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Matchday: Liverpool v. Manchester United


Kickoff from Anfield at 13:30 GMT, 8:30 EST.

Ways to Watch:

Match live on Sky Sports 1 in the UK and Fox Soccer Channel in the US.
From Sport


Johnson Carragher Skrtel Aurelio
Kuyt Lucas Meireles Maxi

Bench: Gulacsi, Kyrgiakos, Poulsen, Spearing, Cole, Ngog, Carroll

Apparently there was a growing doubt as to Steven Gerrard's availability in the last few hours, but he makes the starting eleven along with Raul Meireles, Lucas, and Maxi in midfield. I'm reading that it's a 4-4-1-1, which means that we get either get Kuyt and Suarez up front in some assemblage or Steven Gerrard in a withdrawn role off Suarez or Kuyt. Let's hope for the latter. The back line is filled out by Martin Skrtel and Fabio Aurelio, who makes his return after another stint on the injury list. Daniel Agger doesn't even make the squad, and he's the only one of the pre-match question marks that misses out. Plenty of hype for Andy Carroll as well, as he makes the squad for the first time in a Liverpool shirt.

Manchester United:

Van Der Saar
Rafael Smalling Brown Evra
Nani Carrick Scholes Giggs
Rooney Berbatov

Bench: Kuszczak, O'Shea, Gibson, Hernandez, Fabio, Fletcher, Obertan

In the run-up:

Couple brief notes ahead of kickoff...

** Kenny Dalglish has had a fair share to say ahead of today's match, and his most recent quotes are, as usual, enjoyable and on the mark. From the Guardian:

"When I came back in we were made aware of the Respect campaign that is there to help referees and which, obviously, we have adhered to. We have never come out and criticised the referees after games. It is difficult for them not to make mistakes but if we are going to respect the campaign and we are the ones adhering to it, then I just hope that we are not the ones who are suffering.

"Sometimes you think that the ones who shout loudest are the ones who get the more beneficial decisions and that would be totally unfair. We will respect the campaign as long as we think that we won't be suffering in any way, shape or form."

For all the talk of mind games and volleys being lofted in Liverpool's general vicinity, not a bad play on Dalglish's end. A play on what, you might ask? Could be this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and also possibly this.

** Luis Suarez has done some homework on the importance of today's match, and while his constant references to Diego Forlan are going to send me into shock, it's nice to see that he's in tune with the passion of the fixture. From the official site:

"Diego told me that it is the most important game of the year for them as it is for us. I know that of all the games in the season this is the one that both most want to win. To score in a game like this and help the team to win is something that as a player you always dream of. But my main objective is that the team keeps on getting points. That the United fans still sing for Diego shows the power of the fixture. It shows it is a very important game.

"I have played a lot of big derbies in Holland, Uruguay and for the national team against Argentina and Brazil, so I am calm. I am used to playing derbies. And these are the class of games you most want to play in - a derby between two really big teams both going for European places. That is why I came here."

As we saw last weekend, and noted by a handful in the comments of the video the other day, Suarez is easily the most threatening player Liverpool have in attack at the moment. Getting Andy Carroll up to speed with certainly help, but right now you'd have to say that up front, everyone will be looking at Suarez. No pressure.

Kickoff shortly, and team sheets updated when they're released.

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