Manchester United vs Liverpool
In my opinion, there is no bigger game in world football.
Coaches, players, fans, and writers all over the world may argue otherwise. And certainly there are strong arguments that the ‘old firm’ clash – El Clasico, Milan-Juventus, and the North London derby are equal.
But there is nothing bigger than a meeting between arch rivals Manchester United and Liverpool.
This weekend they face off in the Premier League and, even though no title is at stake and no fans will be present, it still matters. It always matters.
United have played twice since the Merseysiders were last in action with both sides drawing at Leeds in their most recent away games.
That could work for or against the hosts on Sunday.
Yes they shouldn’t be as fresh as their opponents. But on the other hand, they should be in buoyant spirit after routing Roma in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, who is vying for the runners-up spot in the top-flight, are set to recall goalkeeper Dean Henderson after David De Gea started in midweek.
They remain without the injured pair Anthony Martial and Phil Jones.
Liverpool, who are in desperate need of points for a top four finish and a Champions League spot, have no new fitness concerns. However, young centre-back Nathaniel Phillips could again miss out because of a hamstring injury.
Long-term absentees Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, and Virgil van Dijk are still sidelined.
The soon to be deposed champions could do something by securing a return to Europe’s top table given their financial figures announced earlier this week, not that those losses are as significant as those posted by many others clubs – including United who record an estimated £5-M a game without fans in attendance.
The Red Devils are vying to win five consecutive top-flight home fixtures for the first time since March 2018, On the other hand, Liverpool are bidding to continue their recent good away record.
They have won five of their past seven away league encounters, which is more victories than in their previous 15 matches on the road.
A United success will all but end Liverpool’s hopes of Champions League qualification and move them one step closer to cementing second spot. A Liverpool triumph, meanwhile, could reinvigorate their own top four challenge.
Plenty to play for then but even if there wasn’t, this is a rivalry which has never diminished even when one club was dominating and the other faring poorly.
United even used to pull in the biggest crowds in the country during their sole season in the former Division Two in 1974/75.
Obviously, no spectators will be inside the Theatre of Dreams this Sunday.
Perhaps that will come as a relief to the owners of both clubs who have come under heavy fire over the past fortnight for supporting plans unveiled for a proposed European Super League – support that was almost as quickly withdrawn.
The lack of trust and support from both sets of fans towards the owners is the one area they are United about and don’t be surprised if home fans stage a protest outside before kick-off.
That debate will continue another day of course, but the intensity on the pitch should remain.
While some big games often fail to live up their billing, with pride and points on the line, Premier League 2021 highlights are expected.
Overall, United have won 89 of their meetings in all competitions. Liverpool have 78 successes and there have been 68 draws – that’s as close as you would probably expect for the two dominant forces in English football.
They met twice within a week in January. The league clash at Anfield finished all square before United edged an FA Cup fourth round thriller seven days later.
It was March 2014 when Liverpool last won at Old Trafford when they were chasing the title under Brendan Rodgers and United were in a free-fall under David Moyes.
|Manchester United vs Liverpool||Total Goals 2-3 @ 1.96|
|May 02, 23:30 (GMT+8)|
The SBOTOP Premier League betting odds make the visitors favourites. Liverpool can be backed with 1X2 odds @ 2.49 and Asian Handicap -0.25 @ 2.17.
If you fancy a United win, how about 1X2 @ 2.77 or Asian Handicap 0.00 @ 2.07 or -0.25 @ 2.56.
A 1X2 draw will earn you a pay day with odds of @ 3.25, and a repeat of the corresponding fixture last term – correct score 1-1 – is available to back @ 5.80.
Whatever happens, it should be an attacking contest.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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