United v Liverpool – will money do the talking?

Written by Leanne Lu

Two of the Premier League’s under-performing giants face off this weekend with Manchester United hosting old foes Liverpool in what could prove to be one of the defining games of the season. Both managers Louis Van Gaal and Brendan Rodgers will see this as a chance to ease the burden on them given that should either emerge with all three points from this match would be regarded as local hero for quite a while.

This is the first time we will witness the new Manchester United following their frenetic closing day of the transfer window. It is expected goalkeeper David De Gea will play for the home side – bad news for Liverpool after he almost single-handedly saved United when the sides met last season. But this time things are a bit different. De Gea badly wants out of United to head back to Madrid but was denied his dream move on the final day of transfers due to the late submission of documents. How will his morale be? And will he want to see out his contract before moving to Real Madrid as a free agent? With the Euro 2016 coming up next summer, he can’t afford to sit on the bench for a season so our bet is he will be out to impress the manager if he does make the first XI.

More importantly, we may also have a chance to glimpse the mysterious new face Anthony Martial. After sealing his dramatic move from Monaco to United, the Frenchman joined the national team and performed fairly well against Portugal, featuring on the left flank when he was substituted on. Van Gaal will be reluctant to give him his debut against Liverpool considering the intensity of this match-up, but he might enjoy a few minutes towards the end of the game if things go well for the Red Devils.

With Wayne Rooney coming back from the national team full of confidence, Manchester United will have a better chance to leave with the points. Meanwhile, Rodgers is having a very difficult time at Liverpool with the Reds suffering a 3-0 loss at home to West Ham last start. Things are getting worse too with the tabloid reporting that Christian Benteke has sought help from a psychologist to boost his confidence. With Daniel Sturridge still days away from coming back, we wonder where the Reds’ huge investment upfront will lead to.

But it is also a question that valid for Van Gaal. Will money do the talking with the expensive strikers of each club deciding their fate or will they prove less influential investments after all? These questions might be answered this weekend.