Liverpool v Manchester United
EPL Match Preview
It’s one of the biggest games on the Premier League calendar as Manchester United visit Anfield on Sunday to face Liverpool.
KLOPP’S MEN GIVE ARSENAL THE FRIGHT OF THEIR LIVES
On Wednesday evening, Liverpool played host to Arsenal in what was without doubt, the Premier League game of the season so far. The home side played with such ferocity in the opening exchanges that they threatened to blow their opponents away, thanks primarily to the inspired form of Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino. That they twice had the lead in the opening 45 minutes and twice were pinned back by the Gunners, says more for the quality Arsenal have at their disposal rather than the shortcomings of Klopp’s men. At the end of an incredible night which eventually finished 3-3 (thanks to a last gasp equaliser from Reds midfielder Joe Allen), the German tactician was left to reflect on what might have been but was visibly proud of his players as they prepare for another huge test on Sunday.
VAN GAAL FURIOUS AFTER LETTING LEAD SLIP AT NEWCASTLE
Boring United? Not on this evidence, as the Red Devils shared three of six goals at St James’ Park against Newcastle United on Tuesday evening in another 3-3 thriller. Two ahead in the opening half hour, van Gaal watched in horror as they let their hosts back into the match just after half-time. Despite Wayne Rooney’s thunderbolt with ten minutes to go, they conceded an unfortunate equaliser in the dying seconds to leave their coach furious, declaring that they “Should have scored six”. There’s no time to dwell on that result however, as the big Dutchman takes his side into the Lion’s den at Anfield for another EPL blockbuster.
KLOPP V VAN GAAL
This may be the first meeting in the Premier League between the two men, but they have history from their time spent coaching in the Bundesliga. In September 2009, van Gaal took his Bayern Munich team to Dortmund and destroyed Klopp’s men 1-5, to record a famous victory for the Bavarian giants. In February 2011, it was the German’s turn to smile as his Dortmund side headed to Munich to win a memorable encounter 1-3; on of the greatest results of his coaching career. Their head to head record reads:
Klopp x 2 wins
Van Gaal x 2 wins
Who will win the fifth meeting between the two?
Liverpool still has an extensive injury list to deal with. Phillipe Coutinho has not recovered fully from his hamstring injury and he joins Martin Skrtel, Danny Ings and Joseph Gomez in the stands on Sunday. Roberto Firmino looks set to lead the line again after his wonderful display in mid-week. The best online sports betting sites currently quote him at *8.00 to open the scoring on Sunday. The Brazilians purple patch of form is bad news for Belgian frontman Christian Benteke, who looks like starting from the substitute’s bench once again.
For the visitors, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Phil Jones both remain doubtful for the short trip down the East Lancs Road. England international Michael Carrick could return to the centre of midfield to partner Morgan Schneiderlin, with MarouaneFellaini dropping to the bench. Juan Mata, who was only a substitute on Tuesday, could return to the starting XI to replace Jesse Lingard.
PROBABLE STARTING XI’S
Liverpool (4-3-3) Mignolet; Moreno, Sakho, Touré, Clyne; Henderson, Can, Allen; Lallana, Firmino, Milner
Manchester United (4-2-3-1) De Gea; Young, Smalling, Blind, Darmian; Schneiderlin, Carrick; Martial, Herrera, Mata; Rooney
HEAD TO HEAD
Manchester United have won six of their last eight Barclays Premier League meetings with Liverpool and two of the last four at Anfield.The Red Devils did the double over their bitter rivals last season and also won the first meeting of this campaign 3-1, thanks to goals from Blind, Herrera and Martial. The last five meetings between these two have resulted in at least three goals being scored. The best football betting sites offer odds of *2.25 for there to be more than 2.5 goals in Sunday’s encounter.
Liverpool 2.30 Draw 3.25 Manchester United 3.50
*odds courtesy of Bet365
Steve Mitchell (@barafundler)