Not since the dying days of David Moyes’ infamous Manchester United reign has a gulf in class between them and Liverpool been so apparent.
Indeed, Moyes openly admitting that Liverpool were “favourites” in their trip to Old Trafford in the 2013/14 campaign was the last straw for many supporters who had up until that point given him the benefit of the doubt.
Brendan Rodgers’ Reds duly went to Old Trafford and comfortably won 3-0, but United fans had the last laugh as Moyes soon departed and Liverpool went on to blow their best change of winning the league since 1990.
Some stats even suggest Moyes’ sole season in charge was better than the predicament Manchester United currently find themselves in, with Jose Mourinho back on top of the sack race betting at a best price of 11/4 with Betway.
A heavy defeat to Liverpool on Sunday could be enough to see Mourinho sacked, but what are the chances of that given Mourinho’s capacity to dampen a game many are looking forward to?
Let’s look at the statistics and odds ahead of the biggest Premier League game of the weekend.
It’s true that bettors shouldn’t look too much into past head-to-head records, given this Manchester United team is a lot different to last season’s and the same goes for Liverpool, who differ greatly from last term having added defensive stability whilst losing a little potency in attack.
But for the record, the Reds are winless in their last eight Premier League games against Manchester United (D3 L5), which means Jurgen Klopp has yet to beat the club’s fiercest rivals in a league game (he did however knock them out of the Europa League in his first season in charge).
Did you know: Liverpool have failed to beat Manchester United in their last 9 meetings in the Premier League— Gambling.com UK (@gambling_com) December 14, 2018
That's 4 years and 9 months! 😲#Didyouknow#LIVMUN#WeAreLiverpool#Manutdpic.twitter.com/AQsjTKeuTl
As mentioned, Mourinho really knows how to kill a game, so much so that United’s last two visits to Anfield have finished up 0-0, but that outcome is considered unlikely this time around at 14/1 with Ladbrokes.
Furthermore, Mourinho boasts the best win percentage at Anfield of all Premier League bosses to have managed five or more away games there, having won four out of eight visits.
It’s not only Mourinho who has proven a nemesis for Liverpool within the United ranks, as Juan Mata has been a pest too in recent years having accumulated three goals and four assists against them. He’s 6/1 to score anytime with Bet365.
Liverpool fans are often accused of holding on too dearly to the past, but it’s United fans who are clinging to dated records this weekend.
These are the stats Manchester United fans won’t want to read – and as they’re so current they’re the ones that matter most.
At 17 games unbeaten, the Reds are on their joint-best Premier League run and haven’t conceded more than once in any of their last 19 league games, so avoid the relatively stingy odds of 11/4 about Man Utd scoring 2+ goals on Sunday.
United have no such defensive might right now, conceding an eye-popping 26 goals in the league in their opening 16 games. To put that into perspective, they conceded a total of 28 across the entire Premier League campaign last season.
Thus, it’s no wonder you’ll get odds as high as 6/1 (Ladbrokes) for United to keep a clean sheet, particularly as Mo Salah is back in the kind of form that saw him break all sorts of records last season.
The Egyptian, now joint-top scorer in the division with 10, followed up last weekend’s hat-trick at Bournemouth with a sublime winning goal against Napoli on Tuesday.
Salah has scored the opening goal in seven games this season – a league high – and although he’s the favourite to score first here, there’s still good value in backing him at 16/5 with Paddy Power.
In the case against Liverpool beating Man Utd, much has been made of the fact none of Salah, Roberto Firmino nor Sadio Mane have ever score or assisted against the Red Devils in the Premier League.
Granted, that is pretty shocking, but with United’s defence all over the place and given the number of clear-cut chances Liverpool created at Anfield against Napoli on Tuesday, expect their deadly trio to make up for lost time on Sunday.
Beat United, and Liverpool fans really will start to believe that this year, finally, is their year. Heading into this weekend, they’re still second favouites in the title odds behind Manchester City (4/11) but are available at a best price of 11/4 with Betway.
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