Manchester United v Liverpool: Desperate United Hope to Derail Runaway League Leaders
Over the near-three decades that the Premier League has taken pride of place in English football, there has been a significant gulf in class between the two teams, but it was Manchester United who used to hold the upper hand.
In recent seasons, the balance of power has significantly moved towards Liverpool, as the Champions League winners and current Premier League leaders travel up the East Lancashire road once again on Sunday afternoon – kickoff 16:30 BST to take on United at Old Trafford.
It is fair to suggest that Manchester United are a club in turmoil and transition under embattled manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Red Devils currently languish in the bottom half of the Premier League table in twelfth place on nine points. It is fair to suggest that United look to be a team lacking identity as of now, and they also have several injury concerns in the build-up to this hugely important fixture for the club and its supporters.
By contrast, Liverpool are flying high at the top of the Premier League with an eight point lead after just eight games. Jurgen Klopp’s side have yet to drop any points so far this season, and they are now odds on with the bookmakers to win their first Premier League title in its current guise.
On the basis of bare form this season, it would be sensible to determine Liverpool as very strong favorites to win this game, but form guides can mean very little in matches of this nature at times.
In this preview, we will look at some of the key betting markets to try and point our readers in the right direction for some winning selections.
Date: October 20, 2019
The bookmakers believe this game to be a one-sided affair, with Liverpool very firm favorites to leave Old Trafford with the spoils, and The Reds can be backed at the best industry price at the time of writing of 14/19 with Sport Pesa. This price is significantly shorter than any odds Liverpool have been to win at Old Trafford in recent memory, which highlights the obvious gulf between the two clubs.
The Draw is next best in the Match Odds betting at 3/1 with Unibet and Black Type amongst others, while a win for the home side would be a huge boost for Solskjaer and his players, but BetFred (who are not alone) obviously believe that is unlikely to happen as they offer the top price of 9/2.
United supporters can hang on to the grain of comfort that Liverpool have only won once at Old Trafford since 2010, with a 3-0 away win for the Merseysiders back in 2014. It is interesting to note that only Jordan Henderson remains in the Liverpool squad from that day, while United still have David de Gea, Phil Jones, Juan Mata and Ashley Young still in their squad from that defeat of five years ago.
Liverpool are currently playing at a significantly higher level than their bitter rivals right now and that should not be underestimated in the overall calculations when determining the winner of this game. United have looked devoid of ideas in an attacking sense so far this season, while Liverpool have maintained their free flowing attacking football, with lots of goals. On that basis alone, Liverpool has to be the call in this game, albeit at short odds away from home.
Individual Goal Scorers
The head of the First Goalscorer market is littered with Liverpool players, and leading that sequence is Mohamed Salah, who can be backed at the top price of 4/1 with Unibet and 888Sport. The Egyptian has scored four Premier League goals so far this season, but he has yet to find the net for Liverpool at Old Trafford.
Sadio Mane could well be a profitable option instead of Salah as the Senegalese star can be backed at 9/2 – again with Unibet and 888Sport. Mane has hit five goals so far this season and is arguably Liverpool’s most potent threat in front of the goal recently. Roberto Firmino is likely to complete the attacking trio for Liverpool in this game and the Brazilian can be backed at 21/4 – again with Unibet and 888Sport.
Manchester United’s first inclusion for the First Goalscorer consideration comes from Marcus Rashford, who could be reenergized following his opening goal for England in Bulgaria on Monday evening. Betway and 888Sport offer 8/1 on the striker opening the scoring.
Anthony Martial could return for this game, and if the French forward is in the starting line-up, the 17/2 on offer with Unibet and 888Sport – once again – could be reasonable value considering he seems to be Solskjaer’s choice as United’s central striker.
Others to consider at bigger odds include United new-boy Daniel James, who has begun his Old Trafford career with distinction, and he can enhance that by opening the scoring here at 14/1 with SportingBet and 888Sport.
Liverpool defender and talisman Virgil van Dijk is always a serious threat from set-pieces and the Dutch star is a standout price of 28/1 with SportingBet to open the scoring in this game.
Other Side Bets
As we’ve already stated earlier in this preview, if this game goes to recent Premier League form then there will be only one winner, and that is Liverpool.
It is very difficult to form any reasonable case to suggest Manchester United will get anything from this game in truth. United are without goalkeeper David de Gea and Paul Pogba for this contest and Liverpool to Win To Nil looks to be a solid bet of choice here. 888Sport’s offer of 2/1 for Klopp’s boys to win without conceding looks to be of reasonable value.
While goals do seem likely in this game, I’m prepared to stick my neck out and suggest that it will not be a high scoring contest. With that in mind, the 11/10 with Betfred for UNDER 2.5 Goals is the preferred choice. Liverpool have conceded six goals so far in the Premier League, while United have only let in eight goals, which leans firmly towards taking the under bet here.
Our Correct Score bet for this game is a 2-0 win for Liverpool, to take their league campaign to nine wins from nine games. Betfred is once again the stand out bookmaker for this particular selection at 8/1.
- Liverpool to Win To Nil at 2/1 with 888Sport
- UNDER 2.5 Goals in the match at 11/10 with Betfred
- Manchester United 0-2 Liverpool Correct Score bet at 8/1 with Betfred