Liverpool vs. Manchester United, England Premier Matchday 8 Anfield, Liverpool England 7:45 AM Saturday October 15, 2011
By Jason Green, Soccer Handicapper, Predictem.com
Match Odds: Liverpool 3.00 / Man U 2.40 / Draw 3.35
Moneyline: Liverpool +200 Man U +140 / Draw +235
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
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Manchester United has really started the EPL season with a bang, as they are tied atop the league table with rival Manchester City and they are one of only 4 clubs in the league that has yet to lose a match (6 wins 1 draw). They have scored the most goals in the league (24), conceded the fewest (5), and have 19 points after 7 matches.
Liverpool struggled last season and they came out of the gates this season in the EPL looking like that would happen again, but they have won their last 3 matches, scoring 2 goals in each match, and they sit in 5th place in the EPL 6 points behind Man U. This season Liverpool has scored 10 goals and conceded 8 goals. In last season’s match at Anfield Liverpool beat Manchester United 3-1.
Manchester United’s defense has been shaky for the last few weeks, especially when they were shocked giving up 3 goals at home in their 3-3 draw with Basel in the Champions League, but they came back strong in their last match shutting out Norwich City. On top of that defensive anchor Rio Ferdinand is back as is DF Nemanja Vidic.
Another player that is back for this match is Liverpool MF Steven Gerrard and while he has not played mush this season his play in the midfield is vital for the Reds coming away with a win. Liverpool really needs a win to move up in the league table while Manchester United will be happy if they leave Anfield with a draw.
10/1/2011 Everton 1 Liverpool 2 (EPL)
9/24/2011Liverpool 2 Wolverhampton 1 (EPL)
9/21/2011 Brighton 1 Liverpool 2 (Carling Cup)
9/18/2011 Tottenham 4 Liverpool 0 (EPL)
9/10/2011 Stoke City 1 Liverpool 0 (EPL)
Manchester United Recent Form
10/1/2011 Manchester United 1 Norwich 0 (EPL)
9/27/2011 Manchester United 3 Basel 3 (Champions League)
9/24/2011 Stoke City 1 Manchester United (EPL)
9/20/2011 Leeds 0 Manchester United 3 (Carling Cup)
9/18/2011 Manchester United 3 Chelsea 1 (EPL)
Luis Suarez (4 goals) is the big gun for the Reds on offense, but he will need some help against a solid Manchester United defense that is getting Ferdinand back. Somebody has to step up on offense for Liverpool, but no other player besides Suarez has more than one goal for the club.
The Liverpool DF duo of Martin Skrtel and Jamie Carragher must play well this Saturday and they must push forward to help the offense. However, the Reds’ defense has had problems pushing up too much and getting caught on the counter-attack. If that happens in this match Man U will jump all over it and score some easy goals.
Wayne Rooney leads the EPL in goals scored and Nani, Ashley Young, and Danny Welbeck have combined for 8 goals on the season. They will attack all match long and the Reds’ defense has to keep these guys from getting in the box. Rooney will have a good match, as he tends to do against Liverpool, and score at least one goal.
Reds’ G Pepe Reina has been up and down this season and while I expect him to play well in this match there is no way he will be able to keep a clean sheet in this match facing the Manchester United offense.
In their last 10 matches Manchester United has an O/U 2.5 goal record of 7-3 and Liverpool is at 4-6.
Jason’s Pick to Win: Manchester United has yet to lose this season and while Liverpool is playing well that will continue in this match. I would think the draw is a likely outcome, but Man U has too much offense while the same cannot be said about Liverpool. The Reds will play well, but Manchester United will win this match by a score of 2-1 or 3-1.
Update: Wayne Rooney has been suspended.