English football’s biggest rivalry recommences on Sunday afternoon, and there’s rarely been more at stake than right now. Liverpool are closing in on Chelsea as they aim for a first league title since 1990. Man United, meanwhile, are battling to regain top-four status.
Add to that the fact Wayne Rooney could break the Red Devils’ all-time club scoring record, and it’s fair to say there’s more than a bit of spice about the 226th instalment of this fixture.
But all the signs are pointing towards a triumph for the hosts at Old Trafford. Here’s why, and how to back Jose Mourinho’s men for victory.
Expect visitors to score…but lose
Liverpool fans have tended to have a goal to celebrate at Old Trafford in recent times…but little else. They’ve found the net on six of their last 10 visits, but have managed a solitary win and one draw in that period, losing the other eight games here since the start of the decade.
You have to go back to the dismal reign of David Moyes for the last time either Merseyside club enjoyed victory here, and with United in fine form right now, a consolation goal is likely to be as good as it gets for the visitors.
However, they should at least manage that, with Jurgen Klopp’s men having netted in 10 of their last dozen on the road.
Spaniard is Juanderful in this fixture
He may be one of the Premier League’s most likeable characters, but Liverpool fans could be forgiven for being sick of the sight of Juan Mata. After all, he’s netted four times in the last seven meetings between this pair.
And the visitors are facing the midfield maestro at precisely the worst time. He’s scored in two of his last three games for United, including a superbly-taken opener away at West Ham United. He looks well priced to net anytime here, while a repeat of his double at Anfield in 2015 is priced at 18/1.
Top bet: Mata to score anytime @ 12/5
Hosts can produce another second-half masterclass
While there’s value in Liverpool netting at some point in this game, recent form suggests it’ll be all about United in the second period. That’s because Mourinho’s charges have won 2-0 in the second half alone, in each of their last three outings.
For Liverpool’s part, they’ve netted just one second-half goal in their last four games combined, courtesy of Sadio Mane’s close-range effort. Having slumped to defeat at Southampton on Thursday night, there could be more doom and gloom for the visitors as this game wears on.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing