Will Reilly previews Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash between Liverpool and Man Utd (KO 4:30pm), which is live on Sky Sports.
Things got very interesting for these arch-rivals on Tuesday when Man Utd won 1-0 at Burnley and moved to the top of the Premier League table.
The team they replaced was Sunday’s rivals Liverpool, who are three points behind United in second place ahead of the weekend games taking place.
It is not just their fierce rivalry that makes this a game of huge significance.
- The Reds have lost just three games all season although they have won only five of their last eleven matches, drawing five of them.
- The defeat in that sequence was a 1-0 league loss at Southampton. In the league game that preceded it, they drew 0-0 at Newcastle. Before that, it was a 1-1 home draw against struggling West Brom.
- For a team that has become synonymous with goals, they have actually scored more-than one goal in just four of their last 12 matches in all competitions.
- They have won only four of their last ten league matches, drawing five and losing one.
- Mo Salah remains their main goal-scoring threat with 17 goals in all competitions, 13 of them in the league (from 16 starts). Sadio Mané has six in 15 league starts.
- At home in the league this season, Liverpool have won seven and drawn one of their eight matches, scoring 21 goals and conceding 8
- They have kept just 2 clean sheets in their 8 home league matches this season
- United have emerged from a seemingly endless series of mini-crises and elimination from this season’s Champions League to stand at the top of the table.
- Tuesday’s success at Burnley meant that they had won nine and drawn two of their last eleven league matches. They are in good form ahead of Sunday’s match.
- Remarkably, they have won seven of their eight league matches away from home this season although they have kept a clean sheet in just one of them.
- They have scored three-or-more goals in six of those seven away victories but have kept only one clean sheet.
- Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford provide their main goal-scoring threats in the league with 11 and 7 goals, respectively.
- In the last 10 league meetings between these sides, no one has scored more goals than Marcus Rashford (3 goals in 5 starts)
You will not better this price anywhere…
- Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Diogo Jota are all out with knee injuries
- Joel Matip will possibly miss out
- Thiago Alcântara has only recently returned from injury so may not start
- Naby Keïta is a doubtful starter
- Victor Lindelöf had been struggling with a back injury but he starts the game
- Anthony Martial and Nemanja Matić picked up knocks against Burnley but look likely to be okay
HEAD TO HEADS
- The sides have met 17 times in all competitions since Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012-13 season with Liverpool winning on five occasions and Man Utd winning six times.
- In 10 of the 17 matches, at least one side failed to score (there have been three 0-0 draws).
- They have met seven times at Anfield in the league during this time with the scores being (most recent first): 2-0, 3-1, 0-0, 0-0, 0-1, 1-2 and 1-0
- Just six of the 17 games have had over 2.5 goals scored in them.
- Based on the stats, a high-scoring game is unlikely.
- Liverpool have an excellent home record this season and Man Utd have been exceptional away from home.
- In five starts, Marcus Rashford has only once finished on the losing side in this fixture.
Factoring in all the points made in this preview, I will opt for the following:
- A draw (14/5) with a score prediction of 1-1 (11/2)
- Intriguingly, none of Man Utd’s games so far this season has ended 1-1 – That has to end at some point!
- Another fancy is Marcus Rashford as an Anytime Scorer (13/5)
All prices correct as at 3pm on Thursday 14th January
AND DON’T FORGET that this match is a DOUBLE THE ODDS ON FIRST GOALSCORER BETS match with us (usual t&c). RASHFORD is 15/2 to SCORE FIRST in the match…