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Match Preview: Manchester United vs Liverpool (25.09.13)

          This fixture, so early on in the Carling Cup, is perhaps one we would have wanted to avoid. United are a strong side and to face them at any stage of a cup competition is daunting. However, I would argue that they are currently on the ropes and that this fourth round tie is an ideal one for us to rub their noses in their downtrodden start to the season. They have only managed one point in three games against leading sides and we have already beaten them at Anfield only a few weeks ago. David Moyes is struggling and after Di Canio’s early exit, I’d say that the new United manager must be the bookie’s favourite to be the next Premiership manager to face dismissal. The Carling Cup is traditionally used to bed in fringe and youth players, though with the gravity of today’s opponenets, I can see Brendan Rodgers choosing a strong side to face them. We aren’t in Europe this year so that makes the domestic cups all the more important. The Carling Cup is a very winnable trophy and we should do all we can to further our goals in this competition. Of course, the big news is that Luis Suarez is back available for selection after his ten match ban expired. What a game for our star striker to return to! He will relish the prospect of facing old adversaries such as Patrice Evra, and should he be picked in the starting eleven, we can expect big things from King Luis. We’ve got some injuries setting us back. Glen Johnson will still be out, which is a real loss after he turned in a fantastic display in our previous game against Man United this season. Philippe Coutinho has a successful operation on his shoulder but is still likely to be missing for a month. Aly Cissokho is still out and Daniel Agger is unlikely to play after coming off injured against Southampton and admitting he shouldn’t have made himself available for selection for that game. Good news is that Enrique should be fit enough to return and also there is no reason why Martin Kelly cannot fit in defensively, thus eliminating our over-reliance on central defenders last Saturday. Will Joe Allen step in for the under-performing captain, Steven Gerrard? I hope not as I think we need our talisman to…

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The Season So Far – Let’s Be Positive!

Well, it’s been a perfect start. We have spent a good week at the top of the league and are now level on points with Spurs and Arsenal with them having played one game more than us. Three 1-0s. Ok, not the best for the fingernails, but three clean sheets, nonetheless, and 9 points out of a possible 9. We’ve been playing good football, Sturridge, in particular, has been shining and the defence looks excellent. Mignolet has made a last minute penalty save to keep us with a victory, Toure has looked exceptional, his experience shining through. OK, there’s been a few injuries, but the last minute signings of two quality defenders, should keep us in good stead. We’ll miss Johnson, though Kelly will be good cover for him while he’s out for the next month or two. We have our secret weapon, in Suarez, soon to return, and hopefully increase our firepower by dividends. He’ll be back for the league cup tie at Old Trafford, and let’s hope we can make it back-to-back victories against the Septics. We are here to challenge this season and I can honestly see us going all the way. A tough fixture next up, away to Swansea, though they’ve had a poor start. Our next big challenge in the league isn’t till we face Arsenal away at the start of November. It’s all to play for, of course, and let’s not get carried away, but a perfect start to our campaign, it’s been, and let’s keep it rolling! YNWA.

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