Sunday, October 22, 2017

Prediction: Liverpool vs Manchester United

Verdict: Manchester United to win

Best Odds: 13/8

Bookmakers: Bet 365

Anfield will provide the setting for the biggest game of the weekend and one of the biggest rivalries in world football. Liverpool vs Manchester United has provided some mesmerising encounters and heated clashes in the past and this game should be no different. Both teams will be looking for a win, even just for the bragging rights, but this is also a game that could have implications for the title race, even this early in the season.

Liverpool

Seven is the magic, or perhaps tragic, number for Liverpool this season. The Reds find themselves seventh in the Premier League table after seven games, and also seven points behind their opponents Manchester United. As the numbers suggest it has been a poor start to the season for Jurgen Klopp’s side and the Merseyside club have only won once in their last seven games in all competitions.

One positive however is that Liverpool are unbeaten at Anfield all season and pulled out a stunning 4-0 win over Arsenal back in August. Less promising in the Reds’ defence, which is shipping nearly two goals per game in the league. At the other end of the pitch a lack of clinical finishing has also seen Liverpool record draws against Watford, Burnley and Newcastle. Despite dominating in these distinctly winnable games the Reds dropped points, and that could cost them at the end of the season.

Team News

One of Liverpool’s star players Sadio Mané has been ruled out for this game with a hamstring injury that he picked up on international duty. This is a huge blow for Jurgen Klopp as the Senegalese winger has scored three times in the league this season.

Adam Lallana is still sidelined with a thigh issue and right back Nathaniel Clyne could also miss out due to a back injury.

Manchester United

Unlike their bitter rivals Manchester United have had a scintillating start to the season, tied on points at the top of the Premier League with Manchester City. The frightening thing about this United side is that despite having Jose Mourinho at the helm, a man famed for playing fairly negative and defensive football when required, they are scoring three goals per game in the league this season. The Red Devils are also unbeaten away from home, and Mourinho is notoriously good at avoiding defeat on the road.

United boast the current top scorer in the Premier League in Romelu Lukaku, and either side of the Belgian striker Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford are both in the top ten in terms of assists provided. What is even more impressive is the fact that the Manchester club have also recorded the most clean sheets in the league this season, despite their struggles with the left back position.

Team News

Manchester United’s midfield has been decimated by injury and the Red Devils will be without Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba for this game. Romelu Lukaku suffered an ankle injury while on international duty but should be fine for this fixture.

Both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rojo have long-term knee injuries, though Zlatan is expected back as early as December which is great news for the striker and for football in general.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Liverpool have conceded 12 goals in seven Premier League games this season.
  • Manchester United have scored 21 goals in seven Premier League games this season.
  • Manchester United have scored in each of their games this season.
  • The last three meetings between the two sides have ended as a draw.
  • Liverpool will be without star winger Sadio Mané for this game.

Conclusion

Manchester United have been devastating going forward this season and Liverpool’s defence has been shaky at best. Add to that the inconsistency in the home side’s attacking threat, which will be blunted by the absence of Mané, and you have a game that should end in a United win.

Verdict: Manchester United to win

Best Odds: 13/8

Bookmakers: Bet 365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Steeden


Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

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