Manchester United v Liverpool: Bitter Rivals Clash in Battle for Runners-up Finish
Liverpool make the short trip up the East Lancashire Road to face Manchester United on Saturday lunchtime – kick-off: 12:30, in what could determine which team will end the Premier League season in second-place behind runaway leaders, Manchester City.
Both teams will take to the field for this highly-anticipated contest in good league form. After a dismal 1-0 loss to Newcastle at St. James’ Park, United have bounced back with wins over Chelsea and Crystal Palace to maintain their two-point lead over Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Liverpool’s good run of form stretches for a longer period however, with the Merseyside outfit collecting 13 points from a possible 15 from their last five domestic outings.
A packed-out Old Trafford will be the venue for Liverpool’s attempt at extending their fine run, and this game will be exciting and intriguing in equal measure as we see if United’s dogged, pragmatic style under Jose Mourinho can stop, and overcome the free-flowing attacking machine from Anfield.
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The match betting for this game could hardly be any closer at the time of writing for this contest, as the bookmakers are obviously struggling to determine which team should be favourites to collect the spoils on Saturday afternoon.
Manchester United are the narrowest of favourites with most firms at present, as MarathonBet, Victor and Sport Pesa offer up the Red Devils at the best industry price of 17/10 to move into a five-point gap over their bitter rivals. Liverpool are very close behind at their best available odds of 93/50 with MarathonBet, while several firms including, Unibet and Black Type go top price on a drawn full-time result at 12/5.
In games of this nature and importance, it is not often wise to revert to recent results between the two sides for an edge on the potential outcome, but on this occasion, it could prove sensible – and indeed profitable – to do so. Of the last three previous Premier League meetings between United and Liverpool, all three have ended in draws. The law of averages would suggest that a fourth game may not end in stalemate, but after taking into consideration the two-point gap between the clubs, and the narrow nature of the Match Odds market, the draw looks to be a sensible play at 12/5.
Individual Goal Scorers
Firstly, if punters wish to stake their hard-earned cash on a First Goalscorer bet on the joint-leading Premier League goalscorer Mohamed Salah, then Unibet and 888sport should be their first option as both firms go the top price on the Egyptian international striker.
Salah is a generally available 4/1 chance to open the scoring at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime, but Unibet and 888sport should be applauded by going 5/1 on the former Roma man to score first.
United’s main strike threat is likely to come from Romelu Lukaku who is also freely available at 4/1, but bet365 are top-price of 11/2 on the Belgian hitman.
Salah’s strike partner, Roberto Firmino can be had with bet365 and Boylesports at 6/1, and those are the best odds on offer for the Brazilian international forward.
New United signing, Alexis Sanchez was largely ineffective against Crystal Palace on Monday night, so the Chilean attacker will be hoping to have the opportunity to repay the faith of his manager Mourinho and he is 13/2 top price – again with Boylesports – to silence the away following.
Others to consider at bigger prices would be Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, who has been a player I’ve tipped before – and at 15/2 with bet365 and Boylesports is worthy of consideration once again.
Juan Mata was part of a triple second-half substitution that led to United’s 3-2 comeback win at Crystal Palace on Monday night, and the Spaniard tends to save some his best performances for Liverpool, so the 14/1 with bet365 could prove profitable if Mata gets the starting nod.
Other Side Bets
Liverpool are expected to pose a serious threat to United at the weekend with their fast, free-flowing football. United have looked defensively weak at times in recent games, so the Merseysiders could capitalise. United however, have lots of attacking potential themselves, and that puts into focus the Both Teams to Score bet at the top price of 14/19 with 10BET and Sport Pesa. I don’t particularly envisage a goal-fest for this game, but I can foresee goals at either ends of the pitch.
If you consider our previous advice for this game to end in a draw, you can couple that bet with a Correct Score outcome of 1-1. William Hill are offering the best industry price of 6/1 for another stalemate between the two teams, as the race for second spot in the Premier League could be decided later in the season.