EPL: Manchester United vs Liverpool Preview

Written by Chad Nagel for Soccer Betting NewsFollow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

Manchester United vs Liverpool | Saturday 12 September | Old Trafford | 18:30




Premier League football returns after the international break with one of the biggest fixtures in the English calendar. Manchester United host bitter rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford, with both sides coming off the back of disappointing defeats.



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To Win (90mins)
Manchester United  9/10
Draw  23/10
Liverpool  31/10

Manchester United
Manchester United got off to a promising start, winning their first two games against Tottenham and Aston Villa by 1-0 scorelines. They went on to play out a goalless draw at home to Newcastle and lose 2-1 to Swansea last time out. Louis van Gaal will be looking to return to winning ways and will be rather confident given United’s impressive head-to-head record over their rivals. The Red Devils have won their last three meetings against Liverpool scoring eight times whilst conceding just twice. Van Gaal should be a happy man, now that the transfer window has ended. He has exhibited a lot of control over the ins and outs this year, and only time will tell if all the boldness pays off. David De Gea's transfer collapse means he is likely to be given the No. 1 role once again and Van Gaal needs him this year if he has ambitions beyond the top four. De Gea sat out Spain's recent qualifier against Slovakia after a lack of match practice but played against Macedonia and he will not want to sit on his hands in the Old Trafford stands one minute longer. Juan Mata is capable of providing that moment of magic as he possesses excellent vision, sure passing ability and a fine first touch. Mata offers a threat in the final third as he has the ability to score goals and create opportunities for his team-mates. Memphis Depay will provide a constant threat on the wing and pester Liverpool’s fullbacks with excessive pace, quick-feet, brilliant creativity and an eye for goal. New teenage signing Anthony Martial is likely to be available after his move from Monaco, but Wayne Rooney is sure to be given the nod against his least favourite side. Rooney has always been clear about his dislike for his home club's natural rival and he is always motivated to perform in this fixture.



Liverpool
Liverpool are coming off a shocking 3-0 home defeat to West Ham and will be desperate to bounce back against bitter rivals Manchester United. In four Premier League games so far this season, Liverpool have scored just two goals—one being Philippe Coutinho's out-of-nowhere wonder strike against Stoke and the other thanks to a highly debatable offside decision in the 1-0 win at home to Bournemouth. Aiming to bounce back immediately, Brendan Rodgers will be hoping for three points at Old Trafford to regain some momentum in the race for a top-four finish. Rodgers will expect a lot more from his players especially with the quality he has at his disposal but the Northern Irish manager has some concerns ahead of the match. One player who is clearly not worthy of the first XI is centre-back Dejan Lovren. The £20 million signing from summer 2014 has been extremely poor since moving to Anfield. Three clean sheets in his first three games of the season led some to believe that he might have rebounded, but his horrific performance against West Ham suggests that he might be a bust.

Coutinho will miss the game after being sent off against West Ham, which will be a massive blow especially with captain Jordan Henderson struggling to be fit. Christian Benteke is a doubt after picking up a knock against West Ham, but according to reports the Belgian striker should be ready for the trip to Old Trafford. Benteke has been nursing a thigh injury, but Rodgers will need the attacker in the continued absence of Daniel Sturridge. Benteke possesses the physical stature of a centre-half, yet has the composure to get goals, which gives Liverpool a massive advantage in breaking down teams set up like United. Roberto Firmino will need to step up as the creative force from the middle of the park in Coutinho’s absence. With a point to prove, he’ll love nothing more than to get on the score-sheet, something he did quite frequently in his time at Hoffenheim.

VERDICT: Manchester United 9/10
United are favourites at 9/10 while the Reds are valued at 31/10 and the draw available at 24/10. The loss of Coutinho will be a massive blow for the Reds especially given the fact that they haven’t beaten United in their last three meetings. With the loss of Liverpool’s most influential player and home advantage, United are tipped for the win at 9/10.

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