Football

Raucous Old Trafford could suit Reds: Bellamy

Jose Mourinho has repeatedly called for Manchester United fans to make themselves heard at Old Trafford, but former Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy has suggested that the United boss should be careful what he wishes for.

The Portuguese has on several occasions criticised his own teams fans', including calling the Theatre of Dreams "a quiet stadium" after the 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town last month.

Ahead of Liverpool's visit to Old Trafford last season, he implored supporters: "Don't come to the theatre. Come to play, play with us."

Ahead of Liverpool's visit to Manchester tomorrow, he reiterated that theme, praising the Red Devils' away support during their 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on Tuesday morning (Singapore time).

Said Mourinho: "If possible, give some tickets to the United fans that were (at Selhurst Park)."

However, Bellamy believes that vocal home support for United could work against the Red Devils.

Mourinho's safety-first style has sometimes rankled United fans who have become used to the swashbuckling style of Sir Alex Ferguson's teams.

That has led supporters at Old Trafford to, at times, demand an a more attacking approach, which Bellamy feels would play into Liverpool's hands.

He told Sky Sports: "Usually you want to quiet the fans, but I want them up, because then Manchester United will be looking to go forward, fullbacks joining in. So, as soon as we win in transition, we are going straight at the back four.

"With that pace - and especially with the way the result in Porto was - Liverpool would love that."

While Bellamy believes United's fullbacks bombing forward might be a weakness, his former Reds teammate Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool's own fullbacks could be key to beating United.

He told Sky Sports: "You expect Mourinho will have a plan... So, if the front three are nullified, where can Liverpool hurt them? I want to look at the role of the fullbacks...

"Manchester United will have to play narrow - certainly the back four will be, because Liverpool's front three play so narrow.

"Maybe Manchester United's wingers will drop a touch, and then the Liverpool fullbacks come onto there."

The game at Anfield this season was unacceptable... It cannot be like that (again). Gary Neville on tomorrow's Manchester United-Liverpool match

Former United defender Gary Neville, however, believes his former team are favourites to win simply because the Reds have tended to struggle with the size of the expansive Old Trafford pitch.

He told Sky Sports: "I always fancy United at home...

"I've always thought that for Liverpool away from home they struggled with the size of the pitch, despite it not being hugely different on paper (to Anfield)."

The last time the teams met was last October at Anfield, when they played out a boring 0-0 draw. Neville believes it is imperative that tomorrow's clash is not a repeat of that.

He said: " The game at Anfield this season was unacceptable...

"Both teams towards the end accepted that a point was the right result, Liverpool stepped off the gas a little bit and United were bang average. It cannot be like that. It's got to be better."

Football