It’s been fair to say that the past few weeks haven’t been the easiest as a Liverpool fan.
From the lack of much-needed reinforcements in the transfer window, a disappointing goalless draw at Birmingham last Sunday and add to that more trouble in the boardroom at Anfield, it seems that Roy Hodgson’s honeymoon period is well and truly over.
In addition to this, the form of star man Fernando Torres has been called into question by many and at the moment, he doesn’t look like the player who reached 50 league goals quicker than any other striker in the club’s history.
So what better time for him and the rest of the squad to face one of our greatest enemies in their own backyard? The thought alone is enough to worry and strike fear into some Reds’ fans. But this shouldn’t be the case, far from it.
Everyone, from the players, the manager and most importantly the fans, need to stand together and believe that they are capable of defeating the old foe on Sunday afternoon. If there is any evidence that they can beat them then they need look no further than two of their most recent meetings with United.
The 4-1 victory at Old Trafford in March 2009, coupled with the 2-0 victory at Anfield later that year, came at a period when Liverpool were being written off in the press to a great degree and as such, created a siege mentality within the support and the team clearly thrived on the pressure to produce heroic performances.
Sunday requires the same standard of performance once again and it would be foolish to suggest that this can be achieved easily against a United side who are hurting themselves on the back of last weekend’s result at Everton.
Both will be looking to bounce back and gain three vital points that can kick-start a season and provide a much needed boost after such setbacks.
Over the years, this fixture has produced classic encounters and sometimes all it takes is one piece of brilliance (i.e. Torres’ superb strike last season), or a catastrophic error (note Dudek’s spill at the feet of Diego Forlan in December 2002).
This makes it all the more entertaining, yet horrible at the same time and is typical of the game we all love dearly.
Make no mistake about it, this is the biggest fixture in English football as not only are Liverpool and United the most successful clubs, but they are also the best supported and have dominated the landscape of the game throughout the last 50 years.
This Sunday, the rivalry resumes once again and for the fans (whom I doubt will get a good night’s sleep beforehand), they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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