Premier League
Liverpool - Manchester United
22 March 2015, 13:30 CET
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Liverpool VS Manchester United Prediction

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Another exclusive portion of top quality European football is on its way, when in Sunday we’ll have one of these “Super Sundays”, starting with one from the most fierce rivalries in Europe – the derby between Liverpool FC and Manchester United. Both clubs are involved in the top 4 contention of the English Premier League and they are both neighbours in the EPL table before Round 30 to kick off with the clash between Manchester City and West Brom in the early hours of Saturday afternoon, but we are sure that all looks will be focused on the upcoming “Anfield” clash, where “The Reds” from Merseyside, and “The Red Devils” from Greater Manchester – one rivalry, which dates since a long period of time and edition 192 can be with a vital importance for both teams European football ambitions, at the end of the season.

Short history of the rivalry between and Liverpool and Manchester United – why both clubs became such a rivals, when they’re from different cities, and who’s the team with more successes?

Both clubs are located in the North West part of England, Great Britain, and as you noticed from our introduction, we are in the eve of the 192nd derby between both clubs. Their first clash was back on 28 April 1894, when Liverpool and Manchester United play their first ever match on a neutral venue and that happened exactly where Liverpool will have to revive their FA Cup ambitions after few weeks – “Ewood Park” in Blackburn, but that’s another thread. 121 years ago Liverpool won their first clash over Manchester United, who were named as Newton Heath back then and “The Reds” from Merseyside won with 2:0. The first meeting was part from the a “test match” between clubs from First Division of English football and from the Second Division. Newton Heath were the team from 1st Division, as they finished on last position with only 14 points won from 30 games (6 wins and 2 draws), while Liverpool finished on Second Division’s top without a single defeat – 22 victories and 6 draws for “The Reds”. However their first ever league game was won again by Liverpool – 7:1 victory on 12th October 1895, when “The Reds” won on their “Anfield”, while Manchester United took their revenge only few weeks later, on 2nd of November, when Newton Heath won with 5:2 on their “Bank Street”. Anyway we can say that the rivalry between both North West cities dates with the beginning of the football rivalry and the hate between both cities became even bigger with the built of “Manchester Ship Canal”, when all ships could bypass Liverpool on their way to Manchester’s port, as this caused an economical trouble in Liverpool, where lots of people lost their port or other kind of job, or they were seriously affected by the construction of the longest ship canal, which caused less dues for Liverpool merchants… but that’s a history, which we liked to share with you in case you’re wondering from where both teams have such a rivalry – we hope that the answer was detailed enough, in a paragraph from a football preview.
The overall balance in these 191 games that both clubs played so far is on “United’s” side – 76 wins for “The Red Devils”(64 are in the league), while “The Reds” from the city of Beatles have 64 wins so far (55 of them are in the league) and the draws are 51.

Last derby between both teams was in September 2014 – convincing success for Manchester United

The last match between Manchester United and Liverpool was the first official clash between Louis van Gaal and Brendan Rodgers, which was their second one if we count the pre-season challenge in the USA, where “The Red Devils” won again – 3:1 success after a full comeback, which they made back in the beginning of August. But we must focus on their first competitive fixture which dates from the mid of December – the 3:0 success of Manchester United at “Old Trafford”. “The Red Devils” won pretty easily, with high efficiency in this game, where Liverpool were the team that created more scoring chances, but the strikes of Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie were crucial for the final score on the scoresheet, which made the following weeks happier for United’s supporters, who took their sweet-sweet revenge for the first Liverpool double over Manchester United since season 2008-2009, which Liverpool achieved under the David Moyes management at “Old Trafford” – 1:0 and 3:0. However the ex-manager of Manchester United also achieved a success against Liverpool – 1:0 win at home, which was part from the League Cup 3rd Round, which was the first success of Manchester United over Liverpool by another manager after sir Alex Ferguson’s era.
Lets turn back on the 3:0 victory at “Old Trafford” – we can say that this victory was the turn-around of the current season for Liverpool. This defeat came in a moment when Liverpool was eliminated from the Champions League and when big part of the supporters started to ask themselves what’s happening with the club, and is this Liverpool from the past season, when “The Reds” were again under the management of the Northern-Irish manager? Well we can say that Brendan Rodgers received one great lesson about defending and efficiency in that game, as the Dutch expert completely outplayed Rodgers in the tactical clash. When we mentioned the word “tactical clash”, we definitely should have a look over the mentality, and the approach of both clubs in the last months.


Brendan Rodgers vs Louis van Gaal – the battle outside the field

Few rows upwards we mentioned that Rodgers took his lesson, and that the 0:3 defeat was a “turn-around” for Liverpool – Yes, that’s obvious. Who would think that after this slap from the rivals, Liverpool would be competitive enough to challenge exactly Manchester United for their fourth position few months later? Perhaps the answer is noone – except some ultra optimists, who surely did that, and now they do not regret for their words, if they shared them in any possible area. Well ladies and gentlemen, Liverpool is undefeated in the Premier League since that game – “The Reds” will chase their revenge against Manchester United with only 3 draws in their last 13 EPL fixtures – 10 wins for Brendan Rodgers team, who breathes in Manchester’s neck with only 2 points from the “eternal rivals”. We must admire another moment here – Brendan Rodgers strengthened the defence of Liverpool and the turn of Emre Can as a central (right) defender in the 3-4-3 formation, which Rodgers started to use after the defeat in Manchester, is a great decision by the Northern-Irish manager of “The Reds” – the results are 6 successive clean sheets away from home in the Premier League (5 wins and 1 draw vs Everton), which is the first such streak in the club after the glorious days of “Bill Shankly’s era”, when Liverpool achieved the same amount of clean sheets away from home. This is surely a huge boost for Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers will enter with a higher confidence, than in the previous derby, in his managerial duel against the experienced Dutchman.
Louis van Gaal receives some criticism about his style and for the inconsistency at the team this season, but we must admit that “The Red Devils” are back in top 4, which is great achievement after the underperformance around Moyes period, and The Dutch expert managed to make Manchester United the strongest home side in the league – before round 30, as “The Red Devils” can be found at the top of the table for strongest home sides – 37 points from 15 home games (12 wins, 1 draw and 2 defeats), who have 1 more from Chelsea, but “The Blues” have one home game less, and they’re still undefeated at home, but this should not underestimates the superb home performances of Manchester United so far, and they’ll travel for Merseyside after a 3:0 success against Tottenham, where we saw the mentality of Louis van Gaal, who won the match in the first half, and we can say that “United” just tried to keep the score line during the second half, and they did so. Vital win for Manchester United and Louis van Gaal, right before the derby. We could imagine what would be on his head if van Gaal had to travel to Liverpool after a disappointing result in the beginning of his heaviest schedule so far, since “The Red Devils” of Louis van Gaal must play against Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Chelsea, Everton, right after the game in Merseyside.

In the weeks before the derby… latest performances and current positioning of Liverpool and Manchester United

Liverpool’s transformation in the last 4 months made the supporters dreaming again, even after the announced “Anfield” quit of Steven Gerrard, who will join The Major Soccer League (MLS) next season, so now he can enjoy his last North West Derby. (for now, because like we know some players like to return in the EPL, when the MLS is in break, so no wonder to see Gerrard at Anfield again, but that’s another thread)
Even without Steven Gerrard Liverpool looks really well and Jordan Henderson is the leading figure at “Melwood”, and at the different Premier League grounds. His contribution in the recent weeks is impressive as Henderson was the goalscorer in the Monday’s 0:1 success in Swansea City, where we saw one very different Liverpool in both halves, as Brendan Rodgers said:
“You saw that even when we didn’t play so well in the first half, we have got the focus to come out in the second half and work well. We got a great victory.”
Another important boost for “The Reds” is from their goalkeeper – Simon Mignolet recorded another clean sheet and the Belgian goalkeeper was crucial for the 1:0 success in South Wales, as well the revival of Joe Allen in the last few weeks. Lucas Leiva’s injury was accepted very bad from all Liverpool supporters, but now they can feel well, when they saw the current form of Joe Allen, and from the fact that Liverpool will take on “United” after 5 successive EPL wins.
Manchester United will come with only the surprising 3:5 defeat from Leicester City, as well the defeat in Manchester’s derby, and the 1:2 loss from Swansea from a month ago. Anyway, Manchester United should contribute more in all fields, if they want to contribute more for the composure of David De Gea, who is one from the best goalkeepers in the world at the moment, without any doubts. However we believe that the defence is United’s biggest trouble, although they’re the third best defence in the league (only 26 goals conceded). When we say contribution in all zones, that’s what we saw from Manchester United in the last round, but as we mentioned consistency seems the biggest problem for “The Red Devils” since the retirement of sir Alex Ferguson, and Louis van Gaal will have to deal with that, if he wants to secure Champions League football next year.

Who will win the derby between Liverpool and Manchester United? – 22.03.2015, 13:30 local time. Final conclusion and betting prediction.

Lot of supporters can’t wait for the Sunday afternoon, when we will have one from the most awaited games worldwide, not only on regional level, and this time the home advantage will be on Liverpool’s sides, who will try to increase their unbeaten run at “Anfield”, where they’ve lost only from Aston Villa and Chelsea (in the EPL), and their last home defeat is from the beginning of November, when Liverpool lost to “The Blues” with 1:2. Few months later Liverpool is with 7 draws and 7 wins at home, and they” take on Man United after 5 wins in their latest 6 home appearances in the Premier League.
Brendan Rodgers still can’t count to the injured alternative goalkeeper Bradley Jones, while Lucas Leiva and the talented youngster Jordon Ibe will also miss the derby. The good news for Liverpool came from Steven Gerrard’s appearance at “Liberty Stadium”, who made it through the bench, but now Gerrard is back in contention for the midfield positions, but we doubt that Rodgers will change the rhythm of his side, and it’s very likely the legendary captain of Liverpool to sit on the bench again.
Manchester United saved some energy in their Sunday victory against Tottenham, where Wayne Rooney, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick were the goalscorers for “The Red Devils”, and as far as we know their “beat ’em ups characters”, we expect to see these three players on the field in Merseyside. Louis van Gaal can surprise us again with his starting formation, as the Dutch tactical expert already rotated few formations for his side, but after the very positive result over “Spurs” his experience should make him sticking to the 4-1-4-1 formation. Of course, we won’t be surprised if van Gaal uses the 4-2-3-1, but at the moment we believe that is more likely van Gaal to use the same formation, which he picked in the 1:2 defeat from Arsenal (in the FA Cup), where the result wasn’t satisfactory, but the 3:0 win over the other North London club was convincing enough.
Louis van Gaal will have to pick his starting eleven without the injured Robin van Persie, and without the suspended defender Jonny Evans, while Marcos Rojo and James Wilson are still under question. The good news come from Angel Di Maria’s return, as the Argentinian served his suspension for the red card, which he received against Arsenal, but we are not sure is he ready enough for the starting lineup of Manchester United, regarding his poor form lately.
As a final bet we will bold some key facts, which we take in mind for our betting prediction. Liverpool’s hunger to win in the last derby for Steven Gerrard, and also the 3-4-3 formation, which works really well. We certainly believe that Manchester United will have more troubles than in their last visits since the beginning of 2015 – which were against Stoke City (1:1), Yeovil Town (0:2), QPR (0:2), Cambridge United (0:0), West Ham (1:1), Preston (3:1), Swansea (1:2) and Newcastle (1:0).
Anfield will be the toughest venue, which “The Red Devils” will visit in 2015, and we expect Brendan Rodgers to show that he learned his lesson from the last derby and our betting selection goes on a home win for Liverpool, with medium stakes.

Possible starting squads of Liverpool and Manchester United

We believe that Brendan Rodgers may bench Daniel Sturridge, since the striker is not in his best for and he was not in form despite the 1:0 success in Swansea City. On other hand we don’t believe that Louis van Gaal will make some rotations in his squad, and the Dutchman will leave his formation unchanged, as far as the injury concerns leave him to do so. We should take in mind that we have few days until kick-off.

Liverpool: Mignolet – Sakho, Skrtel, Can – Moreno, Allen, Henderson, Markovic – Coutinho, Lallana – Sterling. (3-4-2-1)

Manchester United: De Gea – Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Blind – Carrick – Mata, Fellaini, Herrera, Young – Rooney. (4-1-4-1)

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March 20, 2015 | Last Updated: August 2, 2016