The win is the thing. Sometimes when Liverpool have won a game of football this season, the performance has been a thing of beauty. And other times….well, not so much. But when all is said and done the history books only remember the champions, and it doesn’t really matter how you take care of business as long as its done.
The 1-0 win over Tottenham, at times, wasn’t pretty.
We took an early-ish lead courtesy of Bobby Firmino, who is looking far more deadly in front of goal these days, and from then on we couldn’t find a breakthrough.
But the tactical nous of Jurgen Klopp meant we were able to shut Spurs down as an attacking force too, and but for a late throwing of the kitchen sink by Jose Mourinho we remained comfortable throughout.
You can point at missed chances from Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso, but ultimately these are the small margins that exist in the thick end of the Premier League and separate success from failure – Liverpool, with 20 wins from 21 games, are very much on course for the former.
Of course, even when you are romping towards the title – and there will be no let up from Klopp and co on that front, there are still plenty of battles to be won that go beyond just three points.
Any clash between Liverpool and Manchester United, no matter what the context, is fiercely contested, and with United somewhat in the doldrums at the moment there will be plenty on the line in Sunday’s encounter at Anfield.
Liverpool Team News
There was plenty of good news off the pitch this week when Fabinho and Joel Matip were photographed back in training for the first time in a while.
Dejan Lovren is also back, albeit on lighter duties, and so it won’t be long before our defensive personnel is bolstered by the return of the absent trio.
Whether any of them will be fit for the United game remains to be seen, although whispers suggest that Matip isn’t too far away from pulling on the red shirt again.
Otherwise, Naby Keita and James Milner are still on the sidelines and will not be in contention here.
We’re not expecting any major changes other than that, and with a full week since the Tottenham game we’re expecting the same starting eleven from that London outing to take to the Anfield turf on Saturday.
Manchester United Form
With just three wins from eleven away games this term, it’s obvious that Manchester United have their work cut out here.
They have also failed to scored in all five of their defeats on the road, which goes to show how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men lose their edge when playing away from Old Trafford.
The Red Devils are decent enough in front of their own supporters, and that has helped to pep up their recent formline. But 0-2 defeats at Arsenal and Watford in recent memory confirm that they really do struggle away from home.
And there’s no harm in mentioning the head-to-head record between the sides at this point either. Liverpool have lost just one of their last nine against United, with our bitter rivals last winning at Anfield way back in January 2016.
Liverpool vs Manchester United Betting Tips
The bookmakers employ some of the sharpest analytical minds around to price up their betting markets, and in making Liverpool a 4/11 favourite here you realise just how well fancied the Reds are to get the bragging rights.
Not that that helps us to find any value in the market, unfortunately, with those odds probably about right given everything we know about the two teams.
United will be without Pogba, McTominay and Shaw, who are all injured, while Marcus Rashford also hurt his back in the week and may also miss out here.
To offer some kind of context, United have scored 36 Premier League goals in 22 games this term – we’ve notched 50, Manchester City 62 and Leicester have 47.
In short, they simply don’t score that many goals, especially away from home, and that lack of potency is harmed yet further should Rashford not pass a fitness test.
It’s hard to find worthy bets here, but Both Teams to Score: No has its merits at 10/11, and you can squeeze that out to 6/4 if you back Liverpool to Win to Nil.