Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Prediction: Liverpool vs Man Utd

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: Bet365

Both sets of fans could not have wished a better return from the international break as they prepare for the new chapter of one of the biggest rivalries in Premier League and in world football. The old spice is back with both Liverpool and Manchester United as title contenders this season and we should all relish the opportunity to witness what is likely to be a highly contested affair at Anfield.

Liverpool

It took him some time to get a firm grip on his new role, but Jurgen Klopp appears to have finally gained footing with Liverpool. The Reds have become a high-pressure attacking side, who are playing free-flowing football fans love to watch. Liverpool have scored most goals of all teams in the league and their last couple of results show that the Reds have found harmony and rhythm that could lead them a long way forward. They might not have big names in their squad, but Jurgen Klopp has managed to harness the individual qualities of his players and channel them into a common cause, forging a well-oiled unit which notched five consecutive triumphs prior to the international break. Liverpool have so far flourished against big rivals, having already dispatches Arsenal, Leicester City and Chelsea this term and another potential win over top 4 contenders would only boost Reds’ chances and confidence alike.

Team News

The hosts are struggling with several injuries to their key players and Jurgen Klopp will be hopeful Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren will be able to overcome their knocks in time for the match.

Adam Lallana is having groin problems and will be forced to sit through the game together with Gini Wijnaldum, who picked up an injury while on international duty.

Manchester United

Having spent last couple of seasons lingering in the obscurity of the Premier League football, Manchester United have once again made heavy investments in order to get back to the very top of both domestic and international football. The arrival of new boss Jose Mourinho was followed by several high-profile players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and world-record signing Paul Pogba, who have raised the profile of the squad to a new level. New season brought new expectations and high pressure, which ultimately caught up with Mourinho and his team as Red Devils went through a poor patch earlier in September with three consecutive defeats that have served as definite proof that Manchester United are a work in progress. They managed to bounce back, but were still put to a halt last time out with Stoke City fighting for a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford and Jose Mourinho will urge his men to grab a win at Anfield that would bring much more than mere three points in a delicate moment of the season.

Team News

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Luke Shaw did not play for their countries during the break and will be unavailable for a trip to Anfield. The Armenia and England internationals are lacking match fitness and will not be included in such an important game.

Phil Jones continues to nurse his knee injury and is the last man on the injury list Jose Mourinho will not be able to call upon.

Key Aspects to Consider

  • Man Utd scored at least 1 goal in their last 13 games
  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 5 matches
  • Reds scored 22 goals in their last 7 games across competitions
  • Red Devils won 3 of their last 5 visits to Anfield
  • Coutinho, Firmino and Mane have 9 PL goals between them so far

Conclusion

Meetings between Liverpool and Manchester United rarely lack excitement and we most definitely expect to see a high-tempo encounter and a highly-contested clash. Plenty is at stake for both rivals, who need a win against bitter opposition to help them gain vital momentum after the international break. The Monday’s match is worth more than just three points as a winner would claim bragging rights as well.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: Bet365

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