The 13th of January sees two of the biggest and oldest rivals in English football renewing their age old rivalry as Manchester United host Liverpool in the feisty North West Derby at Old Trafford. United sit on top of the Premier League standings with a seven point lead over noisy neighbors Manchester City and with the team, particularly Robin van Persie in blistering form, The Red Devils will start as the strong favorites for the match. However, when it comes to a derby, particularly one that is steeped in history as United versus Liverpool, nothing can be taken from granted, and that is something United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is well aware of.
He has seen his side open up a healthy lead at the top but he will also remember they blew an eight point lead over six matches to lose the title on goal difference to City last season and that is the main reason he would hate any kind of letting up by his players. The wily old Scot still has passion for the game as he demonstrated with his celebration after van Persie scored in the dying seconds to secure a draw and a replay in the FA Cup against West Ham last Saturday and he will have to pick his team carefully to nullify the Liverpool midfield and Luis Suarez as he will be missing injured Wayne Rooney from the lineup.
Liverpool, on the other hand, are silently going about strengthening their side, and have already added England international striker Daniel Sturridge to their squad, and the youngster already showed he is ready to lead the attack for his new side after scoring in his debut against non-league Mansfield Town in the FA Cup. Although they have let the likes of fringe players such as Joe Cole leave the club, there is enough depth in the side to pose a strong challenge for The Red Devils with Steven Gerrard, free from injury, looking like his former self with every passing game.
Finally, there is the presence of Luis Suarez up front, who has hit the net 15 times for the Reds and has kept them afloat for many a match on his own. He will be getting able support from Sturrdige now and if they can hit it off against United like they did against Mansfield Town, United will have a lot to worry about.