It’s the North West Derby and with Manchester United and Liverpool first and second in the table, they don’t come bigger than this. Frankly it’s difficult to say what has been more surprising, Liverpool’s recent drop in form or Manchester United’s resurgence but this is a game which could have huge repercussions for the title race, especially with Manchester City lurking ominously in third. It’s the featured game for this weekend’s £10,000 Match Predictor – Pick 8. So, without further ado, read my Premier League predictor tips and don’t forget to join my Syndicate.
Premier League predictor: Liverpool vs. Tottenham
What will the Correct Score be?
If this game was at Old Trafford, I’d be all over United. Since Liverpool’s 7-0 annihilation of Palace, the Reds have picked up just two points in three games against West Brom, Newcastle and Southampton. Although they have had worse luck with injuries than most this season, that run of form against that level of opposition is nowhere near good enough and has left the door open for their title rivals.
Jurgen Klopp regularly bemoans the fixture list yet persists in playing key players in less important games. The FA Cup tie against Aston Villa’s youth team last week was an example and his decision to start Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho against a team of teenagers was baffling. Especially in the case of Fabinho who, due to the continued absence of van Dijk, Gomez and Matip, will likely partner either Henderson, Williams or Phillips in the heart of defence this weekend.
That will be hugely encouraging for a Manchester United side who are unbeaten in 11 league games, winning nine of them. However, the Anfield factor has to be taken into account. Jurgen Klopp’s side haven’t lost a home league game since Crystal Palace shocked them on the 23rd April 2017, four seasons ago. That’s a run of 67 home games without defeat, absurd.
So with Manchester United having a clear advantage in terms of form and fitness, Liverpool are virtually unbeatable at home and both sides are eager not to lose a vital title race game, the logical conclusion surely has to be that the draw is a serious runner here.
Liverpool have already drawn six times this season, twice as many as the entirety of the 2019/20 campaign. Manchester United’s three stalemates came against perceived title rivals in Chelsea, Manchester City and Leicester. Both managers will be as eager not to hand their opponent three points as they are to win the game themselves so I think they’ll cancel each other out in the opening leg of our Premier League predictor.
Selections: 0-0, 1-1, AOD
Will a penalty be taken?
Liverpool Twitter has been awash with penalty conspiracy theories this season, with the suspicion that referees have been biased against them and towards United. While it seems slightly paranoid to suggest that their is an agenda against them, they do have some cause for complaint with a number of fair shouts given against them.
However, the facts are that both clubs have conceded the same number of penalties with ten, the joint third most in the league. In terms of penaltie won, United have landed one more than their rivals with six, which is the joint second highest total behind Leicester. Both sides have seen plenty of penalties in their games so the penalty has to be included here.
Selections: Yes, No
Will a player be sent off?
With just a single red card between them so far this season, no red card is the clear favourite here.
Will a goal be scored in the 1st half?
38% of Manchester United’s goals scored (13/34) and 58% of their goals conceded (14/24) have arrived in the first half. For Liverpool it’s 48% of their goals scored (18/37) and 67% of goals conceded (14/21).
My tendency is to back ‘yes’ to a goal in the first half but you could make an argument either way based on the above stats and, given that we’re backing 0-0 as one of our correct scores, we clearly have to back ‘no’ as well.
Selections: Yes, No
How many corners will be taken by Liverpool?
The Premier League’s corner kings have averaged 6.7 a game so far. They are likely to dominate possession with United tending to sit back and counter against the better sides, so Liverpool should rack up plenty of corners. In their last four league games, Liverpool have won 10, 12, 7 and 4 corners at an average of 8.25 per game.
However, the caveat is that the standard of opposition in those encounters was significantly lower than they face in United, who should resist Liverpool’s attack with slightly greater success. I think anywhere between around 5 and 8 is a realistic target.
Selections: 5-6, 7-8
How many corners will be taken by Manchester United?
United are actually 11th in the corners table, averaging just over 5 a game so far this season. The didn’t win more than 4 in either of their recent games against City or the draw against Leicester, both also direct title rivals, so I’m not inclined to think they’ll win millions here. 3-4 seems about right.
How many cards will be shown to Liverpool?
Liverpool are the cleanest team in the division in terms of cards and the only side to average below one card per game, with just 16 yellows in 17 matches.
This market is always something of a guess as it only takes one bad tackle or refereeing decision to cause a flare up and trigger a load of cards. However, in this instance, with limited selections left to play with, I’ll take Liverpool’s rough average as my selection which is 1.
How many cards will be show to Manchester United?
United average 1.6 cards per game which puts them sixth in the table for that metric. I wouldn’t envisage it being an incredibly dirty game but statistically they are likelier to pick up cards than their opponents so I’ll cover a couple of options.
Selections: 1, 2
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