Everton pay their own special tribute to the 96…Image: setanta.com On Sunday afternoon Liverpool welcome their fiercest rivals to Anfield. The two sides have met too many times to mention in their history and whilst the rivalry is something that cannot be compared to, on Sunday Anfield will appeal to everyone in the ground, just for a moment, to put that rivalry aside. There’s no point me hiding from the fact here on the blog the problems that may arise on Sunday, after all I’ve never hid anything and will always speak my mind. We all know that both sets of fans have a minority, a minority that for some bizarre reason are determined for the world to see how sick they are, how they have no sense of sympathy for the loss of football fans and players, effectively members of their own sporting family. On Sunday there may well be some of the minority present but I know and I am confident that the majority will show the world that as football fans we can unite as one. Both Alex Ferguson and Brendan Rodgers have appealed to their fans to be on their best behaviour on Sunday and tributes will be led by captains Steven Gerrard and Nemanja Vidic who will release 96 balloons. The Kop, Centenery and Anfield Road end will also show mosaics as a mark of respect to the 96. This match is the first one at Anfield since the Hillborough Independent Panel Report was released and it’s time to show the world that THE TRUTH is out. On to footballing matters… For Liverpool there are no new injury worries and Joe Cole is back into training as well. Manchester United are also pretty strong squad wise and their only absentee is Ashley Young. The last meeting between the two sides was in February of this year. The match unfortunately was very focused on Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra (something that is still happening this time around too) by the end of the 90 minutes United had got the better of us thanks to a Rooney brace. The good thing for Liverpool though is that in United’s last five visits to Anfield the Reds haven’t lost. We always put up a fight against United but home advantage really seems to help lately too. Stat Sandwich Liverpool have failed to win any of their opening four league fixtures, this is the first time this has happened in 101 years. Manchester United have been awarded 13 penalties since the start of last season. Liverpool have only won 1 of their last 7 home league matches. After Thursday evening’s goal fest, as mentioned in the match report I think the senior lads should certainly be taking a leaf out of some of the youngsters books. Luis Suarez for me is the man who will find the net in this game but we can’t afford to wait and wait for it like in recent fixtures he needs to finish his chances early so we can attempt to grab a hold of the game. Raheem Sterling came on midweek and he is also expected to feature against Manchester United, the lad has already proved he can hack it against big opposition and I think he will give some of the United defence a shock, they won’t be expecting the tricks he has up his sleeve. This game for me is always the biggest, growing up outside of Liverpool you never quite feel the full force of the Everton rivalry (though I still bloody love beating them) and if you are like me outside of Liverpool you will also notice that there are a hell of a lot more United fans around which makes it tastier when you go and watch the clash in the pub. Without putting a downer on things I can’t see us winning this one, I can see Suarez scoring as mentioned then probably United finding 2 as they always seem to. However I feel a draw is definitely possible especially if we grab a goal early. Wherever you are watching, enjoy the match folks! #JFT96
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