SWEPT AWAY AT SWANSEA
The Red Devils will be aiming to bounce straight back from their surprise 2-1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium against Swansea last time out (a result that certainly pleased the best sports betting sites). Despite taking the lead through Spanish play-maker Juan Mata, two goals in five second-half minutes from new signing André Ayew and French striker Bafetimbi Gomis sent United crashing to their first defeat of the new season. It wasn’t the best way for coach Louis van Gaal to celebrate his 50th game in charge of the English giants. He has an immediate chance to regain the trust of the fans however on Saturday, as bitter rivals Liverpool head into town.
LIVERPOOL SUFFER SHOCK HOME DEFEAT
Liverpool coach Brendan Rogers was simply lost for words after his sides humiliating 3-0 home defeat by West Ham United (their first win at Anfield for 52 years) before the international break. The team’s defensive frailties were highlighted once again as the visitors took a two goal lead within the opening 30 minutes. To make matters worse, star midfielder PhillipeCoutinho was sent-off during the second-half which rules him out of Saturday’s Old Trafford showdown before Diafra Sakho’s injury-time goal, rounded off a truly forgettable day for the red half of Merseyside.
The big question on everyone’s lips ahead of Saturday is whether van Gaal will reinstate Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea to the starting XI after his proposed move to Real Madrid fell through. The 24-year-old international played for his country during the week and afterwards hinted that he was ready to make peace with his club coach and return to the number one position. The Red Devils will have another expensive new face to introduce to the fans on Saturday after signing young striker Anthony Martial from Monaco for €50 million just before the close of the summer transfer window – He may have to wait for his home debut however, as he looks likely to start on the substitute’s bench. Midfielder Michael Carrick is ruled out after picking up an injury whilst on England duty.
Liverpool has doubts over their England duo Adam Lallana (thigh) and Jordan Henderson (ankle), the latter missing his countries last two internationals. Joe Allen is also doubtful as he has a hamstring problem. John Flanagan (knee) and Daniel Sturridge (hip) are still returning to full fitness and will sit this one out once again. Danny Ings may deputise for the suspended Coutinho. Belgian striker Christian Benteke will be hoping for a better performance on Saturday after being substituted at half-time last Sunday in his country’s 1-0 win in Cyprus.Right-back Nathaniel Clyne, was part of the Southampton side that won at Old Trafford last season and he is confident his current side can return to winning ways at the “Theatre of Dreams” on Saturday by “working hard, playing on the front foot and taking the game to them.”
PROBABLE STARTING XI’s
Manchester United (4-3-3) De Gea; Shaw, Smalling, Blind, Darmian; Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Herrera; Memphis, Mata, Rooney
Liverpool (4-3-3) Mignolet; Gomez,Lovren, Škrtel, Clyne; Can, Lucas Leiva, Milner; Ings, Benteke, Firmino
HEAD TO HEAD
Manchester United have won eight of their last nine home fixtures against Liverpool in all competitions and in last season’s corresponding league fixture, ran out comfortable 3-0 winners with goals from Robin van Persie, Mata and Rooney. The Merseysiders last league victory at Old Trafford was in March 2014 when a brace by Steven Gerrard and one from Luis Suarez gave the visitors a surprise 3-0 win. Saturday’s clash will be the 220th meeting between these two old foes in all competitions. Manchester United has 85 wins, Liverpool 74 and there has been 61 draws.
*Manchester United 1.85 Draw 3.50 Liverpool 4.50
Saturday’s man in the middle Michael Oliver has already given out three red and 20 yellow cards in the four matches he has officiated in so far this season. The best football bet of the weekend could be the *3.50 being offered on the betting exchanges for him to show another red card during this game.
*All prices quoted courtesy of Bet365
By Steve Mitchell (@barafundler)