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Liverpool vs. Manchester United: Crunch time for the Premier League’s best of enemies

18 Mar | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Liverpool vs. Manchester United: Crunch time for the Premier League’s best of enemies

The Anfield club and the Red Devils have more in common than most would like to admit... but something has got to give on Sunday

Their fans can remember the glory days as if they were yesterday, even if the interim has largely been defined by frustration. 

Their successes are replayed almost daily on Sky Sports and chopped up by a thousand YouTube archivists into new shapes with new soundtracks. The red shirts flow forward, roared on by crowds who can barely contain their affection. 

A great tradition of attacking football, in combination with a history forged by adversity. Titans from north of the border providing grit and inspiration. As titles flowed, their trophy cabinets seemed to expand unstoppably. Pure, unfettered hatred from all the poor so-and-sos doomed to support the other sides left to feed on scraps during the hegemony. 

And then… the end of the feast. Cold turkey after the winning habit.

The speed with which things deteriorated would have seemed almost inconceivable to anyone not around to witness it. Many of the pillars were still standing – experienced campaigners weaned on victories remained mainstays in the dressing room – but the foundations shook. Maybe the handover between eras had been poorly managed; maybe the wrong man was at the helm… whatever the reason, the grumblings of discontent grew ever louder. “Blip” became “transitional period” became “crisis”. Money was thrown at the problem, with little pay-off.

To make it worse, the lull happened to coincide with the rise of The Other Lot. The fun that drained away seemed to wind up the other, hated red jerseys a few miles down the road. Being forced to watch them plunder all the goals and challenge for the title: what rotten, rotten luck.

The point of this overwrought mega-intro is that, in this post-Fergie world, Manchester United and Liverpool have far more in common than most of their supporters would care to admit. And this Sunday’s meeting between the two has the air of a turning point for both, with fourth place in the Premier League the likely prize.

If United can pick up a positive result, it is they who will enter the final eight games in the driving seat. A performance of the type they offered against Spurs would also go some way to convincing fans that the Louis van Gaal project, nay philosophy, is going somewhere.

If Liverpool win – and recent form suggests they are favourites – the boot will be on the other foot. How they would love to deprive United of Champions League football for a second season in a row. 

Something’s got to give. History awaits.