Liverpool Hopes For European Boost at Old Trafford
Last updated: April 28, 2021 by Leon Marshal
|Last Meeting:||Man United 3 – 2 Liverpool|
The two most successful sides and the biggest rivals in England’s top-flight go head-to-head at Old Trafford on Sunday. United have a dilemma, do they rest players in this game and concentrate on the Europa League semi-finals? While Liverpool need this win more in pursuit of a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.
Six of the last nine Premier League encounters between Manchester United and Liverpool have ended in a stalemate, including the last two games at Old Trafford. A defeat against Liverpool and a win for their neighbour, Manchester City, against Crystal Palace would gift Pep Guardiola’s side a third Premier League title in four years. A worrying concern in selecting the team to face their biggest rivals is that this game comes between the two-legged UEFA Europa League encounter with AS Roma. Ole Gunnar Solskjear will have a tough discussion with his coaching staff whether to feature a strong side against the Reds or save the best players for the double midweek knockout game, which is their only real chance for glory this season.
Off-field politics have taken centre stage with fans protests against the club owners, the Glazers, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward set to leave the club at the end of the season. The American’s involvement in the Super League proposals has angered supporters who believe the family have no interest in football, just a desire to make more money. The Glazers bought the then debt-free club in 2015 for £660m and have used the club’s income to maintain the loans, with estimates claiming it has cost the club £1.5bn in interest, debt and other outgoings. The family have also taken around £200m out of the club, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a fan-led protest at Old Trafford before the match.
Manchester United title hopes have faded to practically nothing with any chance of catching the league leaders practically over. In their last game, they faced another fierce rival, Leeds United, but were forced to settle for a point in an uninspiring 0-0 draw. A surprise result when you consider that Manchester United won 6-2 the last time the teams met. One of the only highlights in the game was a clash between Harry Maguire and Fred on the field, which the manager had to explain in his post-match interview.
They have seven goalless stalemates this season, especially on the big stage against high profile opposition. Ole Gunnar Solskjear side has shared the spoils this season against; Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Leicester City, and Liverpool.
For Liverpool, It has been a season to forget for the Anfield faithful with a meek title defence and trophyless campaign. Liverpool seemed to have found their form for the season after winning three games on the bounce, but two consecutive draws have dimmed their Champions League hopes. They sit sixth, four points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea with five games left to play, which sets up an exciting European qualification finale.
The Reds conquered Europe, England, and the World under Jürgen Klopp over the last two seasons, but they have looked a shadow of their former selves so often this season. In the space of seven days, they drew against Leeds United and Newcastle United, and in both games, the result should have been beyond doubt after they took the lead but conceded late equalisers. These draws could prove costly; Leicester City in third have won their last two, and Chelsea in fourth have won and drawn in their last two.
More worryingly, the teams below them are breathing down their necks. Everton in eighth are just two points behind, and Tottenham in seventh are just a point shy of the champions. Although Liverpool does have an easy looking run-in, after United, they face Southampton, West Bromwich Albion, Burnley & Crystal Palace.
Mohammed Salah became the first Reds player to score twenty Premier League goals in three consecutive seasons. The Egyptian maestro was one of the guilty parties who squandered multiple chances to kill the game against Newcastle. His goal was their first goal in the opening forty-five minutes that Liverpool has scored this year. Salah has three goals in the last three games and scored a brace in the last game featuring these two sides. This game offers a chance to avenge the 3 – 2 defeat at this stadium that knocked them out of the FA Cup. Liverpool has kept just three home clean sheets and a cumulative of nine this season.
James Milner made his 159th appearance as a substitute overtaking Peter Crouch in the table for most times as a sub in Premier League history.
One failed project for Liverpool has been playing Fabinho as a centre back; in nine games, they have won just once against Aston Villa’s kids in the FA Cup. They have lost five and drawn three compared to the six while he was in midfield (five wins, one draw, one defeat).
Six of the last nine Premier League encounters between Manchester United and Liverpool have ended in a stalemate, including the last two at Old Trafford.
This game comes between the two-legged UEFA Europa League encounter with AS Roma in United’s only shot for silverware this season.
Mohammed Salah has scored three goals in the last three games against Manchester United, including a brace in the last game.
Liverpool has failed to hold to a lead in the last two games drawing against Leeds United and Newcastle United.
|Liverpool (4-3-3):||Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Fabinho, Robertson, Thiago, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Firmino, Mane|
|Subs:||Adrian, Henderson, Williams, Jones, Elliott, Keita, Minnamino, Milner, Origi, Philips, Tsimikas, Jota|
|Injured:||Van Djik, Gomez, Matip, Keita, Henderson, Kelleher|
|Manchester United (4-3-3):||De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandez, Rashford, Greenwood, Cavani|
|Subs:||Henderson, Tuanzebe, Telles, Bailly, Matic, Beek, Mata, Williams, James, Fred|
So Far This Season
|Manchester This Season||Liverpool This Season|
|19 (10)||Wins (away)||15 (7)|
|9 – 0 v Southampton||Biggest Win||7 – 0 v Palace|
|10 (6)||Draws (away)||9 (6)|
|1 – 6 v Spurs||Biggest Defeat||2 – 7 v Aston Villa|
|Bruno (16)||Top Goal Scorer||Salah (20)|
|Y57, R1||Discipline||Y38, R0|
|7||Failures to Score||5|
|58%||Both Teams to Score Games||55%|
|58%||Over 2.5 Goals||48%|
|42%||Under 2.5 Goals||52%|
- Man United have played Leeds 25 times, the Red Devils have dominated with fourteen wins against the Whites, just four wins with seven draws between them.
- Selection in the matchday would play a huge role in this game as United may save their star players for the UEFA Europa League tie while Liverpool could feature their best players for a top-four finish.
- Manchester United have been involved in the highest number of goalless stalemates this season and will be happy with a point.
- Mo Salah is the top scorer with twenty goals this season against Fernandes, who has sixteen goals to his name.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|24/01/2021||FA Cup||Man U 3 – 2 Liverpool||Salah 18’|
|17/01/2021||EPL||Liverpool 0 – 0 Man U||—|
|19/01/2020||EPL||Liverpool 2 – 0 Man U||Van Djik 14′|
|20/10/2019||EPL||Man U 1 – 1 Liverpool||Rashford 36’|
|24/02/2019||EPL||Man U 0 – 0 Liverpool||—|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Although it is tempting to think there will be plenty of goals in this game, recent history suggests otherwise, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see either a goalless draw or a solitary goal winning this one. As Liverpool need the win much more than their bitter rivals, we predict a 1-0 win for the visitors. This bet is available @10/1 with bet365.
If the game does finish 0-0, bet365 will refund correct score bets as part of their Bore Draw Money Back promotion.