There might still be over two days to go before the English Premier League Grand Slam takes centre-stage but the build up is already gaining momentum at a lightening pace. Although Arsenal v Chelsea is a London derby and is as equal in significance as to Liverpool v Manchester United, it is this battle at Anfield that is being tipped to be the more entertaining of the two.
And there’s no doubt why. While Manchester United have recovered after a shaky start to the season with the players settling into their own specific roles, Liverpool’s roller-coaster ride this season is now on an upward curve. Liverpool’s victory in the UEFFA Champions League against Olympique de Marseille in France came at a time when there were considerable concerns that manager Rafael Benitez was feeling the heat on his neck. Last weekend Liverpool lost their first Premiership game of the season, a 3-1 away rattling to modest Reading but this weekend, things would imbibe a different hue altogether.
Man United midfielder Michael Carrick, who was one of the very few first team players featuring in Manchester United’s academic 1-1 draw with AS Roma in the Champions League in Rome in midweek, says that the dual between the two clubs would be the biggest the nation has seen in years. He reckons that this season Liverpool are as much in with a shout for the Premiership title as Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea and this backdrop could provide the Anfield matchup with more ammunition and extra spice.
This is what the England international has to say about the upcoming titan clash:
As players, Liverpool is always a special game for us â€” especially at Anfield. The difference this year is that Liverpool are going for the title too, which makes it even bigger. There’s no doubt you can feel the intensity surrounding this fixture. You can feel it around the town. It just seems to get bigger and bigger every time. There is so much history between the two clubs. It is not only down to being neighbors geographically â€” but the success both clubs have had down the years and the success they still want.
Sure, history will play a massive role alright and the outcome of this match, coupled with the score at the Emirates, could also just change the future of the title race this season. At the moment, Arsenal are top of the tree with 37 points from 16 matches, Man United lie second just 1 point off the pace with Chelsea third on 34 points. Liverpool might lie 4 points behind Chelsea in fourth but they do have a game in hand and should they win against Manchester United at Anfield on Saturday, they would trim the gap on the top three and would be in an advantageous position.
Are Liverpool genuine title contenders this season?