Will Jose Park the Bus to Stop the Liverpool Juggernaut this weekend?
Back in October, Manchester United travelled to Anfield to face a Liverpool side who were in something of a slump in form. Regardless of that Jose Mourinho set his Manchester United team up to defend for 90 minutes, ‘parking the bus’ as it is called, and despite criticism from many quarters for his negative approach, emerged from the game with a 0-0 draw and a point.
Liverpool dominated that game and should have won it and but for a superb save from David De Gea late in the game they likely would have done. However, this time around the two teams meet at Old Trafford on Saturday and it is going to be less acceptable for Jose to set up his team in such a defensive way once again in front of home supporters.
So, will Jose “park the bus” to stop Liverpool’s freescoring attack, or will he try and attack Liverpool and secure a vital, and probably definitive, win for United over their local rivals in the race for second spot in the table?
As always, this is one of the most exciting games of the season and there will be a ton of cash wagered on the outcome of the game and we want you to be on the right bets for the match, so in addition to our preview, we will also bring you some of the great value bets you can enjoy with Coral on the game that we think stand a great chance of success.
Here’s a closer look at how the teams compare:
|Romelu Lukaku 14||Top Goalscorer||Mo Salah 24|
|Paul Pogba 9||Assists||Mo Salah 8|
|87||Historic wins V today’s opponent (65 Draws)||75|
Other Facts and Figures
- The last match between the teams finished in a 0-0 draw at Anfield back in October 2017.
- All of the last four matches between the teams have finished in draws.
- United’s last win over Liverpool in the Premier League was in January 2016, when they won 1-0 at Anfield thanks to a Wayne Rooney strike.
- Liverpool’s last win over Manchester United was at Old Trafford in March 2014 when the Reds won 3-0. Two Steven Gerrard penalties and a Luis Suarez strike the difference between the teams.
- Venue – Old Trafford
- Kick Off Time – 12.30pm
- Man Utd Current Form – W W D W L W L W W W
- Liverpool Current Form – W W W W D W L L W W
- Mourinho v Klopp – Played 8 – Mourinho Wins – 1, Klopp Wins – 3, Draws – 4. Mourinho Goals – 8, Klopp Goals – 12.
Manchester United Team News
This is without doubt, along with their forthcoming game with Manchester City, the biggest game of the season for Manchester United fans and there won’t be many packed inside Old Trafford on Saturday that would expect Jose Mourinho’s team to adopt another negative approach to this game.
The problem the United manager has is that if he tries to attack Liverpool then the speed of Liverpool on the counter-attack could cause his back line huge problems. So I am expecting United to adopt a safety first mentality with their team selection and to then become more attacking if they fall behind, or as the game goes into the latter stages with the teams level.
I think the team will be very similar to that which came back from 2-0 down to win at Crystal Palace on Monday night, but perhaps one change could be Bailly’s additional pace being useful at the back which would see Lindeloff drop out. Rashford and Mata probably didn’t do enough to oust Lingard from the team either.
Manchester United Starting XI (Probable) – 4-3-3 – De Gea, Valencia, Young, Smalling, Bailly, Matic, McTominay, Pogba, Sanchez, Lukaku, Lingard
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool have a Champions League match on Tuesday night against FC Porto to play before this game, but leading 5-0 from the first leg, it isn’t likely to put too big a strain on Jurgen Klopp’s men ahead of this one and barring injury to key players (some of whom may be rested anyway), the Reds should be at almost full strength for this one.
The big decision Klopp seems to have is who to play alongside Virgil van Dijk in central defence with neither Matip or Lovren staking a real claim to that spot. It will be interesting to see if Klopp keeps faith with his in form young full backs, or opts to switch them for more experienced players at Old Trafford.
Gigi Wijnaldum missed the game in midweek with illness but he should be fit enough to play and I’d expect him to start in midfield ahead of the more attack minded Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The front three, who have netted 68 goals between them this season, should be unchanged barring injury.
Liverpool Starting XI (Probable) – 4-3-3 – Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Van Dijk, Lovren, Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Mane, Firmino, Salah
Manchester United v Liverpool Top Tips
We’ve looked at the stats and we’ve looked at the probable teams likely to face off in Manchester on Saturday and now it is time for the tips that we think stand the best chance of success. All prices shown are from Coral Sport.
- Match Result – Manchester United v Liverpool – Home Win – 8/5
United’s home record is the second best in the Premier League this season as is Liverpool’s away record, but I think at home and without a win against Liverpool in their last five attempts, United will be expecting to win here. That last gasp win over Crystal Palace will have really given the team belief after being 2-0 down so I think United will edge this one.
- Correct Score – Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool – 17/2
This is a game where I can see both teams finding the net as both know that a draw doesn’t really offer them any value, whereas a win would be a massive result for the team. I don’t see either defence keeping a clean sheet but Liverpool’s worrying habit of conceding daft goals in key games is a real concern here and I think in the end that may be the one thing that sways the result in United’s favour, so I am going for a 2-1 United win here.
- First Goalscorer – Alexis Sanchez – 6/1
The former Arsenal man has not hit the ground running at Old Trafford since signing and has struggled in several games, often played out of position. However, there is no doubt that he is true quality and this is just the sort of game where he will announce his presence in style. I think he is a very good value bet to score the opener on Saturday morning.