The first of Sky Sports two Sunday Live Premier League games sees Liverpool take on Manchester United at Anfield.
Rafa Benitez is under pressure after 4 successive defeats, the latest of which came in the Champions League at home to Lyon (2-1) on Wednesday.
To make matters worse for Benitez, both Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres are doubts for the game, as is Glenn Jonhson. The fact that Liverpool have looked lost without Gerrard and Torres this season shows a lack of strength in depth of the Liverpool squad, with Babbel, Voronin and Ngog in particular not able to fill the void left.
Steven Gerrard looked particularly annoyed when he went off injured against Lyon and his body language towards Benitez when shaking his hand spoke for itself as he barely looked at his manager suggesting his displeasure with Rafa, maybe Gerrard was asked to risk his injury against his wishes?
Manchester United who haven’t been in the greatest form themselves recently have a doubt over Wayne Rooney’s fitness, get the feeling that he will play though and that this is just another Ferguson so-called mind game.
This game has that stroke of irony about it with Michael Owen coming back to Anfield and he is in the position to deliver a knockout blow to Benitez.
Whatever the reasons why Owen left, be it that he was never going to stay and Liverpool had no option to sell him or Benitez didn’t rate him that highly and made it clear to Owen that he could leave.
The fact remains that Benitez has consistently been reluctant to praise or show any interest in Owen when questioned about would he like to re-sign him on the occasions he has been available in the past, indicating that he dosen’t rate him, therefore giving some substance to the theory that Rafa didn’t try that hard to keep him.
You can already see it coming can’t you, people think Owen is finished but when called upon in the big games Owen has a habit of delivering, like he did against Man City earlier this season. With online bookmakers (free bets are available to use for Matched Betting) Owen is a best price of 13/5 with Paddy Power to score during 90 minutes and heap more pressure on his former boss.
Be interesting to see what kind of reception Owen gets, on one hand he has been a good servant to the Reds, but on the other he could be seen as someone who was trying to run down his contract to leave, and the one thing that can’t be denied is that he is now playing for the Liverpool fans arch enemies.
If you are football trading pre match, Liverpool can be backed at 9/4 with Sky Bet, Manchester United are a best price of 6/4 with Bet365 (£200 Bet365 Free Bet available to new customers) and not surprisingly big Man Utd fans, Betfred.
The draw is 23/10 with Boylesports and Totesport.
Kick Off is at 2.00pm and it is live on Sky Sports 1.