Manchester United v Liverpool Preview: Mou’s men to keep it tight
There may be a blockbuster clash in prospect at Old Trafford but those who chose to watch the reverse fixture between Manchester United and Liverpool a few months ago will probably have wished they hadn’t bothered.
A drab 0-0 would have been pretty low on many people’s priority lists this time around but it could be the case that this game fails to live up to the considerable expectation level once again.
United have hit some very decent form in recent weeks, making smooth progress in both domestic cup competitions and up the Premier League following nine straight wins in all competitions. It’s 23/20 (2.15) that the home side pick up maximum points again here, while Liverpool are 14/5 (3.80) outsiders.
That price may catch the eye of a few punters but the recent hiccups in form mean it’s tough to trust Jurgen Klopp’s men without some of their key men firing. Philippe Coutinho made a long-awaited comeback from injury in midweek but may not be 100% for this game while the absences of Sadio Mane (AFCON) and Jordan Henderson (injury) are big misses for the Merseysiders.
The draw could be the most sensible option here at 23/10 (3.30), especially with Mourinho likely to set his side up in a manner than means they give little away early on.
With that in mind it’s no surprise to see under 2.5 goals listed at just 5/6 (1.83) with that market being backed across the board at the time of writing.
Overs is available at 19/20 (1.95) but despite Liverpool boasting the highest-scoring attack in the division, they have fired back-to-back blanks in their cup clashes and it would be something of a leap of faith to expect them to spring back to their free-scoring ways given the missing pieces of their attacking puzzle.
Given the move opposing goals, it’s logical that both teams to score will drift too and it has already done so although it’s available at 8/11 (1.73) while at least one side to fail to net is priced at Evens (2.0).
Unders is probably still a fair enough play at 5/6 (1.83) with Betway, it’s copped in five of United’s last seven Premier League clashes at Old Trafford with the two exceptions coming against Middlesbrough and Sunderland who are both in the bottom five of the table coming into this weekend.
For a value bet, why not look to the winning margin market where United to win by one goal is available at 11/4 (3.75) generally. With Liverpool looking a little off-colour it would be no surprise if this game turned into another tense, nervy affair and while Mourinho’s men do have the weapons to come out on top, it’s unlikely to be by an especially convincing margin.
Wayne Rooney is level with Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 249 Manchester United goals and although the England captain is almost certain to break the record, his poor form in front of goal this season means he’s easy enough to ignore at 6/4 (2.50) to net anytime.