Saturday 14th October. 12:30PM. Sky Sports
This weekend sees Premier League football return after the international break and the action resumes on Saturday lunchtime with one of the biggest fixtures of the entire season. The country’s two most successful clubs prepare to renew their fierce rivalry once more, and it has the making of a classic.
Both sides will be desperate for the three points as well as the local bragging rights while the battle between Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho promises to add an extra spice to the mix. It’s Liverpool V Manchester United, and we can hardly wait.
Mane Absence A Big Blow For Klopp
While the return of Philippe Coutinho has been huge for the Merseysiders, Klopp will be furious with the fact that Sadio Mane is out for the next few weeks due to an injury sustained on international duty. The Senegalese star’s energy has been noticeable missed when missing over the the last 15 months, and it will be difficult to replicate against such formidable opponents.
The likes of Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, along with Coutinho, will still give the visiting Red Devils something to think about. Meanwhile, the hosts can take confidence rom an unbeaten home form which includes a 4-0 demolition of Arsenal. Still, this is another step up for a club that is desperate to be in the top four once again after last season’s good work.
Liverpool’s high-pressing should be perfect for the derby while their record, last month’s trip to the Etihad aside, against the big teams has been positive under Klopp too. If they can remain organised at the back, they’ll certainly fancy their chances in front of their passionate fans.
However, an in-form Red Devils will have something to say about that.
Lukaku Out To Punish Reds Defence
Mourinho wasn’t happy with Belgium for risking Romelu Lukaku as a sub against Cyprus, but the in-form striker appears to be fine and will be out to take advantage of Liverpool’s vulnerabilities. If he does find the target, he’ll boast the best ever start of any Manchester United Premier League goalscorer.
Lukaku isn’t United’s only attacking threat, though, as the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have chipped in with important goals for a team that has scored four times in six of 10 competitive games this season. Even without Paul Pogba, they should be in optimistic spirits.
The visitors were ultra defensive in last year’s corresponding trip to Anfield and may not go all guns blazing here. However, there is no doubt that they can cause a far bigger threat in the attacking third. Many believe this is their first real test of the campaign too, so a win would fire a warning to their title rivals.
Whatever happens, there should be high energy from start to finish. It should be a fascinating battle.
Liverpool v Manchester United Betting
Bookmaker Ladbrokes has struggled to establish a favourite for this one. In fact, both sides are available at 7/4 to get the three points. The draw, meanwhile, is available at 23/10.
The critics have suggested that Lukaku goes missing in the big games, but this will be the perfect opportunity to prove them wrong. Given the issues that Liverpool suffer at the back, the Belgian should be confident about punishing Joel Matip and co.
With the chance to write his name in Manchester United history on offer too, we’re backing him to make the net ripple.
Liverpool are more than capable of scoring, especially on home soil. Without Mane, though, their threat will be far less, which is why we think the visitors can limit them to one.
If that happens, Mourinho will fancy his side’s hopes of securing three points with two or more goals. And so would we.