Old Arch Rivals Face-Off on Monday evening at Anfield
Last updated: October 12, 2016 by Leon Marshal
|Coverage:||Sky Sports 1|
|Last season:||Man Utd 3 – 1 Liverpool|
|Competition:||The Premier League|
With the Premier League back in action this weekend after a brief pause due to World Cup qualifiers, one of the oldest, most intense derby gameS will be played out on Monday evening as Liverpool host Manchester United. There is no doubt that Liverpool have had the better run of form of late. They’ve won their last four fixtures pretty convincingly, and under Jürgen Klopp they’ve been playing a fluid, flexible brand of attacking football that allows them to pose serious threats from either flank or straight down the middle. There’s no doubt that the freedom he’s allowed his forwards has worked so far; Liverpool are currently joined top of the goal leader board with Man City with 18 goals. They’ve had more shots than any other side (135), scored the most goals from open play (11), and also completed the most passes.
United on the other have failed to produce the kind of consistency they would have been hoping for under their new manager José Mourinho. After making a bright start to the season they’ve dropped a few crucial points due to some sub-par performances – most notably against Watford and Hull. It must however be said that since Rooney has taken a back seat on the bench they’ve been playing with a lot more tempo and conviction. Mata has looked comfortable in the central role and they’ve have got some sting back into their attack. We suspect Mourinho will stick with this working system and try to get Pogba into the game as much as possible as the Frenchmen continues to show glimpses of his brilliance.
Mourinho will definitely have his hands full this week as he tries to come up with the right tactics to disrupt Liverpool’s free-flowing attack. It is true that Utd will have to focus on their own forward play and try get the likes of Ibrahamovic and Pogba into the game as soon as possible, however Liverpool’s stats speak for themselves. If Man Utd are to get a result away from home next week they’ll have to break up Liverpool’s rhythym and play a high pressing game to counter attack Liverpool’s outstanding work rate.
Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that Adam Lallana recovers from his groin injury in time for the big derby. Lallana wasn’t able to take part in Wednesday’s training session, however reports say that he has a fair chance of playing.
Liverpool have two key names back fit and in training ahead of the eagerly awaited clash against their old rivals. Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren both missed out on international duty last week with their repsective teams due to injury. However both men were seen back in action at Melwood this week are expected to feature in Monday night’s clash.
With a few key names returning from injury, Mourinho is in the very fortunate position of having an almost fully fit squad to pick from. With Luke Shaw, Henrikh Mkhitarayn and Anthony Martial all in contention for a starting spot, Daley Blind, Jesse Lingard and Rashford will all be battling hard to keep their places in the first choice XI.
Wayne Rooney’s recent absence from the Utd starting XI has seen them play a noticeably higher tempo game in their last two outings against Leicester and Stoke. We expect Mourinho to take the same decision as Gareth Southgate in England’s match-up against Slovenia and keep Rooney on the bench. Mata has looked comfortable in the central position of late so we think he’ll be given the nod.
|Liverpool 4-4-2||Karius, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Lallana, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Mané, Firmino, Coutinho|
|Subs:||Sturridge, Klavan, Moreno, Lucas, Mignolet, Can, Origi|
|Manchester United 4-2-3-1||De Gea, Shaw, Smalling, Bailly, Valencia, Pogba, Herrera, Martial, Mata, Rashford, Ibrahimovic|
|Subs:||Romero, Mkhitarayn, Rooney, Lingard, Carrick, Blind, Fellaini|
So far this season
|Liverpool this season||Manchester United this season|
|4 (2)||(at home) Wins (away)||4 (2)|
|5-1 vs. Hull||Biggest win||4-1 vs. Leicester|
|1 (0)||(at home) Draws (away)||1 (1)|
|2-0 vs. Burnley||Biggest Defeat||3-1 vs. Watford||James Milner (4)||Top scorer||Zlatan Ibrahimovic (4)|
|Adam Lallana (3)||Assist Leader||Daley Blind (2)|
|Y14, R0||Discipline||Y15, R0|
|1||Failures to score||0|
|5||Both Teams to Score Games||5|
|5||Over 2.5 Games||4|
|2||Under 2.5 Games||3|
- Liverpool are doing a bit better than their old rivals so far in this year’s campaign. They’ve been on a very good recent run of form, winning all four of their last four fixtures including an emphatic 4-1 victory against the champions Leicester.
- After hitting the ground running in the first few weeks of the new season, Mourinho’s men haven’t been firing of late. They’ve only managed one victory in their last four fixtures. They also suffered a disappointing 4-1 defeat to a struggling Watford side away from home.
- The Reds have been in fine goal scoring form this season. They’ve hit the back of the net in all but one of their fixtures and are currently sitting at joint top of the goal scoring leaderboard with Man City with 18 goals.
- United’s main target man Ibrahimovic hasn’t been able to hit the back of the net in his last few outings for the club. His last goal came in their narrow 2-1 defeat at home to an in-form Man City side.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|17/03/2016||UEFA Europa League||Man Utd 1 – 1 Liverpool||Martial, Anthony 32′|
|10/03/2016||UEFA Europa League||Liverpool 2 – 0 Man Utd||Sturridge, Daniel 20′|
|17/01/2016||Premier League||Liverpool 0 – 1 Manchester United||Rooney, Wayne 78′|
|12/09/2015||Premier League||Man Utd 3 – 1 Liverpool||D. Blind 49′|
|22/03/2015||Premier League||Liverpool 1- 2 Man Utd||J. Mata 14′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
This one is set to be a tight and cagey affair as these two old rivals go head to head. Both teams need a win; Utd need to get some consistency going and Liverpool will be eager to add to their impressive run of form- this one really is too close to call. To play it safe you could go for a both teams to score bet, or a maybe a over 2.5 goals margin to ensure some value. Good prices are currently showing at Betvictor.