Premier League rivals Manchester United and Liverpool will both be targeting all three points when they meet at Old Trafford this weekend (4pm Sunday, Sky Sports 1).
Man Utd have now emerged victorious from each of their last nine encounters in all competitions, with six of those wins coming in the Premier League. The Red Devils’ recent revival has led to talk that they could still challenge for the title this term, although a margin of 10 points separating them from Chelsea in top spot makes that an unlikely eventuality.
Manager Jose Mourinho has found a much better balance in his team selections in the last few months. The return to the fold of Michael Carrick at the base of midfield has been particularly vital, while Paul Pogba (pictured) has found his feet after his big-money move from Juventus. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is now showing why United signed him in last summer’s transfer window.
Liverpool are undefeated in their six top-flight outings since a 4-3 reverse against Bournemouth in early December, although they were beaten by a goal to nil by Southampton in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final at St Marys on Wednesday night. There have been a few moments when Jurgen Klopp’s charges have stuttered in the last few weeks, but the fact that they are still just five points adrift of the summit of the Premier League standings shows that the Reds remain heavily involved in this season’s race for the title.
The hectic fixture schedule over the festive period probably did not help matters, with Liverpool forced to adapt their usual high-octane style of play. Klopp will hope that his side can get back on track now that a number of his key men have benefited from a period of rest.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been suffering from a bout of illness but looks set to be available for Man Utd, although Marcos Rojo is a doubt with a muscle problem and Ivory Coast international Eric Bailly is currently in Gabon for the Africa Cup of Nations. Wayne Rooney, who is bidding to become United’s standalone all-time record goalscorer after moving level in the rankings with Sir Bobby Charlton in the thrashing of Reading in the FA Cup last weekend, will probably have to make do with a place among the substitutes. Mkhitaryan and Pogba are likely to be joined by either Marcus Rashford or Juan Mata in the line of three behind lone striker Ibrahimovic in Mourinho’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.
Liverpool are still waiting on the fitness of Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip, but Danny Ings will definitely miss out on a place in the matchday squad as he continues his recovery from a serious knee problem. Klopp will also be without Sadio Mane, who is set to represent Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations. Philippe Coutinho is expected to return to the starting XI after featuring against Southampton with the Brazilian likely to play alongside Divock Origi and compatriot Roberto Firmino in the Reds’ fluid frontline. That means Daniel Sturridge will not be involved from the start once again, although the striker could contribute as a substitute in the second half.
Our Preview’s Man Utd v Liverpool Betting Tips
Man Utd’s superior recent form, combined with the home advantage that Old Trafford brings, could give them the edge against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon. With that in mind, then, it would be wise to put your money behind another victory for the Red Devils in front of their own supporters. Club record signing Pogba, who has scored four goals and provided three assists in the Premier League so far this season, could be a good choice to find the back of the net anytime.
In summary, here are this preview’s Manchester United vs Liverpool betting tips’ selections:
- Manchester United to beat Liverpool at best odds of 6/5 with Betfred, Ladbrokes or William Hill.
- Paul Pogba to score anytime at 13/5 (2.6/1) with Bet365.