Dimitar Berbatov: United can defy the odds at Anfield

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
"Don't write off United at Anfield," says Berbatov
Join today

Dimitar Berbatov knows about scoring for Manchester United against Liverpool, so here are the Betfair Ambassador's thoughts on the Red Devils' attack ahead of Sunday's match.

"It's a big game, it's a derby and as United have shown before they can step up. If they can use their speed and run into the channels, use that pace they have up front and stay compact and don't give Liverpool any space then they will be OK."

Rashford injury is a blow but Greenwood can step up at Anfield

If Marcus Rashford is going to miss Sunday's match against Liverpool through injury then no doubt it will be a big blow for the team. Sometimes these kind of injuries happen when you come from the bench into a match, which is why it's sometimes better to rest your big players and rotate the team, especially when you have so many games. I just hope it's not something serious for him because he is a key player.

I'm sure Mason Greenwood will be looking at this situation and thoughts will be crossing his mind. I have no doubt that his time is coming. I think he should be confident and calm enough to step up and not feel too much pressure if Rashford isn't available. Greenwood is only 18 and he's scored plenty of goals already this season, which is a great achievement.

Greenwood has got nothing to worry about if he is to lead the line on Sunday because, when he has been given chances to shine, he has done great. He's a goalscorer, and with that left foot of his, he certainly knows where the net is. I wish him luck for Sunday and I'd urge him to stay calm, don't be nervous and if the chance comes, just take it.

Don't write United off against Liverpool

United are the only team to take points off Liverpool this season but at this moment that doesn't mean anything, as Liverpool are so far ahead in terms of points and the way they play football. Their confidence is high enough for them to know that they can beat anyone or if they do slip up they still have a massive points cushion. They are so strong mentally as well, if games aren't going their way or they aren't playing the way they want to play they still get results.

Of course Liverpool are the favourites on Sunday, but United can defy the odds. It's a big game, it's a derby and as United have shown before they can step up, nobody expected them to beat City at the Etihad (except me who tipped the Reds to win 2-1 that day). If they can use their speed and run into the channels, use that pace they have upfront and stay compact and don't give Liverpool any space then they will be OK.

Liverpool have created their own luck this season

Liverpool are too good and they have the luck with them, it's their year. However, the luck is only with you when you work hard and in the case of Liverpool you can see that they are working hard. Against Spurs, they could have conceded, but because of luck and the quality from Spurs when it came to executing their chances they didn't concede.

Liverpool have been scoring lots in the last minute as well. But only when you work hard, are passionate enough, brave enough and risk going forward and attacking, even though you will leave space for the opposition to go into, you know you are going to play good football and the luck will be with you. Of course, you can't just depend on that though, that's just a small percentage of the success.

Roberto-Firmino-Sadio-Mane-1280.gif

As a player, when things are going for you and you do have a lot of luck, you feel confident, you know you're going to score goals. But you need to know that you have to work hard, you can't go out on the pitch and do nothing and expect everything to be fine.

I'm sure everybody associated with United wants to see Liverpool lose, especially this weekend, which would be great, but you have to give them credit and respect where it is deserved. Liverpool are playing great football and you have to say well done. If they go unbeaten it will be a great achievement.

Aguero is one of the Premier League's greatest

Sergio Aguero is a legend. Sometimes people don't give him enough credit, but he is with the greats and he fully deserves it. Once again he broke even more records at the weekend to become the league's all time highest-scoring foreign player as well as breaking the record for how many hat-tricks he has scored.

The way he scores goals, how he looks for the ball, how he links with players and he has played at the highest level for so long and he is still breaking records. He's 31 and he can go strong for many more years to come. I love watching him play football and I was routing for him to score against Aston Villa to break the records.

SergioAguero-1280-Celebrating.jpg

I scored hat-tricks, but nowhere near the 12 that Aguero now has. You have to be a really good player to score three goals in a game, sometimes you know it's going to be your day and it helps when you score early in the game but it comes down to how good you are, who you are playing, if the opposition have a good day or a bad day.

Ultimately, Aguero is so good which is why he has scored so many. I still have five hat-trick balls at home. I don't let my kids near them though - I kick them around the garden and keep them to myself!

Transfer market good timing for Spurs

Spurs needed someone to come in because Moussa Sissoko was outstanding before his injury and he is going to be a big loss. Gedson Fernandes is a young player and he needs to get into the rhythm of the Premier League and I hope he can get straight into it and fill that gap that Sissoko has left for the moment. Jorge Mendes was involved and apparently he is helping Spurs with other transfers and I don't see that as a bad thing, he's one of the best agents in the world and he has represented the best players.

On the other side of things, I think there still a lot going on behind the scenes with Christian Eriksen that we don't know about. I watched the games against Liverpool and Middlesbrough and his head didn't look fully there. I don't know if he's going or staying but in the end if the player has it on his mind that he wants to go then it's better to let him go, otherwise you have a player who isn't motivated and nobody wants that. He's still a really good player and he's been playing, so maybe Mourinho is trying to show him that he wants him to stay.

Barcelona are in transition

I was surprised this week to find out that Barcelona had sacked their coach in the middle of the season, disturbing the way things were working there. I read that Xavi said no to the job and I agree with him, you don't want to take a team in the middle of the season, that is for sure, you want a team from the start. At some point though, maybe in a year, two years or five, Xavi will be the coach at Barcelona. For now, I'm sure Barcelona will be fine, they still have Lionel Messi in their team.

Every team goes through changes, it happened at Manchester United and Barcelona are no different. Some players have left Camp Nou but in Messi they still have one of the best ever, they regroup and bring in new talented players. This is Barcelona, yes they may go through some difficult times but in the end they have that winners DNA, especially with Messi around.

Luis Suarez frustrated 1280.JPG

Luis Suarez is going to be out for a long time and while the transfer market is open, I think they should have a look at getting a replacement in. On the other hand, they have Antoine Griezmann who can fill that void, as well as Dembele. These kind of things happen and because Suarez was so irreplaceable he was pretty much playing every game and when you play so many games you are bound to get injuries, small or big.

It all depends on the player, how you treat yourself, how you sleep, what you eat and how you prepare, but some players get injured because they play so many games. Overplaying players is a problem in the game. I wanted to play every game but sometimes I had to tell myself to take a break, the last thing I wanted to do was cry and suffer for four months.

The Betfair Trader's View - Alan Thompson

Burnley v Leicester (Back Bet)

The Foxes suffered a shock defeat to Southampton last time out, despite taking the lead and that followed on a from their cup stalemate against Aston Villa. Brendan Rogers will be keen to get back to winning ways and ensure that they maintain or improve on their six point lead over Chelsea in the league.

Leicester have won six of their last seven on the road, scoring 23 goals in the process, their only defeat in that sequence was at Manchester City (2-1).

Leicester look good to continue that very good away form here against a Burnley side who are quickly falling down the league and have now lost four of their last five home games, scoring just three goals. The Clarets are in real trouble now and, although unlikely, they could end the weekend in the relegation zone if results go against them.

I think Leicester are good bet at [1.91] in the match odds market. I also like the visitors to score more than 1.5 goals at [1.83] on the Sportsbook but I will be backing them in the Asian Handicap market Leicester -0.5 & -1.0 at anything better than [2.2].

Arsenal v Sheffield United (Lay Bet)

Sheffield United have only lost two of their away days this season and they were at Manchester City and Liverpool. Chris Wilder’s side are currently sitting sixth in the Premier League and they will not fear going to the Emirates to face a side that have won just one of their last seven at home. The Gunners will also be without their captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after he was sent off last week at Crystal Palace.

The Blades won the first meeting in October, with a first half goal that proved to be the winner and certainly since the arrival of Mikel Arteta, Arsenal’s performances have improved. However, the desired results are still not coming and I think Sheffield United have shown they are more than capable of exploiting any weakness in the home side.

Initially, I was drawn towards laying over 2.5 goals in this contest at around [2.08] but I also think that the away side are capable of getting at least a draw out of this and therefore laying Arsenal at [1.91] is also appealing. So I will be playing both these markets by splitting my stake.

Dimitar Berbatov,

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles