Liverpool VS Manchester United Prediction
After all the Europa League Round of 16 reviews we already wrote, it’s finally time for the big derby that involves two regional rivals in their first ever European encounter – surely out of question that Liverpool and Manchester United form the most spectacular matchup not only in current stage, but in the European competitions at all. Indeed, “Anfield” will host the big North West derby where some weeks after their Premier League clash Liverpool will host to their biggest foe with hopes for ending the winning streak of “The Red Devils”. Louis van Gaal is absolutely accurate when it goes for that game and The Dutchman has won all of his matches against Liverpool since his arrival at “Old Trafford” after the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Jürgen Klopp lost his first clash against Manchester United and German manager of Liverpool is absolutely keen to avoid same scenario like his first managerial duel against LVG on English turf. Most of you probably remember that Liverpool created most of the scoring chances back in January, and obviously – they missed them, not without some good saves made by David De Gea. Nearly 8 weeks afterwards, “The Reds” from Merseyside are willing to end the losing streak from 5 straight defeats (including one pre-season friendly which was virtually LVG’s first win over Liverpool) which means that Manchester United did two consecutive doubles over their rivals.
Nevertheless, Wayne Rooney, who scored the winning goal last time, will miss the visit in Liverpool as he suffers from a knee injury and this leaves Louis van Gaal with Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay and the latest discovery coming from Man Utd’s youth system – Marcus Rashford. William Keane is injured, while Jesse Lingard will serve suspension in that game, so this doesn’t leave much attacking options to “The Red Devils” as expectations are that Anthony Martial should start on top of the attack, as he will be supported by Memphis Depay, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata from second position. Last one will be well rested as The Spaniard had an early bath in Sunday afternoon when he was sent-off as a result of two yellow card in space of only seconds. However, that happened in the Premier League defeat from WBA (0:1) and this means that Juan Mata will be available for the clash in Thursday evening, as well as for the upcoming two derbies which “United” have next week – second leg vs Liverpool (well, at least if he’s not suspended after the first leg) and for the upcoming Manchester Derby next Sunday. Mata will serve his one-game ban in the upcoming FA Cup round when in Sunday afternoon United welcomes West Ham United.
Liverpool had similar situation as James Milner was sent off (well, not so early in the game) in the last EPL round as his second yellow card was shown in 62nd minute, when Crystal Palace were already ahead – 1:0. Nonetheless Liverpool showed great team spirit and not without the help of Crystal Palace, Jürgen Klopp’s men made a massive comeback to 2:1. First of all Roberto Firmino scored his 8th league goal after goalkeeper’s mistake, while in the closing seconds of the game Liverpool were awarded with a controversial penalty, however, successfully realized by Christian Benteke. These three points are moving Liverpool on just six points from Manchester City (4th) and some fans are surely dreaming for top 4 position, but we’re pretty sure that Liverpool’s main goal after the lost League Cup final vs Man City is surely the UEFA Europa League, where “The Reds” from Liverpool will use their full potential, as it seems from Jürgen Klopp’s approach. He rested some players like Nathaniel Clyne, Philippe Coutinho (played around 30 mins) and Daniel Sturridge, as expectations are that all of them will be featured in Liverpool’s starting lineup for the upcoming derby.
Liverpool vs Manchester United – UEFA Europa League, 10 March 2016: Possible lineups, missing players and betting prediction
In final we would like to mention that except the European nature of that game, both teams must adapt to the style of Carlos Velasco Carballo – Spanish referee who usually shows lot of cards and for example he has shown 43 yellow cards and 4 red cards in his last 6 matches, as in four of the games he showed a red card. One from these two games in which he didn’t, and where he showed the least number of cards, is another game with English club involved – Champions League 1/8 final between PSG and Chelsea where the French team won with 2:1. It will be interesting to follow how both teams will adapt to his leadership as just for example we’ll mention that Mark Clattenburg showed only two yellow cards in the last game, where we had lots of challenges and aggression.
Except all the card betting related stuff we’re here to analyze the situation in both sides. Obviously Liverpool will be the more rested team – we mentioned that key players like Clyne, Coutinho and Sturridge took a good rest in the weekend and they’re all ready for battle. Martin Skrtel remains doubtful but Dejan Lovren is back in action and he was selected for man of the match last round, so expectations are that Lovren-Sakho central duo must do the work here.
Another thing comes from the good vibes from the last days in which Jürgen Klopp’s men showed exactly what the German manager wants – gegenpressing. Liverpool were outstanding in the 3:0 win over Man City (perhaps The Sky Blues were tired after the League Cup final, or maybe even unmotivated), but fact is that Liverpool showed great character and “The Reds” have bounced back in a stunning way, only few days after the lost penalties at “Wembley”. Adam Lallana showed great football in that game and this adds another player in form on who Klopp can rely in specific part of the game. However, Lucas Leiva’s injury is a blow and this leaves Klopp with Can, Henderson, Milner and Joe Allen in midfield, but for sure his injury concerns are less and not so significant like in the previous clash.
This time all the injury concerns are on Louis van Gaal’s head and even if he finds an adequate starting eleven for that game, he’ll surely complain from the lack of first team players. Last time his defensive approach did the work, but this time we expect better efficiency by the home side and our expectations are going on a home win.
Liverpool may finally end the losing streak against Manchester United and this will be a huge test for Jürgen Klopp’s ability to win in the English derby games, against other experienced managers like LVG.
Home advantage, motivation, more options in all fields, fresher squad – few from the main reasons about our bet. All statistics of both teams’ form so far in the different European competitions doesn’t matter, as they’ll face in a local rivalry and team that shows bigger efficiency, better tactical discipline and more determination will achieve its goals.
Venue: “Anfield”, Liverpool.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo from Spain.
Possible starting lineups:
Liverpool: Mignolet – Moreno, Sakho, Lovren, Clyne – Can, Milner, Henderson – Coutinho, Firmino, Sturridge. (4-3-3)
Missing players – Joe Gomez, Lucas Leiva, Jordan Rossiter and Danny Ings are all injured, Martin Skrtel remains doubtful.
Manchester United: De Gea – Rojo, Blind, Smalling, Darmian – Carrick, Schneiderlin – Depay, Herrera, Mata – Martial. (4-2-3-1)
Missing players – Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw, Donald Love, Ashley Young, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Wayne Rooney and Will Keane are all injured, Jesse Lingard is suspended.
Doubtful – Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.