’s one of the most charged, tense and anticipated matches of the season and this year is no different.

The recent Hillsborough revelations will bring an incredibly emotional atmosphere to the game on Sunday and it should make for an absolutely electric game.

Ahead of the game, I sat down with Jaimie who runs a successful Liverpool website and talked about what he is expecting on Sunday.

Please introduce yourself to the readers. 

My name is Jaimie Kanwar, and I run, the most visited independent (non forum-based) LFC website on the net.

After the revelations about Hillsborough, Sir Alex Ferguson will issue a letter to all fans at the Anfield turnstiles to try and cool tensions. Do you think that both sets of fans will be respectful to each other on the day?

Ferguson’s letter is a great gesture, and I’m sure the majority of fans on both sides will respect the occasion on Sunday. Sadly, there will always be a small minority of idiots who are hell-bent on causing trouble, but hopefully, these fools will be slapped down by fellow fans on the day.

I hope that the Evra/Suarez saga doesn’t resurface tomorrow amidst such an emotionally driven day. Do you think it will? 

Both Brendan Rodgers and Ian Ayre have admitted that they have have not discussed the handshake issue with Luis Suarez ahead of the game.  I personally find this a little concerning, especially after what happened at Old Trafford last year.  Kenny Dalglish also trusted Suarez to do the right thing but the Uruguayan ended up snubbing Evra’s handshake.  With the recent Hillsborough ruling, this season’s game has special emotional significance, and is bigger than any personal duel. It seems unthinkable that either Suarez or Evra would disrespect the occasion and allow their personal issues to get in the way, and I feel confident that both players – and the respective fanbases – will do their clubs credit.

United haven’t won at Anfield since 2007/8. Are you confident going into the match on Sunday that you can win? 

Absolutely. Form is irrelevant when it comes to Liverpool-Manchester United games, and given the highly charged emotion of this particular game, Liverpool players will be super-motivated to ensure the club emerges victorious. United have conceded 5 goals in 4 league games so far, and managed to keep only one clean sheet; clearly, the defence is suspect, and Liverpool can and will capitalise on that.

Who do you think will be your most important player on Sunday and why? 

I believe Luis Suarez will run the show on Sunday. Rightly or wrongly, he still harbours a sense of burning injustice over the Patrice Evra situation and he’ll be desperate to play well for the Hillsborough families, the fans, and for his own peace of mind.  He’s well rested after missing out on the club’s Europa League game on Thursday, and with two goals in his last three league games, he’s hopefully on the verge of a decent goalscoring run.

Who do you think will be United’s most important player and why?

Robin Van Persie without a doubt.  If you take away the Dutchman’s goals this season, United would only have four league points, which just goes to show how important he is to the team, even at this early stage of the season. Last season, Van Persie scored two goals for Arsenal at Anfield, so he know’s how to score against Liverpool, and he’ll undoubtedly be a major threat.

Finally, what’s your prediction. 

2-1 to Liverpool. The atmosphere will be intense; the players will be fired-up beyond belief; Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers are under pressure to improve in the league. Combine this with the importance and emotion of the day, and I can’t see anything other than a Liverpool victory.

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