Liverpool V Manchester United
Sunday 22nd March. 1:30PM. Sky Sports 1
It might not be the top-of-the-table clash of a few years ago, but Liverpool v Manchester United remains the standout rivalry in the Premier League and the war resumes with a mouth-watering showdown at Anfield on Sunday.
This contest is always exciting, but this edition carries an extra importance as both teams are battling for a top four finish. Champions League aspirations could rest on the result of Sunday’s meeting and therefore both teams will be utterly determined to stamp their authority on proceedings.
You wouldn’t want to miss it for the world.
Resurgent Reds Ready To Surmount Champions League Challenge
A 3-0 humiliation at Old Trafford in December had seemingly ended Liverpool’s hopes of Champions League qualification but Brendan Rodgers’ men have bounced back superbly since then and are now genuine contenders for a top four position.
Exacting revenge against their fierce rivals on Sunday would put them in the driving seat and the home side will be confident at Anfield. The Kop enter this weekend’s massive fixture as the Premier League’s in-form side following a 13-game unbeaten run since that disappointment at Old Trafford.
That success can be attributed in part to the return of star striker Daniel Sturridge, who has given Liverpool their cutting edge in recent weeks. Equally important, though, is the fact that Rodgers has now found a formation that works with the three-man defence finally gelling behind the irrepressible Jordan Henderson.
This will also be Steven Gerrard’s final match against the arch enemy. The passion will be palpable both on the pitch and in the stands. We can expect nothing less than 100% from the Reds as they look to rescue their Champions League qualification dream.
Red Devils Look To Rooney For Inspiration
Louis van Gaal’s first year in England has been turbulent to say the least, but last weekend’s demolition of Tottenham was the performance that Manchester United fans had been waiting for. The Red Devils traditionally hit their stride around this time of year and the visiting supporters will be hoping that the Spurs win will ignite a similar story this term.
Liverpool are undefeated in their last 14 matches in all competitions at Anfield (W7 D7)
In spite of criticisms surrounding performances, the Red Devils have picked up pleasing results more often than not. They’ve already avoided defeat at both Arsenal and Tottenham so will fancy their chances of at least gaining the point that would keep them in pole position for a top four finish.
The absence of Robin van Persie is a loss, but Wayne Rooney’s return to form has been crucial to igniting the recent improvements and the Red Devils captain looks far more comfortable back up top. This switch has also allowed Marouane Fellani to thrive in a more attacking role – it might not be pretty, but the big Belgian does get results.
Manchester United’s sole aim for the season was to secure a return to Champions League football. If they can do so by ending Liverpool’s dream in the process then the visitors will be very happy indeed. It should be a thrilling spectacle.
Liverpool V Manchester United Betting
The bookmakers tend to think home advantage gives Liverpool a real edge in this game and have priced the Reds accordingly at 23/20 (Bet365). Manchester United are available at 11/4 whilst the draw can be backed at 12/5. Remember that you get a deposit matching bonus of up to £200 when you join Bet365. Using your free cash could be the way forward for betting on this match.
From both a sporting and betting perspective we hope there will be goals. Both teams are in good form, which should inspire confidence, and we’re hoping that each will adopt an attacking approach in a bid to claim three absolutely crucial points.
There has been plenty of high-scoring contests between the sides in recent years, including United’s 3-0 reverse win at Old Trafford in December, and we envisage plenty more action during Sunday’s epic battle.
Over 2.5 match goals @ 49/40 with BetVictor
If Manchester United do leave Anfield with the points then there is a very strong chance that they’ll be thanking captain Rooney for it.
The England man has found the target on a regular basis since returning to his favoured attacking position and the boyhood Everton fan would love to condemn his arch rivals to a Europa League place.
Wayne Rooney to score anytime @ 23/10 with Ladbrokes