Saturday 14 October sees, arguably, the biggest domestic match on the English Premier League calendar, as deadly rivals Liverpool face Manchester United in an early afternoon showdown at Anfield.
It is a fixture that stirs up emotion in any true football fan – whether fans of either club or not.
But it is the writers view that Manchester United are firm favourites in this game and WILL take the three points…and here are the main three reasons why :
Most jaws dropped when the news broke that Chelsea had allowed one of their biggest names to join United, who in gaining the Serbian giant, didn’t just plug a hole that needed filling, they instantly improved their quality and standard of their midfield and team as a whole – allowing the more expressive players ahead of Matic to play with far more freedom, whilst knowing their back line was getting super protection. Every aspect of United has improved significantly because of Matic’s arrival – he will marshal things and nullify a lot of the effect that Coutinho and Co have to offer. Liverpool have been quite free flowing in attack – but Matic will disrupt things too much and is a tasty bet at 10/1 (Paddy Power) to be man of the match.
ABSENCE OF SADIO MANE
Mane could have been one player that would cause genuine concern, with his pace and aggression in attack making Liverpool such a more potent force – indeed, Mane has scored 3 goals in 4 Premier League games, and Liverpool average almost a goal a game more when he is playing. But his absence through injury is a significant loss to the Reds – and whilst United have injuries to key men of their own, they have much more strength in depth to cover their loss than Liverpool do to cover Mane. How Klopp addresses this will be of huge interest….could Sturridge return? Will Oxlade-Chamberlain be given a chance? Does Coutinho push on or will a youngster be given a chance….Solanke? Woodburn? But the truth is that however Mane is covered, his loss hurts Liverpool….and their chances to prevail.
LIVERPOOL DEFENSIVE FRAILTIES
This is a song that is now very well sung, but we cannot escape the fact that Liverpool have kept just two clean sheets all season in the Premier League (vs Crystal Palace and Arsenal) whilst United are averaging three goals per Premier League game. OK, the United opponents haven’t been the strongest, but Liverpool have conceded 7 goals in 4 games against the combined might of Burnley, Leicester, Newcastle and Watford. It is just impossible to see the Liverpool defence holding out Lukaku, Rashford, Mkhitaryan, Mata and co – and whilst it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that Liverpool breach the hitherto miserly United defence themselves (United have conceded just two goals in 7 Premier League games), you do struggle to see them outscoring a rampant and super confident United outfit, whom have goals in them from all over the place….which is a phrase much used about the Liverpool defensive unit.
Score Prediction : Liverpool 1 – 3 Manchester United
WHAT ARE YOUR SCORE PREDICTIONS FOR TOMORROWS GAME? LET US KNOW BELOW!!