Manchester United vs Liverpool: A good performance is vital for both sides

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The Barclays Premier League is back once again after an international break and what better way to get back into it than a crunch match between Manchester United and Liverpool.

The old rivals face off at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon and the result of this match is enough to change anyone's season for better or worse.

United and Liverpool will, of course, see this match as a must win but the managers of both sides may need something more than a win to kick-start their seasons.


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Despite being unbeaten and keeping clean sheets in their first three games of the season, there was still a lot of criticism aimed at United and Liverpool.

The two sides were not clinical in attack and still looked vulnerable in defence, and those troubles rose to the surface in their fourth games of the season against Swansea City and West Ham United respectively.

United opened the scoring at the Liberty Stadium only to be pegged back twice by Garry Monk's men, who ensured that Louis van Gaal would walk away with a third successive 2-1 loss to the Swans.

On the other side of the coin, Liverpool suffered a defeat to West Ham. The Reds didn't look quite at it on the day and conceded two first half goals by Manuel Lanzini and Mark Noble whilst Diafra Sakho added a late third to make it a 3-0 win at Anfield for Slaven Bilic's men.

Both Van Gaal and Rodgers go into this fixture under a lot of pressure. The two managers are aware of their teams' recent struggles and perhaps the one thing they'll be looking for more than a win against each other is a good match performance.

That could go a long way to easing some of the pressure that the two have been feeling as of late and giving their players a renewed confidence heading into their next matches.

However, both sides may have to do that without a few of their key players. For United, Michael Carrick is still a doubt for the game after pulling out of the England squad early due to injury.

For Liverpool, there are still doubts on the fitness of club captain Jordan Henderson, and forwards Christian Benteke and Adam Lallana.

Two players that the Reds can be sure will not be featuring is Philippe Coutinho, who picked up a red card against West Ham and Daniel Sturridge, who returned to full training this week, but this match will come too early for.

This match could also see the anticipated debut of new signing Anthony Martial and the high-profile return of David De Gea.

A win will surely silence a few critics for one team, whilst piling more on the other, one thing's for certain, this is a game that no one wants to miss.

Will Van Gaal prove his philosophies to be right or will Rodgers prove that he is still the man to lead Liverpool? A good performance will be all it takes to prove either.

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