Will Manchester United’s difficulties only worsen when they host Premier League soccer leaders Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday (11:30am ET)?
Eight matches into the season, United find themselves in 12th in the Premier League table, already 15 points off Liverpool at the top and five away from the top four. A tally of nine points represents their worst start to a season in 30 years.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side fell to a 0-1 defeat away to Newcastle prior to the international break. It was a tight and even match of few chances, decided by a crisp strike from outside the area. Not for the first time, Man Utd struggled to generate much in attack. Only once, on the opening day at home to Chelsea, have they scored more than once so far this season.
Solskjaer earned himself the job on a full-time basis with 14 wins in his 19 matches in all competitions as a caretaker following the departure of Jose Mourinho last December. Since signing that permanent contract, results have plummeted. Man Utd have taken just 17 points from their last 16 league matches. Those are relegation numbers.
Interestingly, United’s underlying numbers have been pretty consistent throughout Solskjaer’s time on the bench, suggesting they are neither as good as they looked early on nor as bad as they now appear. Despite problems in terms of squad construction and quality in certain positions, at an underlying level, they look capable of entering the top-four race.
Results do, though, need to improve, and quickly. After Sunday’s match, Man Utd have a run of five eminently winnable matches, including encounters against all three of the newly promoted sides. As long as they can avoid an embarrassingly one-sided defeat against Liverpool that run provides an opportunity to restore confidence and morale.
Liverpool travel to the home of their rivals for the crown of England’s most historically successful team having made a perfect start to the season. Eight wins from as many games have seen them open up an early eight-point lead over reigning champions Manchester City and raise expectations for a first league title since 1990.
Jurgen Klopp’s side came incredibly close last season, pushing City all the way with a total of 97 points that would have been good enough to claim the title in all but one of the other seasons during the Premier League era. It was difficult to be too disappointed by a campaign that also yielded success in the Champions League, but there is still a clear desire around the club finally to end the quest for a 19th league title this time around.
Liverpool required an injury time penalty from James Milner to edge past Leicester in their last match prior to the international break, although that didn’t really tell the full story of a performance that was arguably their best of the campaign. Liverpool completely nullified a side who have impressed during the early part of the season whilst creating a good number of chances at the other end. Their 2-1 win was well deserved.
All Klopp’s side can do is keep chugging away, picking up results and seeking to maintain the early gap they have built up from Man City, probably the only team capable of catching them now. At one stage last season, they held a 10-point over City, only to eventually finish a point behind, so they will be taking nothing for granted. Not least because they face United and Tottenham Hotspur before directly locking horns with City for the first time next month.
Our Preview’s Man United vs Liverpool Predictions & Picks Verdict
Recent matches between Liverpool and Man Utd have more often than not been cagey encounters. Last season’s equivalent fixture saw a 0-0 draw and four of the last six league meetings have ended tied. The way Manchester United have played during this Premier League campaign suggests they will likely try and ensure that Sunday’s match follows suit, but Liverpool have the necessary quality to wrestle the match in a different direction.
Liverpool’s last triumph at Old Trafford came in 2014, but they can be fancied to secure another on Sunday. Man Utd are a significantly worse side right now and also have a host of injury problems to deal with coming into the fixture. A Liverpool win in a match that will probably be a bit more open than United would like seems the most probable outcome. So, having studied what is available with the main American-friendly online betting websites, this is what we suggest for our Man United vs Liverpool betting predictions:
- The pick is to bet on Liverpool to win in a match featuring over 2.5 goals @ best odds of +155 (just over 6/4) with Bovada Sportsbook. You will find this as an option within their betting for this EPL soccer game and the market is called “Match Result and O/U 2.5 Goals”. The same wager is +140 with BetOnline.