Manchester United v Liverpool – preview, team news and three to watch

League leaders Manchester United welcome northwest rivals Liverpool to Old Trafford on Sunday looking to show the footballing world just how big the gap is between the sides. are offering 2/1 for Manchester United to beat Liverpool this weekend for all new customers

While United have regrouped following last season’s final day disappointment to open up a 7 point lead at the top of the table Liverpool are going through a period of transition under Brendan Rodgers.

The Reds are slowly beginning to find their form and have won five of their last seven leagues games scoring 16 goals in the process. The run of results has seen them rise to season high of 8th in the table just seven points off the Champions League spots.

Much of Liverpool’s fine form has to do with the mercurial talents of Luis Suarez and with the headline maker set to form a deadly partnership with Daniel Sturridge up front, Rodgers will be hoping his talisman can make the right headlines on Sunday.

United meanwhile have been in fine form this season and are currently on a nine game unbeaten run, eight of which have been wins. The Red Devils has been even more prolific than their rivals in recent weeks finding the back of the net 21 times in their last 7 games.

In fact United have already scored 54 goals this season, 28 of which have come at Old Trafford where they have won 9 of their 10 games.

Team news:

Sir Alex Ferguson could be without the injured Wayne Rooney as he recovers from a knee injury. The England striker resumed training on Friday and he could make the bench with Javier Hernandez set to partner the inform Robin van Persie up front.

Portuguese winger Nani and Brazilian midfielder Anderson both return to the United squad after recent injuries although it is expected that both will have to contend with places on the bench.

Liverpool meanwhile heads to Old Trafford with an almost full squad with the injured Jose Enrique and the departed Nuri Sahin the only absentees. Glen Johnson looks set to cover for the injured Enrique at left back with Andre Wisdom, fresh from his new long term contract, set to start at right back.

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Points are awarded for positive events such as tries, assists, drop goals, conversions and penalties, length of time on the field and for winning while you lose points for missed kicks, yellow cards, red cards and losing.

To make your task even easier, we have picked three players that we think will have a big bearing on events on Saturday.

Fantasy5live Three to Watch:

Javier Hernandez:

The striker is set to fill the void left by the absence of Wayne Rooney although with 8 goals to his credit already this season the Mexican has proved a more than capable replacement. His 8 goals have come from 13 games and just 5 starts. Hernandez has a good record against Liverpool scoring goals in the last two seasons against the Reds, in a 3-1 loss in 2011 and a 1-1 draw last season.

Antonio Valencia:

The former Wigan man trails Wayne Rooney (7) and Robin Van Persie (6) in the assist stakes but with four to his credit so far this season he remains an integral part of the United attack. The 27 year old has yet to find the net this season and with three yellow cards to his name does offer the prospect of a points deduction.

Steven Gerrard:

While Luis Suarez have been garnering the plaudits this season Steven Gerrard has been slowly finding his feet again after a disruptive 18 months hampered by injury. The midfielder has shown in recent weeks that he is almost back to him and with 8 assists and 5 league goals to his name he is the in-form midfielder in the Premier League.

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