Crunch time at Anfield looms.
Liverpool’s dire injury situation looks to be easing, with Fernando Torres (thigh) hopeful of returning.
Glen Johnson (groin) is also close to a comeback, but Steven Gerrard is struggling with a similar problem.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson claims Wayne Rooney faces an “uphill fight” to be passed fit.
Rooney has missed the last two games with a calf injury. Darren Fletcher (groin) is a doubt, but Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra return.
Doubtful: Gerrard (groin), Torres (thigh)
Injured/unavailable: Aquilani (fitness), Dossena (groin), Kelly (ankle), Kyrgiakos (knee), Riera (hamstring)
Suspended: None Doubtful: Fletcher (groin), Rooney (calf)
Injured: Park (knee) (BBC Sport)
Clearly this clash between arch rivals Liverpool and Man United has the added significance of potentially being a death knell to Rafa’s reign at Anfield. After four successive defeats and an uninspiring start to the season the knifes appear to be out for the Reds boss, albeit those knives seem to me mainly sharpened by the press and perhaps the club’s mischievous owners rather than by the club’s loyal fans.
There are major doubts about the likes of Torres and Gerrard being fit and that will put more of an onus on others at the club proving their worth in this crunch encounter. Sir Alex may be without some top names also but either way this promises to be a one hell of an encounter.
Man United are unbeaten in 11 in all competitions but have hardly been at the top of their game in their previous two matches and indeed were fortunate to edge past both CSKA Moscow and Bolton in the past week.
My Prediction: 1-1 and a whole lot of cautions and maybe even a red card or two.