Match points: Man United v Liverpool

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney
Dejan Lovren
Dejan Lovren

Key battles

Wayne Rooney v Dejan Lovren

Rooney has five goals this season but none for United in the league. Apart from scoring his hat-trick against Club Brugge, he has looked happier as a No. 10 than a No. 9, where Louis van Gaal is selecting him.

Lovren, a misfit last season, started the season well but blundered horribly when losing the ball for West Ham's second goal on Aug 29.

Morgan Schneiderlin v James Milner

Former Leeds and Manchester City man Milner has now played for all of United's most bitter rivals. He has won on three of his last four trips to

Old Trafford and, with Jordan Henderson unlikely to play, will captain Liverpool. The similarly energetic Schneiderlin will also be charged with breaking up play and finding more creative team-mates.

Daley Blind v Christian Benteke

After he was relocated by van Gaal, Blind began well at centre-back but struggled against a quick, physical striker in Swansea's Bafetimbi Gomis, who looked to isolate him in United's 1-2 loss. Benteke shares similar characteristics and could adopt the same approach. Blind would rather see him go up against the bigger Chris Smalling.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2015, with the headline 'Match points: Man United v Liverpool'. Print Edition | Subscribe