It wasn’t too long ago that a little team called Manchester City were storming ahead in the Premier League with many pundits suggesting that Pep Guardiola leading the Citizens to the title was a foregone conclusion. Then a 3-3 draw with Celtic, in the Champions League, was followed by a 2-0 loss to Tottenham and a 1-1 draw with Everton. Just like that Man City are without wins for three games in all competitions and the hunt for the Premier League is blown wide open.
Liverpool and Manchester United are two teams who will be hoping to take advantage when they face each other tonight at Anfield. Each time have a game in hand with Liverpool currently 3 points behind City, so a win would seem them move joint top of the league. Meanwhile, United are 6 points behind top and a much needed win would put them level with Liverpool and back among the pack in the title picture. The problem is that two into one doesn’t go, both teams can’t win, which means somebody is going to miss out, but who will it be?
It seems hard to believe that Liverpool haven’t won the top flight since 1989, subsequent managers Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers tried to turn the team’s fortunes around, but it was close but no cigar. Since the appointment of Jürgen Klopp last October, Liverpool have looked like a different animal. A number of smart signings, clearing out the deadwood and a change of tactics have seen the Kop firing on all cylinders.
Having only dropped 5 points all season, Liverpool have won their last four consecutive League games (five in all competitions) and Ladbrokes favour them at 23/20 to win this contest.
Jose Mourinho has enjoyed a mixed start to his Manchester Untied reign, and thus far has struggled for consistency. After three straight wins they were robbed of a win at the Etihad to Manchester City, followed by losses to Feyenoord (in the Europa League) and Watford, panic mode started to set in as Mourinho had never lost three straight matches in his managerial career before. The decision to drop Wayne Rooney was rewarded when the Red Devils destroyed Leicester, 4-1, in a performance that was reminiscent of the Fergie days. Then before the international break they drew 1-1 with Stoke City.
Which leads to the question which Manchester United side shows up tonight? If it’s the side that faced Watford or Stoke, then Liverpool will laughing all the way to the top of the League and Mourinho will be left licking his wounds after another setback. Although, if United can draw on their performance against Leicester for inspiration, then they can cause real trouble for Liverpool. On this occasion Coral consider United to be the underdogs at 13/5.
When betting on football it is important to note that Liverpool vs. Manchester United is usually an entertaining affair, the rivalry runs deep and has led to many red cards through history. While Mourinho was manager of Real Madrid he faced Klopp (then at Dortmund) four times in the 2012/13 season with Klopp coming out on top beating them in the group stage and knocking them out in the semi-finals. They have met once in the Premier League with Klopp beating Mourinho 3-1 shortly before he was sacked from Chelsea.
However, Manchester United have won their last four league games over Liverpool, they remain they only team who never beat Louis Van Gaal’s United team. Plus, this fixture last year was Anthony Martial’s stunning debut for the side. With Marcus Rashford and Zlatan Ibrahimović in the team, this is far from a foregone conclusion for Liverpool.