Liverpool (+160) vs Manchester United (+198), Draw (+250)
Get ready for the first North-West Derby of the season. Seventh-place Liverpool (3-3-1, 12 points) look to break the Manchester duopoly at the top of the EPL table on Saturday 9October 14th) when they host Man United (6-1-0, 19 points) at Anfield.
Mourinho’s Man U are currently undefeated in 2017-18 and are tied on points with local rivals Man City for first in the Premier League, five points clear of the pack. They’ve potted a whopping 21 goals in seven league games and have conceded just two. Having said that, Liverpool will be their first top-tier opponent of the season. The revamped Manchester United squad has yet to be truly tested.
With Jurgen Klopp at the helm, Liverpool have been one of the most entertaining sides to watch. But their wins rarely come easily. Even when they establish what should be a comfortable lead, three points is never guaranteed.
Take their recent match against Leicester City for example. Liverpool scored two early goals and were set for a simple, well-deserved win. But the Reds were unable to pull back and defend their lead. Instead, they allowed Leicester to score twice and were forced to fight their way to a nail-biting 3-2 victory.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané are two of the quickest players in the world right now, and Brazilian duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino are two of the most exciting players to watch. However, they have serious issues on defense. They’ve conceded 12 goals over just seven EPL fixtures, significantly more than any other top-tier English side. When their backline comes apart, it’s like floodgates opening. Their 5-0 loss to Manchester City is a great example (yes, they were reduced to 10 men but losing a striker shouldn’t cause a five-goal blowout).
Under more ordinary circumstances, Manchester United would be the clear favorite in this match-up. But with Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini ruled out due to injury, Liverpool’s chances have spiked. To make matters worse for United, star striker Romelu Lukaku missed an international game last weekend due to ankle problems and it’s unclear whether he’ll be at 100% for the Liverpool clash.
I’m still partial to Man United, though. Nemanja Matić and Ander Herrera in midfield should be able to account for Pogba’s absence, and even if Lukaku misses the match, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are still ready to start. Take advantage of Man U’s new underdog status at one of our approved sportsbooks.
Pick: Manchester United (+198)