The biggest tie of the third round takes place at Old Trafford on Wednesday as Manchester United host Liverpool in the Capital One Cup.

Coming just a few weeks after the Reds beat United 1-0 at Anfield in the Premier League the complexion heading into this cup tie is slightly different to what it was 24 days ago.

Liverpool head into the game 5th in the league though are looking to rebound from their first loss this season at home to Southampton on Saturday, while United are 8th in the table and also need a good result coming off a 4-1 drubbing to local rivals Manchester City.

With the pressure firmly on manager David Moyes and Liverpool set to be buoyed by the return of striker Luis Suarez, are Liverpool favourites heading into Wednesday's clash?

Maybe saying that would be an exaggeration though certainly Liverpool will fancy there chances of getting a result at Old Trafford despite the poor display at Anfield at the weekend.

As for United, they need to start showing signs of improvement under David Moyes, after losses to Liverpool and Man City their tally of seven points for the opening five games is their worst in a decade.

The home team can be encouraged by the return of Robin van Persie from injury to partner the in-form Wayne Rooney while Liverpool also have their top striker returning as Luis Suarez completed his ten-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last season.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has been talking up Suarez in recent days claiming the Uruguayan is "chomping at the bit" to return though the Irishman has said he is yet to decide whether he will start with Suarez alongside Daniel Sturridge on Wednesday.

As I mentioned Van Persie is set to return for  United but that could be irrelevant as the midfield and defence seems to be the area letting the Red Devils down.

In the defeat by both Liverpool and Manchester City the battle for control of the midfield was where United failed to deliver and if the likes of Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick and Ashley Young cannot provide the crosses and chances for Van Persie and Rooney then United struggle to score.

Liverpool too have their own issues in midfield with Philippe Coutinho out with injury and Iago Aspas struggling to adjust to the pace and strength of English football. That showed very strongly on Saturday and I would be surprised if Aspas starts at Old Trafford.

Instead I would expect Rodgers to start Suarez just behind Sturridge with Moses and Henderson providing the width. Steven Gerrard was another man off the pace against Southampton and he too will be under close watch against United.

In defence Liverpool have plenty of options though I suspect Rodgers will not start with the four centre backs as he did against Southampton. While Moyes will likely keep the same back four that played against Manchester City.

Certainly this meeting between English football's most successful clubs is one of the hardest to predict in recent time, indeed I will be very surprised if 90 minutes is enough to separate these two teams and I think Liverpool may just have the edge if it went to a penalty shoot-out.

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Topics:
#Liverpool
#Manchester United
#Football
#League Cup