Sunday, January 09, 2011

FA Cup: Despite the turmoil at Anfield, Liverpool should not be under estimated...

United are in FA Cup action later today, when Liverpool are the visitors to Old Trafford. The Anfield club have just parted company with manager Roy Hodgson. Kop hero, Kenny Dalglish has been given the manager's job until the end of the season. Dalglish is a respected former player and manager, his appointment was widely predicted. Liverpool needed to do something in a bid to kick-start what has been a very disappointing season so far and it doesn't get much tougher than a trip to Old Tafford.

Despite the turmoil, Liverpool will believe there's every reason to be confident about facing United who have been very unconvincing at times this season. Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard are the obvious danger men and Vidic & Co. will need no reminders from Ferguson.

United lead the Premier League by two points while Liverpool are languishing in the wrong half of the table - the need for Dalglish's team to improve is obvious - but the supporters and managers of both clubs will be looking for signs of better things to come. A win for either side will be a big confidence booster ahead of the battles that lie ahead.

It remains to be seen if Wayne Rooney will start having missed the midweek win against Stoke due to an ankle injury. Ferguson hinted that Hernandez could get the nod, but that's unlikely if Rooney is 100% fit. Rooney is hungry for goals having scored just one from open play since last March; a brace against Liverpool would help heal the love following his recent troubles.

Irrespective of who starts up front for United today, the league leaders must improve the service from the flanks. On too many recent occasions, United haven't been creating enough goal-scoring opportunities; this is largely down to the lack of quality from the flanks, coupled with the recurring problem of giving the ball away cheaply in central midfield.

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