Premier League preview: Man Utd vs Liverpool
For Erik ten Hag, the season has started in crisis mode. But while Manchester United’s problems are lurid, headline-grabbing tales of incompetence and decay, Liverpool have their own issues to deal with.
The Merseyside team are still looking for their first Premier League win of the season, drawing against both Fulham and Crystal Palace – and having to fight their way back into both matches in order to salvage a point.
A trip to Old Trafford could be a tonic for Klopp
On the face of it, a trip to Old Trafford could be a wonderful tonic for Klopp. After all, his side demolished United 5-0 in this fixture last season. But Liverpool have significant injury problems, with Diego Jota and Thiago amongst the high profile names still making their way back to fitness.
The side will also be without Darwin Nunez, after the new striker was shown a red card in his first appearance at Anfield a week ago. It’s been a pretty wobbly start for Liverpool – can they claim that first W on Monday night?
The visitors remain understandable favourites to take three points. Ten Hag wants his players to attempt a brand of football that not all his players are comfortable with or competent at.
Ronaldo’s reluctance to press hinders Ten Hag’s tactics at one end of the pitch; David de Gea’s shakiness as he attempts to play out from the back can be exploited by opposing teams.
Does that mean the manager abandons his ideals in order to accommodate his team and avoid mistakes? United were beaten 4-0 by Brentford last time out. Something needs to change. Another shellacking for the Manchester team would be devastating. But it’s tough to look past a Liverpool win.
Mo Salah scored five goals in two meetings with United last season
United have produced just one goal across their last four league matches. And even that was an own goal from Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister.
The Manchester side didn’t score in either of their meetings with Liverpool last season, either. So, inevitably – Liverpool to win to nil at 12/5 looks a pretty decent approach.
If you think the trend of last season can continue, you can back Liverpool to win and over 3.5 goals at 49/20. The 4-0 scoreline to the visitors is a 22/1 shot, and seems viable, too.
And it’s not inconceivable that Mo Salah could fill his boots once more. The Egyptian scored five goals in his two meetings with United last season, and is 21/20 to score at any time here – or 6/1 to score twice.
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