Legends game: Your guide to Liverpool v United
The second leg of Legends of the North, which pits former Manchester United and Liverpool players against one another, is almost upon us.
The rematch will kick off at 15:00 BST on Saturday afternoon, when the two teams will compete for bragging rights but more importantly raise money for good causes.
On that front, the initial meeting at Old Trafford in May was a roaring success, with more than £1.3million being raised for the Manchester United Foundation. The proceeds are being used to fund projects in our local region, making lives better for young people in Manchester and the North West.
For the record, United lost the first leg 3-1 and our players will naturally want to overturn that deficit in the return clash. Here's all you need to know about the match, including which legends are taking part for both clubs…
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE GAME?
Although Saturday's second leg at Anfield is not being shown live on MUTV, we will keep you posted with regular updates via the United App and ManUtd.com. The confirmed team news should be available from 14:00 BST, one hour before kick-off.
In addition to this, you will be able to watch video highlights from midnight and there will be plenty of post-match reaction to enjoy in the coming days.
UNITED TEAM NEWS
A number of faces from the first game are returning for the second leg, including our goalscorer at Old Trafford, Dimitar Berbatov. Former captain Antonio Valencia will also be on duty again. Meanwhile, ex-United striker Andy Ritchie replaces Bryan Robson as manager, and will be assisted by Andy Cole. Midfield duo Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick will make their debuts for the Legends side, alongside the likes of Danny Pugh, Darron Gibson and Eric Djemba-Djemba.
In anticipation of Saturday’s match, Andy Ritchie told club media: “We’ve got some absolutely fantastic players and it’s great to just set them up because it’s a fantastic side really.
“Hopefully, people can still dip into their pockets and come to the game. It’s an honour and pleasure to be part of the squad and me and Andy [Cole] will pick what we can.
“It’s never a friendly [between United and Liverpool] but the lads know that and don’t need reminding of it. I’m sure they have a wealth of respect for each other though and I’m looking forward to it.”
Squad: Raimond van der Gouw, Kevin Pilkington; Clayton Blackmore, Denis Irwin, Ronny Johnsen, Jaap Stam, Antonio Valencia; Jesper Blomqvist, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Darron Gibson, Karel Poborsky, Danny Pugh; Dimitar Berbatov, Fraizer Campbell.
LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS
For the hosts, Kenny Dalglish returns as manager in the dugout, alongside fellow Liverpool icons Ian Rush and John Aldridge. World Cup winner Xabi Alonso, former England full-back Glen Johnson and Irish striker Robbie Keane are among the notable debutants for the second leg, while first-leg match winner Mark Gonzalez will return for the Merseysiders. A number of other players who featured in the Old Trafford fixture in May will play once more this Saturday at Anfield.
Squad: Jerzy Dudek, Sander Westerveld; Alvaro Arbeloa, Fabio Aurelio, Stephane Henchoz, Glen Johnson, Bjorn Kvarme, Martin Skrtel, Djimi Traore, Gregory Vignal; Xabi Alonso, Salif Diao, Luis Garcia, Mark Gonzalez, Anthony Le Tallec, Albert Riera, Momo Sissoko; Stewart Downing, Robbie Keane, Maxi Rodriguez, Florent Sinama-Pongolle, Andriy Voronin.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Ahead of Saturday’s fixture, Ritchie outlined his admiration for the Manchester United Foundation and acknowledged the importance of events such as Legends of the North in raising funds for charitable organisations.
He said: “The Foundation do a brilliant job in and around Manchester with the schools and local communities there, and donating to the charities they’re associated with. It's a fantastic cause.”