I don’t know about you but when the fixtures are announced in June, this is the first one I look for.
The annual visit to Anfield is always a bracing – and often season defining – experience. In Louis van Gaal‘s first year as Manchester United manager, a 2-1 win at Anfield precipitated an excellent run of form whilst Liverpool, despite coming into the game with a series of positive results under their belt, quickly disintegrated.
And with Jose Mourinho’s side – seemingly capable of spectacular football as well as abject failure – still yet to fully convince this season, the game against Liverpool is a perfect opportunity to lay down a marker during the campaign’s nascent stages.
Paul Pogba silenced his critics with a rip-roaring performance against the Netherlands. A 30-yard screamer, which was enough to seal a 1-0 win for the visitors, crowned a powerful, domineering display in midfield. He is, however, yet to fully demonstrate his worth under Mourinho, and the visit to Anfield serves as the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Marcus Rashford, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan still injured, could take up a starting role on the right hand side. The 18-year-old’s fearless attitude bodes well in big-game environments, and as Liverpool go for United’s jugular, Rashford’s tenacity on the counter-attack, alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, could prove to be vital.