(Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)”/>Martin Skrtel of Liverpool competes with Mesut Ozil of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool on August 24, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. Milner is still finding his feet at Anfield; he has produced good performances but just what sort of player, and how high up the pitch he plays, is yet to be determined.
He does, however, have experience on the biggest stage and trophies – something Schneiderlin lacks. For the purpose of the comparison, they have been included, as has Wayne Rooney who could also miss out – although no Philippe Coutinho, who is out through suspension.
Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.
Nathaniel Clyne of Liverpool competes with Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal
Jordan Henderson v Ander Herrera
Henderson is a big fitness doubt for the game at Old Trafford, but would undoubtedly be in a central role if available. Despite that, and despite some good displays, the defence has been inconsistent and unreliable – particularly having already conceded one goal.
Smalling, now 25, has battled with inconsistency himself. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)” class=”captify” title=”Wayne Rooney of England celebrates against Switzerland at Wembley Stadium on September 8, 2015, his 50th goal breaking the record for most international goals scored for England. Rooney has the longevity, but the Belgian could take advantage of Blind’s lack of height.
So, Liverpool v Manchester United, once more. Depay had the benefit of a relaxed summer, and it’s shown.
Choice: Memphis Depay
Nathaniel Clyne V Matteo Darmian
Clyne has made an impressive start to his Liverpool career and already looks a good buy at £12.5m. They are two different types of striker, of course, with Benteke more of a battering ram and Rooney possessing more guile. That’s a blow, given how good De Gea is.
But don’t write off Mignolet, either. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
James Milner v Morgan Schneiderlin
The duo are new arrivals at their clubs, although the pair will perform different functions in their respective midfields. Rodgers, therefore, turned to Firmino. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Jordan Henderson celebrates scoring for Liverpool
Simon Mignolet V David de Gea
The focus will fall upon the Spaniard after he signed a new contract with Manchester United, less than two weeks after being minutes away from his dream move to Real Madrid.
The expectation is he will eventually move to the Bernabeu anyway, but his inclusion on Saturday – ahead of Sergio Romero – is likely. Given his entire body of work since his £20m move to Merseyside, it’s understandable. The experience lies with the Manchester United man, then – so, too, the fact he is a natural left-footer educated as a left back.
Gomez, however, has been impressive in his first month as a Liverpool player, and has shown little sign of struggling to adapt to a higher standard since his move from Charlton. Herrera is underutilised at United, arguably, but Henderson is the better option.
Choice: Jordan Henderson
Adam Lallana v Juan Mata
Like Henderson, Lallana is a doubt through injury – but if fit, would be a probable inclusion. No surprise, really, given how well he fared at Southampton. Despite that, he seemed more solid at the start of this season, and was a factor in the Reds not conceding a goal in the opening three games.
Then, West Ham, and a mistake to launch a thousand sighs. The Belgian wasn’t even in the starting line-up for last season’s fixture, dropped for Brad Jones, now of Bradford City’s bench. The usual sort of talk surrounds it. But at the age of 20, Shaw already has 70 top-flight appearances to his name – 66 more than Gomez. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)”/>FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 04: Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany smiles prior to the EURO 2016 Qualifier Group D match between Germany and Poland at Commerzbank-Arena on September 4, 2015 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. But United’s summer signing is now 31, and has failed to impress for his new club so far. At the base of both midfields, however, could be the controlling figures of Lucas and Schwensteiger.
In theory, there are few holding midfielders better than the German, who has won over 20 trophies throughout his career, including the Champions League and World Cup. He is a wide player in a similar mould to Mata, looking to move infield and operate closer to the striker down the centre.
Lallana has had a mixed Anfield career so far, and has been on the periphery too much. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)”/>Wayne Rooney of England celebrates against Switzerland at Wembley Stadium on September 8, 2015, his 50th goal breaking the record for most international goals scored for England. Over and over, forever and ever. He has been Liverpool’s best performer, defensively, so far this season.
In comparison to the Italian full back – impressive for United so far – is inexperienced in English football, so it is the Reds full back who gets the nod.
Choice: Nathaniel Clyne
Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool competes with Daley Blind and Phil Jones of Manchester United
Dejan Lovren v Daley Blind
Lovren is the defender – nay, player – Liverpool fans love to criticise. Mata scores for United”/>Liverpool FC v Manchester United Premier League Match at Anfield Stadium Liverpool. It makes for an intriguing clash given that context.
Firmino has shown glimpses of his talent at Anfield, but is still finding his rhythm after playing for Brazil at the Copa America this summer. If only there was a game held twice a year to settle such scores.
Team selection is unknown, with Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana remaining doubts. Lucas, meanwhile, is a steady option for the Reds and knows the Premier League well.
Choice: Bastian Schweinsteiger
Liverpool’s James Milner
Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine
Martin Skrtel v Chris Smalling
Skrtel has been a big part of Liverpool’s defence over his seven years at Anfield, and particularly over the past few seasons under Brendan Rodgers. Bragging rights, superiority, success.
It’s a debate held often: just who is the better team? Arguments are held on Internet forums and over the office water cooler.
Roberto Firmino will clash with the man who almost preceded him into Anfield, Memphis Depay, at Old Trafford on Saturday
Roberto Firmino v Memphis Depay
Liverpool targeted the Dutch winger in the summer, but Depay chose to swap PSV Eindhoven for Old Trafford. Given Gomez cost around a tenth of what Shaw did, it’s a decent match-up.
Choice: Luke Shaw
Everton’s Aidan McGeady (left) and Manchester United’s Luke Shaw battle for the ball
Joe Gomez v Luke Shaw
Two young defenders; one a current international, the other a future full international. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Christian Benteke v Wayne Rooney
A simple comparison, in theory, given the duo will be tasked with leading the line – even if van Gaal toyed with the idea of Rooney as a central midfielder, winger and maybe even goalkeeper. In a sense, he fulfils a similar role to that of Herrera, though the Spaniard does not have the same influence as the Reds captain.
Both can play deep, but both perhaps operate better a little further up the pitch