Liverpool v Man Utd: Match Preview as Anfield prepares for big clash

Premier League
Monday 17 October 2016 - 8:00 pm
Anfield
Liverpool0
0Man Utd
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45'Young
90'Ibrahimovic
91'Fellaini
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6535
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97
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31
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31
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Liverpool return to Anfield after the international break hosting Manchester United in a mouthwatering clash.

Both sets of fans have had to endure not just a two week break for international football, but also to sit through the other 9 games in this Premier League weekend.

This game will be Klopp's first game since passing the milestone of a year in charge at Anfield.  It will also be his 38th Premier League game in charge of Liverpool - a 'full' Premier League season.

He has already beaten the points total set by both Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers in their first 38 games in charge.

Liverpool boss watches on at Burton Albion

Klopp will complete his 38th Premier League game in charge - a full season

The reds go into this game with some injury concerns to first team players.  Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren are likely to be back, but Adam Lallana and Gini Wijnaldum remain doubts for the reds.

The gap in the two sides is just three points, but while Liverpool appear to be over-performing - Man United were expected to start with more style given the huge investment in the summer.

Liverpool are probably under the less pressure for this game.  Worst case scenario would mean the reds are still just 3 points away from the top.  A strong enough win could even see LFC move to the top of the league.

The anticipated mind games ahead of this clash have been relatively meek.  Mourinho has praised the atmosphere at Anfield whilst Klopp too has called on the fans to give the LFC players an extra advantage.

United so far

In the worst-kept secret in football Jose Mourinho replaced Louis Van Gaal in the summer.  The 'Always Chelsea' man was sacked by the Stamford Bridge club early last season and Van Gaal was effectively dismissed minutes after winning the FA Cup for United last season.

Mourinho was handed the cheque-book and made Paul Pogba the world's most expensive signing.  Zlatan Ibrahamovic was brought in on a free but commands huge wages at the Old Trafford club.

United face a League Cup 4th round clash against Man City and have 1 narrow win and 1 defeat in their distinctly average looking Europa League group.

In the league they have beaten Bournemouth, Southampton, Hull and Leicester.  Ibrahimovic with 5 goals including a hat-trick to his name.

But they were beaten by Man City and Watford in a mid-September wobble.

Last time out they drew 1-1 at home to Stoke City.

The Rooney dilemma at United appears similar to the problem with England - Marcus Rashford has contributed three goals for the club in the league increasing the pressure on their scouse captain.

Liverpool

 

September was a good month for Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp was awarded the Premier League manager of the month and the reds have won their last 4 league games.  They have conceded 1 goal in each of the last 5 outings, but have scored 14 in the process.

They start the game in 4th place and a win in this game will mean they have an even better start to the season than the Luis Suarez inspired season of 2013-14.

However the reds do not have a sparkling league record against United in recent years.

Liverpool have won just 2 of the last 10 league meetings, with Man Utd enjoying 7 wins.

Under Klopp last season, Liverpool and Man United played each other for the very first time in European competition.  Liverpool won the two-legged tie mainly thanks to an impressive first leg at Anfield.  The reds won 2-0 at home before drawing 1-1 away at Old Trafford.

Klopp also has a 1 win advantage over Mourinho in the Premier League.  It was Klopp's Liverpool that beat Mourinho's Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last season.

Klopp on the game

Jurgen Klopp was asked how the reds would approach the game.

"Apart from the table, it's a very important game. I know about the history, I like the special stories. The whole world will watch this game, it's a big honour to be part of it.

"At the end, it's up to us to perform to our best. You cannot and should not ignore the special circumstance of a game like this. You have to be ready.

"They have big quality and we have to respect this, as we do. But this is Anfield. We have to show this. We have had a few nice atmospheres but I'm open for the best atmosphere. We need everybody in a Liverpool shirt in this game."

Prediction

 

Liverpool start as favourites for this game but it remains a clash between two of the biggest clubs in Europe and as the pundits like to remind us - anything can happen.

The referee, who lives just 6 miles away from Old Trafford, is an exceptionally strange choice for the game and he could have a major impact on the outcome.

Liverpool without Wijnaldum and Lallana will be a weaker side - Emre Can hasn't played much for Liverpool this season whilst Daniel Sturridge has not looked as effective in the front four partnership as Lallana has.

Nonetheless there is no reason that the reds should be fearful of this game and they should have confidence in their ability to deliver in Anfield's first night game since the increase in  capacity.

Anfield Online Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Man Utd

Match Odds

Home advantage and form over the past month mean Liverpool are favourites at 6/5  United are price at 13/5.

Our 3-1 prediction is priced at 16/1 - returning £170 from a £10 stake if it comes in.

Coutinho and Firmino have been impressive in recent weeks and their partnership is blossoming at international level.

Maybe the trend will continue.  Coutinho first scorer and 3-1 would return £710 from a £10 bet (70/1).

Maybe the reds will get one from a set-piece, Lovren first scorer and 2-0 would return £1,810 from a £10 bet (180/1).

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5 comments on
Liverpool v Man Utd: Match Preview as Anfield prepares for big clash

  1. Emre Can will be a weak link in Liverpool.He is likely to be slow on the ball.Hendo and Cautinho have to cover his lapses.Milner and Clyne will be very busy with Valencia and Rashford.I believe Sturridge,Mane and Firmino will be a handful for Smalling and co

  2. United have some great players but do not seem to have gelled as a team yet. A win for Liverpool tonight would not just be another huge step forward for us but would put Mourinho under further pressure – especially with them having to play Chelsea shortly.

    I didn’t rate Lallana for much of his time here but he looks a different player under our new manager and if he’s out tonight then he will be a big loss for us. Who’d have thought that would happen!

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