Manchester United v Liverpool: The Reds' lethal combinations will see them emerge victorious

Brendan Rogers Press Conference Smiling - 16/02/2014

Why the difference in approach between David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers' will see the latter come out on top.

Manchester United v Liverpool will of course be a hotly contested match, these kind of games always are. Whether it is necessarily a tight affair is less likely.

Moyes is a coach that essentially sets out not to lose first and foremost. Everything else follows after that. Rodgers on the other hand always looks to win from the evidence of his Liverpool tenure so far. His high-scoring approach is refreshing and in stark contrast to his managerial counterpart and it is why the visitors to Old Trafford will walk away with all three points come the final whistle on Sunday.

Obviously key to this approach is how Liverpool's attack perform and in particular, the combination play between Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez. Both players are performing to the peak of their powers it would seem as they head the goalscoring charts in the Premier League, sitting second and first with 18 and 24 goals respectively. 

But it is the way in which they operate together that has been a highlight of Liverpool's campaign. Despite the sometimes thunderous glare from Suarez to Sturridge or Sturridge to Suarez when either one has passed up the opportunity to play the other in, the strikers are usually unselfish enough to assist when the right moment presents itself.

The Manchester United game will offer more evidence of this as both players will be aware that they face a vulnerable defence, one who simply won't be able to cope with the power, pace and movement of 'SAS'. Rodgers knows this more than anyone and will look to stress emphasis on interplay that will be the undoing of Manchester United in the end.

The combination play won't solely be restricted to the pair however, as this Liverpool attack can pose further problems to United when Raheem Sterling and/or Phillippe Coutinho are added into the equation.

Indeed the combination between any of the front three/four, if this season is to go by, could be devastating. Witness how Sterling played in Sturridge for the opening goal against Swansea with an early piercing pass the other week. Or when Sturridge drifted deep before playing the ball to Coutinho who had moved into the space beyond, after which point he proceeded to cut inside and then unleash a curling, albeit deflected, effort  into the net at Fulham.

Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic may have had more luck in the past against such opposition when they were in the prime of their careers but no t any more. The way in which Liverpool move the ball and how quickly they have runners such as Jordan Henderson joining in the attack from midfield will demand that both centre-back know precisely when to drop off and when to push up. Getting it even slightly wrong could prove fatal.

The constant rotating of Liverpool's fowards inevitably increases the way in which they combine as there are always different options for the man in possession. This is all facilitated by how Rodgers sets up his players to play close to each other, as Liverpool move up the pitch in triangles. Compare this with Moyes' methods, where players are stagnant and the ball is not moved forward quickly and with purpose. As they recycle Liverpool will have the time to get back into position, keep their shape and press the ball at the right times.

The difference in tactics and how the players combine will therefore will decide the game and not Manchester United's match-winners' Wayne Rooney or Robin Van Persie.  Those players will require service after all but under Moyes they simply won't get enough of it.

Do you agree that Liverpool's combination play will see them defeat Manchester United?

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