Wednesday night sees David Moyes' Manchester United side face Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool outfit in the Capital One Cup. Traditionally, the League Cup has been a competition in which managers have sought an opportunity to test a variety of different formations and player combinations. However, no match between these fiercest of rivals has ever been conductive to experimentation, with this match up seemingly no different.
Both sides come into this game smarting from defeats after Liverpool's shock loss at home to Southampton and Manchester United's humiliating drubbing at the hands of their 'noisy' neighbours Manchester City.
Both managers will see this as an opportunity to prove something to their respective fan bases, with Moyes particularly feeling some early pressure under the great weight of expectancy placed on him at United.
It is obvious that Moyes is not taking this game lightly, possibly due in part to the fans' backlash on various social networking websites after the defeat on Sunday. Equally, Rodgers, despite only losing his first game of the season against Southampton on Saturday, has not been immune to criticism from certain aspects of the Liverpool support.
It was the manner of the defeat on Saturday which has left some Liverpool fans feeling displeased, with Rodgers opting to start four centre-backs instead of fielding a recognised full-back. This ultimately led to the Reds creating very little in the way of chances with a lot of Liverpool's threat this season being carried by Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson down the wings.
Add to this the loss of Brazilian maestro Philippe Coutinho and you can see why Liverpool's inept performance made Artur Boruc's claims that Southampton could challenge the top four go from looking impossible to looking as possible as the 2022 World Cup being played in the Qatari summer heat.
The game on Wednesday also sees the long-anticipated return of Liverpool's talismanic striker Luis Suarez. Much has been written about Suarez over the summer and with his move to Arsenal or the continent ultimately not materialising, he has been left in the position of having to try and regain the support of the Liverpool fans.
This, however, should not be a hard task for the Uruguayan given his unforgiving work rate and enigmatic style of play which saw him score 23 goals in 33 games in the Premier League last year. The game will have added spice due to former adversary Patrice Evra expected to line up for United.
It is looking increasing likely that Suarez won't be lining up against Golden Boot rival Robin van Persie as the Dutch striker has failed to shake off the groin injury which led him to miss Sunday's defeat at the Etihad.
This could again lead to Moyes picking Danny Welbeck to play in front of Wayne Rooney, with the latter providing a top-class free kick to hand Moyes one positive at the weekend. Other possible absentees for United include Rafael and Phil Jones, both of whom Moyes will have to make late calls on. Similarly, Liverpool have been hit by injury with the aforementioned Coutinho, Aly Cissokho, Joe Allen and Johnson all on the sidelines leaving Rodgers with some selection calls to make.
All of these things considered should mean that the match is perfectly poised to be an intriguing affair in which both sides will be eager to prove, not only to their managers, but equally to their supporters that recent results have been merely a blip. Added to this the intrigue of Suarez's possible inclusion and you can see why fireworks are not out of the question at Old Trafford.
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