Manchester United travel the short distance to Anfield for their Premier League meeting with Liverpool on Monday night, in a meeting that is sure to be intense and highly charged. It’s one of the biggest rivalries in English football, and with world class managers in charge at both clubs in the form of Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho, the match is sure to be a spicy occasion. United may have been dumped out of the Europa League last 16 by Klopp’s men last March, but Mourinho and United fans have plenty of reasons to feel confident ahead of tonight’s game. Although premier league football betting odds seem to be suggesting a draw is on the card, we strongly believe United have a strong chance of winning the contest and below are the five reasons why we believe United will come tops ahead of Liverpool later tonight.
Their recent league record against Liverpool is excellent
One of the few bright spots of Louis van Gaal’s time in charge at United was the club’s vast improvement against their biggest rivals. In four league games, United only lost once to Manchester City and recorded wins at Old Trafford and the Etihad, whilst their record against Liverpool was excellent; four wins from four with two victories at Anfield, where fans normally resigned themselves to disjointed, uninspiring performances from their team. Klopp might have this team playing better, but United are far better at dealing with matches at Anfield.
Mourinho will set his team up right
The former Chelsea manager will be forever remembered in the hearts of United fans for his side’s spectacular smash-and-grab display at Anfield, where Steven Gerrard’s slip allowed Demba Ba to score the only goal in a game that dealt a gigantic blow to Liverpool’s title hopes in 2014. With Klopp’s team offering great attacking intent and energy at present, expect a similar tactic to be employed. United will not be as open as they were against Manchester City earlier this season; Mourinho will have them compact and hopefully deadly at the other end.
United have great options on the counter
Should Mourinho choose, he can easily deploy Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in attack behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Both players have the tools to hurt Liverpool’s defence, and with the Swede likely to be asked to provide more of a holding, disruptive role up front, it could allow United’s young and fast attackers time and space to do some damage.
United’s defence looks much better than it has in years
Mourinho’s side currently has the joint-third best defence in the league, having conceded eight goals in eight matches so far. Granted, Liverpool have been scoring for fun at points this season, but there’s a sense that United can keep them at bay with the correct set-up, with Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly offering a sturdier, more physical defensive duo in front of David De Gea.
United need a win
City’s draw at Everton on Saturday afternoon means that United can close the gap to the Premier League table-toppers to three points with a win tonight, and after a deeply disappointing draw with Stoke City in their last league game, Mourinho will be desperate to get the right result this evening. Even moreso considering their upcoming schedule, which features games with Fenerbahce, Chelsea and City themselves in the next nine days.