United v Liverpool: Key battles

20 March 2010 05:46
Manchester United play host to Liverpool looking to bring an end to a torrid sequence of results against their bitter rivals.

Liverpool have won the last three Premier League meetings involving the two sides, a run which includes their emphatic 4-1 victory at the Theatre of Dreams last season.

Nemanja Vidic saw red in all three of those matches and this time round he will be hoping to keep himself on the pitch for the full 90 minutes to aid United's cause.

The champions go into the game on the back of five straight wins in all competitions, while Liverpool's recent form has been patchy to say the least, winning four and losing three of their last eight outings.

Here is a look at the key battles that could determine the outcome of the game:

Wayne Rooney vs Jamie Carragher In his current form it's hard to see anyone stopping Rooney from getting his name on the scoresheet, but Carragher will be relishing the challenge. The United hitman has only found the net on one occasion against Liverpool throughout his career but with 32 goals under his belt already this season he will be confident of adding to that tally. Carragher and the rest of the Liverpool back four will have their work cut out as they try and keep the irrepressible striker at bay.

Darren Fletcher vs Steven Gerrard Although he has struggled to find his best form this season, Gerrard will undoutedbly be the man to watch on Sunday from United's perspective. Fletcher looks set to be the man responsible for keeping tabs on the England midfielder, and he will be out to deny him the time or space to link up with Fernando Torres in forward areas. The Liverpool skipper will have to push on and support the Spaniard if his team are to have any success and if Fletcher can prevent this, then it may well swing the game in United's favour.

Nemanja Vidic vs Fernando Torres In last season's corresponding fixture, Vidic had a day to forget as Torres ran him ragged. The Serbian's inability to deal with the striker's speed and drive single handedly cost him a shot at the PFA Player of the Year award last season and he will be looking for a major step up in performance at the weekend. For all his immense qualities as a defender, Vidic has frequently struggled to handle pacey stikers during his time at United and it's up to him to show that he's got the capability to do so. Where do you think the game will be won and lost? Have your say. 

Source: Manchester_EveningNews

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