Manchester United v Liverpool: Back a fast start from Liverpool and goals galore at Old Trafford

Steven Gerrard may struggle against the dynamism of United's front four
Steven Gerrard may struggle against the dynamism of United's front four
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Liverpool head to Old Trafford desperate to keep their title push alive, but will face a Manchester United side in decent fettle on Sunday lunchtime. Luke Moore takes a look...

"Liverpool have scored more goals in the first half of games this season (47) than Manchester United have scored in total (46)."


Manchester United v Liverpool
Sunday, 13:30
Live on Sky Sports 1

Manchester United

These are worrying times for Manchester United fans as they enter the uncertainty of a post-Ferguson world and suddenly find themselves feeling like supporters of just another club. For that reason, the visit of Liverpool to Old Trafford will present more fear and danger than usual, especially when Liverpool's swashbuckling form is taken into account.

But, United are in reasonable league form - no defeats in their last four and no goals conceded in their last three - and there's nothing like a game against an old enemy to raise the hackles and get the atmosphere inside the Theatre of Dreams pumping.

Liverpool

For the first time in the Premier League era, Liverpool can legitimately boast a consistently better team than Manchester United and it is imperative they make their quality and goalscoring prowess count for something at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Their title challenge is serious, but Brendan Rodgers men haven't won at Old Trafford since 2009 and the Northern Irishman will be desperate for a win not only to assert further authority over local rivals but to keep up pace with table-topping Chelsea who are likely to have taken three points at Villa Park on Saturday teatime.

Match Odds

The Match Odds market is quite nicely poised for this game, with the home side available at 2.568/5, the visitors out at 3.02/1 and The Draw a fat-looking 3.55, and I'm wondering whether United fully deserve to start this game as favourites. Yes, they're in reasonable form, but Liverpool are the second best team in the country and have scored a massive 15 goals in their last four games and one has to wonder if a United backline that has scarcely been consistent in terms of personnel all season is fully equipped for the onslaught they'll undoubtedly face.

I don't think I'll take 2.568/5 against the highest-scoring team in the division, a side that haven't lost in nine games and who start like a house on fire. 

Over/Under 2.5 Goals

Ten of the last 15 league games between these two sides have gone overs and Opta tell us that the three players involved in the most goals in the Premier League this season (goals and assists) - Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney - will all be on the pitch.

Liverpool are of course free scoring, but United have been among the goals recently too. If you factor in that the home side have a bit of a problem in both centre-half positions at the moment, it's easy to see goals featuring in this game.

Overs is perhaps a touch short at 1.794/5 but it's hard to imagine a lack of goals and so that's where my money's going.

Half Time

I'll keep this short and simple: Liverpool have scored more goals in the first half of games this season (47) than Manchester United have scored in total (46). Liverpool are currently 3.412/5 on Betfair's Exchange to be leading at Half Time. It has to rank as one of the bets of the weekend.

Shown a card?

As my colleague Michael Cox says in his tactical view, the one area that United are most likely to have joy is in the attacking midfield area. 

Rodgers isn't quite able to drop club captain Steven Gerrard for any reason other than injury yet, despite his advancing age and decreasing mobility. It's true that Gerrard is enjoying a good latter half to the season, but it's easy to see him struggling with the dynamism of United's attacking four on their day and so for that reason he may be a good bet to be shown a card. 

He's not shy of a tackle and will happily take a cynical booking for the team, and if his price to have his name taken hits anything around 3.55/2 it ranks as a good bet.

Recommended Bets

Back Over 2.5 Goals at 1.794/5
Back Liverpool to be leading at Half Time at 3.412/5
Back Steven Gerrard to be shown a card at anything around 3.55/2 or greater

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