By Harry Harris
LOUIS Van Gaal or Brendan Rodgers? One of them will be big time losers if their team perishes in the big showdown between Manchester United and Liverpool tomorrow.
For the loser, a volume of abuse from their fans, and a bucket load of stick from the media.
For the winner, some respite from the recent criticism and the chance to use victory at Old Trafford as a springboard to better things. So what odds on a draw, then?
A stalemate will do neither side – or manager – any favours and the doubts and the scrutiny will go on.
So what will be the outcome as we await a return to Premier League action after the international break? It promises to be a fascinating encounter, and the viewing figures will be enormous.
Man United-Liverpool games are always important, always competitive. This will be no different, perhaps even more so.
This is a game neither side can afford to lose, because the backlash would be unbearable. More pressure on the manager with the dour face; more question marks over the players he has selected.
That is the considered view of the vastly experienced Liverpool legend and BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson.
In an interview published today on the BBC on line, Lawrenson commented: “Whatever happens at Old Trafford, there will be an over-reaction concerning the beaten team.
“Defeat would not actually be a crisis, but the loser would find himself under that kind of scrutiny.”
Both clubs have seven points from their first four Premier League matches, and both lost their last game before the international break as Liverpool lost 3-0 at home by West Ham, United lost 2-1 at Swansea.
Old Trafford will be no place for the feint hearted. You wouldn’t want to be in the losing dressing room afterwards, that’s for sure.