I’VE said already many times this season that I’m yet to be convinced by Rodgers as a manager, but his style of football has certainly had me intrigued. At times, it appears pointless, toothless and intent only on having the highest pass-completion stats in the country. But when it does work, as it did against QPR and Sunderland, it can be devastating, and leave the opposition shell-shocked.
So despite my feelings about Rodgers, I feel that his style of play could well be a huge factor in our favour on Sunday.
The residents of Old Trafford are so used to teams turning up with the white-flag already raised, that they rarely come up against a side (on their home ground, at least) that takes the game to them and dominates possession.
Thinking back to the match at Anfield last year, and prior to Shelvey’s sending-off, the Reds dominated United in a way that we never see other teams doing. The high-tempo, possession-heavy game that Liverpool played that day left United’s player at odds and not even Ferguson himself seemed to know how to respond. Then Jonjo got his marching orders and, despite still keeping the ball, Liverpool’s lack of an extra man meant that the result went against them.
With the players the Reds have got we should be no strangers to a good battle, and we have some real veterans of clashes against Man United such as Agger, Skrtel, Reina, Johnson, Gerrard and Lucas, as well as the likes of Suarez who thrives in games such as these.
Another factor that’ll play to our advantage, particularly on this occasion, is that we’re enormous underdogs. For the first time in many years most observers – both expert and otherwise – will undoubtedly not give us a chance. So with that lack of pressure, coupled with our style of play and good form, I think we have a pretty decent chance of upsetting the odds at Old Trafford.
On Sunday, I think that Rodgers will probably play slightly more conservatively, maybe not push so high up, but it’s in his nature (as we’ve seen many times this season) to vary little from his tried and tested formula. And, provided we play to our strengths, and all of the players show up like they have in the past couple of league outings, I think it could work in our favour and we’ll get the result that’ll give us all a great boost for the rest of January.
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