Liverpool v Man Utd: Team News Update
2009-10-23 - Added by
Extrafootie assesses the latest injury news from both the Liverpool and Manchester United camps ahead of Sunday's epic encounter between the bitterest of rivals at Anfield.
Reds boss Rafa Benitez is arguably facing the biggest game of his five year tenure at the weekend after wathcing his side suffer thier fourth defeat on the bounce against Lyon in midweek - their worst run of results in 22 years.
On a positive note for the under-fire Spaniard is that star hitman Fernando Torres is expected to return to the side having missed Liverpool’s last two games through an adductor injury sustained on international duty.
Glen Johnson is also winning his battle against a groin problem and told skysports.com earlier this week: "It is a lot better today (Wednesday), I think I will be alright for Sunday."
Howver, talismanic skipper Steven Gerrard is looking increasingly likely to miss that match having limped off in the midweek UEFA Champions League defeat to Lyon with a groin strain that has hampered him of late.
In addition, Albert Reira and Andrea Dossena look also set to miss out through injury, while the game has come too soon for £20million man Alberto Aquilani, who made his long awaited debut in a reserve outing on Wednesday.
Probable Liverpool starting XI (4-4-1-1): Reina: Johnson: Carragher, Agger, Insua; Kuyt, Mascherano, Lucas, Aurelio; Benayoun, Torres
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was happy to report to the massed media at his pre-match press conference on Friday that: "Everyone is fit from after Wednesday's game in Moscow."
Fergie also confirmed that: "Patrice (Evra) is fit, and Ryan (Giggs) is also fine, but Ji-sung (Park) is out unfortunately."
However, the champions are sweating on the fitness of key duo Dareen Fletcher and Wayne Rooney, who have both sat out United's last two matches against Bolton and CSKA respectively through injury.
"On the injury front I can't give a clear picture, there are still some doubts about Rooney and Fletcher," confirmed the United boss.
However, Extafootie remains convinced that both 'Wazza' and the tough tackling Scot will take their places in the starting XI come 2pm on Sunday, as on past experience, players rated as 'doubtful' in big games, invariably START!
We also feel that Sir Alex will spring a surprise and line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Bulgarian hitman Dimitar Berbatov left on the bench, whilst Anderson will be given a free role in the middle of the park.
Probable Manchester United starting XI (4-2-3-1): Van der Sar; O'Shea; Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Fletcher; Valencia, Anderson, Giggs; Rooney
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