Manchester United v Liverpool Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
February 20, 2019
Old Trafford - Premier League
Manchester United host Liverpool this Sunday in a top-of-the-table clash, with the importance of the result adding to an already intense rivalry. A loss for the away side would see them fall behind leaders Manchester City, whilst United are batting Chelsea and Arsenal for a fourth placed finish.
Liverpool's comprehensive 3-1 win over Manchester United when the sides last met marked the end of Jose Mourinho's tenure as manager, kick-starting their run of form. Whether new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can improve on his predecessor's result remains to be seen.
Solskjaer's preferred starting XI is by now well established, yet, changing to a diamond formation against Chelsea proved equally effective. The coach now knows he has the option of fielding Juan Mata as a number 10 if Alexis Sanchez fails to convince as Anthony Martial's stand in.
Liverpool's make-shift defence of Fabinho and Joel Matip was surprisingly effective against Bayern Munich with Jurgen Klopp likely to keep the same back line on Sunday. However, given potential midfield fatigue, James Milner may step into the midfield, with Xherdan Shaqiri also pushing for a start.
Manchester United v Liverpool Predictions and Previews
Liverpool travel to Manchester United in what is likely to be a season defining month for both teams.
The home side followed an underwhelming defeat by an under-strength Paris San Germain side with an impressive win away at Chelsea in the FA Cup. However, more than either of these matches, it is Sunday's clash against Liverpool that United fans will hope to win - with the chance to put one over on their old rivals.
A home draw against Bayern Munich on Tuesday may not have been the worst outcome for Klopp's side, however, the hard-fought stalemate may have an impact on Sunday. From sitting four points clear on top of the table, Liverpool are level with Manchester City, with their game in hand to be played on this weekend. Anything other than a win will pile even more pressure on, and with a return to Germany coming up, the manager won't be able to rest his players.
United's form in recent weeks will undoubtedly be of concern to the Liverpool boss, who, for the first time this season, won't the in-form manager on the touch-line. Solskjaer has yet to lose domestically, and appears to have solved whatever problems were holding the side back in the first half of the season.
Paul Pogba, in particular, looks a player rejuvenated, and is 28/11 to score, whilst an overall more attacking approach has fed to Marcus Rashford's strengths. Even the defence, Mourinho's biggest failing, appears solid, with Ashley Young once again impressing at full-back and Viktor Lindelof in his best form in a United shirt.
Despite the positives, the PSG game showed that Solkjaer's men are still vulnerable against high quality opposition - and Liverpool undoubtedly have the class to punish the home team. Mohammed Salah and co. may not have scored against Bayern Munich, but had a number of chances against once of the most experienced back lines in Europe.
For all of the positivity in Old Trafford at the moment, there is undoubtedly a discrepancy in pace between the Liverpool front line and the United defence. If the home side continue to attack agressively as they have done in recent months, they may well find themselves exposed on the counter.
Whichever side wins will be in a strong position to achieve their season's objectives, however, despite the stakes, Sunday should provide an open exciting match.
Marcus Rashford to score anytime at 2/1
The United forward is full of confidence and his running off the defence should cause real problems.
Both teams to score at 4/6
With three points needed neither manager is want to sit back and play out a stalemate.