MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 22: Fans enjoy the atmosphere ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on August 22, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Why Manchester United needs to beat Liverpool

Manchester United vs. Liverpool is on Saturday and is one of the biggest, maybe the biggest match of the English Premier League season. It’s also a very important match because these two teams need a win in the most desperate way. We’ll tell you why Liverpool needs to beat Manchester United laterbut right now, here’s why Manchester United needs to beat Liverpool.

Manchester United comes into this game in 5th place, just two points behind Crystal Palace for 2nd and five points behind Manchester City for 1st. They are tied with Liverpool but are ahead in goal differential.

Manchester United needs to beat Liverpool in order to shut the critics up. Many fans, rival fans and those in the media (including me) have criticized United mercilessly over the past few months. Whether it’s how the team and Louis van Gaal has handled David de Gea and Victor Valdes, to making panic buys, to how they handled the de Gea/Keylor Navas transfer situation, to their lack of scoring and then when they finally do score, give up leads almost instantaneously, Manchester United has had problems despite being even with Arsenal and Liverpool and beating Chelsea in the Premier League table.

But in all reality, the team hasn’t looked all that stellar. They won their first game on an own goal against struggling Tottenham, defeated Aston Villa thanks to Adnan Januzaj, played to a 0-0 draw to struggling Newcastle and let Swansea City come back to score twice within five minutes and defeat United. They’re still 5th but they’re playing like they’re in 15th.

Manchester United’s big question of this game will be who starts at goalkeeper. Do you go with game ready Sergio Romero or go with David de Gea, who is a far better goalkeeper but hasn’t played in months. Louis van Gaal has said that de Gea wasn’t fully focused  to play, is he suddenly focused now that he’s stuck with United for the time being?

Either way, what’s fortunate for Manchester United is that Liverpool is also struggling and fighting their own demons. They have scored the fewest goals of any team in the Premier League and half of their goals shouldn’t have counted. They also have to play this game without Philippe Coutinho, who got sent off in their 3-0 loss against West Ham. This is the perfect time for Manchester United to vanquish their demons, get back at the critics and beat a rival all in one day. Will they take advantage of that?

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @phillipbupp