Manchester United has a fantastic record of beating Liverpool in a final, particularly the semi-final stage. United are just the form team in the country and were two years ago held off by Liverpool with no goals from either side. Although they’ve been beaten by Chelsea in the recent FA Cup final, Liverpool haven’t had a great season in the Premier League and Manchester United have made mistakes at crucial times.
The two main reasons why United will lose this match are being played on short days, but they are still the best side in the league and have a great record of beating the Anfield side. It will be difficult for the home side to take the game to their opponents.
A lot has been made of the players, but Liverpool have a great record of beating the second tier teams. They seem to be more talented than the first teams, although Manchester City may put them through their paces in the next few weeks.
“Manchester City” is a name that does not exist in the footballing world because of its financial problems, but there is a great side in the league. It has an excellent squad including the likes of Lampard, Richards, Matip, Moses and even Silva. They have players who can start a match and can take the ball to the opposition’s goal.
This team does not have the players to cope with the top teams of the Champions League, so they will struggle against United. Their previous two Champions League games against Celtic and Benfica were not their finest moments.
One of the strengths of City is that they have players who have won it before, but this is their first trophy. They have great leadership and experience and will put a goal threat through their midfielders, which can be countered easily.
The one weakness in this side is their left hand side. If the opposition to break forward and are able to catch them on the break they will pose a threat.
It’s a huge question mark over the full backs, while Chelsea have very strong players at left back, where does Michael Carrick fit in. He will need to come out of his comfort zone and defend some of the more dangerous positions for Liverpool, if he doesn’t, he will be easy to break down.
City has a number of key players to key in on, including John Terry and Joe Cole. It will be vital for the opposition to restrict these players and force them into uncomfortable positions, as they’ll use them to soak up the pressure.
City will dominate possession and Liverpool will struggle to get forward and join the attack effectively. For any player to look forward to the next game is a huge bonus as it will be a reward for their efforts.
While the team must win this match for Liverpool to progress to the next round, they need a winner against a city rival, especially against Barcelona or Real Madrid, who have been strong challengers so far. City are the real deal and will come into this match with real belief.
We are often reminded about the late season momentum and again, this is what the Manchester teams have in their favour, but when you have to face off against Barcelona, you are going to have to work hard to perform well. In this instance it will be interesting to see how they approach the game, if they don’t turn up in the same manner then they will be easily overcome.