Liverpool v Man Utd – Anfield at 20:00 live on Sky Sports 1
Two of the Premier League’s fiercest rivals go head to head this Monday in what should be an electric encounter. Goals look a certainty and Over 2.5 offers some real value at 1.86. There is also an edge on the Asian Handicap market, although this is a difficult one to call.
It’s been an exciting start for the Reds, currently in 4th place, with the chance to go level on points with league leaders Man City and second place Arsenal with a win tonight.
An opening day 4-3 win over Arsenal at the Emirates showed their strengths and weaknesses, which continue 7 games into the season. They followed up the win at Arsenal with an away defeat to Burnley, once again highlighting their poor defence. Since, however, it’s been positive result after positive result.
Liverpool are on a run of 4 straight wins in the league, 5 in all competitions, scoring 16 times. They have defeated title holders Leicester 4-1 and pre-season title contenders, Chelsea at the Bridge. They now look like genuine title contenders themselves.
Jurgen Klopp has turned the Merseysider’s into a pacey, powerful and dangerous attacking team that any defence will struggle to deal with. They are arguably the best team in the league at the moment and praise must go to the manager for getting the best out of his players.
James Milner has been superb and is currently the clubs top scorer. Mane has been excellent since joining the Reds and Coutinho & Firmino continue their impressive form from last season.
Given their brilliant performances, especially in front of goal, and with home advantage, it’s no surprise to see them as 2.16 favourites coming into this match. Their defence still remains a concern for me however. No other team in the top half of the table has conceded more.
Life couldn’t have started much better for Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, with a win in the Community Shield and 4 straight victories in the EPL. Like last season though, under Louis Van Gaal, the performances haven’t been great.
This could be blamed on the new additions to the squad, as well as a new philosophy from Mourinho, but that doesn’t cut it for me. These are some of the best players, and manager, in the world and I would have expected more and for them to settle in quicker.
Three defeats followed their opening 4 wins, including a defeat at the hands of Man City and a defeat in the Europa League. The ship has now been steadied, 4 matches without defeat, but apart from the 4-1 win over Leicester, Utd have looked far from convincing in their win over Zorya and draw last time out with Stoke.
Like Liverpool, but unlike a Mourinho side, Man Utd have struggled defensively. They have registered just one clean sheet in their last 8 matches and against the league’s most potent attack, I can’t see them shutting Liverpool out on Monday.
Despite thier under-par performances, they sit 7th in the table and a win tonight would take them level on points with Liverpool and Chelsea, 3 behind City. United have a lot of time to improve but will not want to slip back any further. It’s time for the likes of Rooney and Pogba to step up and it’s the perfect occasion to do so.
History must be considered in a fixture like this. The two sides have face each other 48 times in the Premier League, with Utd getting the better of Liverpool on 27 occasions. Liverpool have won just 13, with 8 draws.
It’s also the Red Devils who’ve has the upper hand in recent season’s, winning their last 4 meetings with an aggregate score line of 9-2.
On this season’s form however, the hosts are the deserved favourites. This is though, for all intense and purposes, a derby, in which anything can happen. With the attacking quality from both sides, as well as their defensive frailties, this match could go either way. That is why I have to be on United with the draw on their side at 1.81. Yes they have been inconsistent, but their head to head record speaks for itself and they are a big occasion club with big occasions players and manager.
I’m surprised to see that Over 2.5 goals is trading at 1.84. Liverpool haven’t kept a clean sheet all season, and United just once in 7 league games.
Four of United’s last 7 matches have seen three goals or more and they average 1.86 goals per game in the league this season.
All 5 of Liverpool’s most recent matches have covered Over 2.5 goals, in fact they average over 2.5 goals per game on their own in the EPL this term.
I’m expecting this match to be a real cracker, with everything. Both teams should come out attacking and an early goal should open this one up even more.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Man Utd +0.5 at 1.81 & Over 2.5 goals at 1.84
Prices correct at time of writing.
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