Man Utd host Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday in a huge clash between two teams battling it out for second place in the Premiership. These fierce local rivals are separated by 30 miles and by just two points in the table and it should prove to be an intense clash. Liverpool are in sensational form and a run of three straight wins has seen them leapfrog Chelsea and Tottenham into third place. Man Utd are still clinging onto the runner-up spot, and they have found momentum at the perfect time of the season, so their meeting will be intriguing.
Passions always run high between these two sides, whose fans absolutely loathe one another. The rivalry is deep and it has run for more than 120 years, yielding some magnificent games during that time. They are the two most successful clubs in the history of English football, and tens of millions of people across the globe will tune in to watch them lock horns. Hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of talent will be out on the pitch, with Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba lining up against Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane. With Man City untouchable at the top of the table, this is arguably the game of the season.
Man Utd enjoy home advantage, so they are the favourites, but not by much. They are priced at 13/8 with most Green Listed Bookmakers, 7/4 with Bet Victor and 179/100 with Marathon Bet. Liverpool are 9/5 with Unibet, Bet Victor and Betfair to win it, while the draw is 12/5. That is incredibly close and it reflects Liverpool’s magnificent recent form. They became the only team to beat Man City in the league this season when they pulled off a tremendous 4-3 victory at Anfield earlier this year. Their defence has looked slightly tighter since splashing out £75 million on Virgil van Dijk. They miss Philippe Coutinho, as any team would, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is growing into his midfield role and there is more than enough creativity in the side to fill the void left by the Brazilian.
Firmino, in particular, is a great teammate to have as he dovetails so well with Salah and Mane and often plays them in with intelligent through balls. Mane has not hit the heights of last season, but Salah is on fire. With nine games to go he is level with Harry Kane in the Golden Boot race, with a goal per game, and that is a phenomenal record for a player that is not a central striker. The Egyptian is 15/8 with Unibet and 888 Sport to score at any time in this game and that is hard to ignore.
But Man Utd have plenty of attacking prowess of their own. Sanchez has yet to live up to his billing, but we all know how dangerous he can be. Lukaku is back among the goals, while Jose Mourinho has a wealth of further attacking options, including Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and the ever-improving Jesse Lingard. Both defences are leaky – Man Utd conceded twice against Crystal Palace in their last game, and Liverpool are frequently prone to lapses at the back – so both teams to score looks like a great option in this one. Sun Bets and Betfair are offering 3/4 on this, which looks tempting. The outrights look too close to call – Liverpool can hurt Man Utd, but if the Red Devils get through the first 30 minutes unscathed they should go on and win – so it might be advisable to stick to specials like both teams scoring and Salah continuing his red-hot streak.