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Liverpool vs. Manchester United: ‘Runaway leaders expected to dominate visiting rivals’

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Liverpool host Manchester United on Sunday (16:30 GMT) in one of the fiercest rivalries in world football.

Rarely can the odds have been so one-sided in this fixture, however, particularly in favour of Liverpool in the Premier League era.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have won 25 of their last 26 Premier League matches at Anfield, showcasing their relentless dominance at home.

They have dropped points just once in the league all season – against Manchester United at Old Trafford in October.

Clearly, it’s a mammoth task for a United side who have struggled for consistency under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s management, and will head to Anfield at least five points behind the Champions League qualification places.

However, as the 1-1 draw between the two sides at Old Trafford showed, it’s a task which can be achieved with the right game-plan and execution. After all, they were only three minutes from a memorable victory before Adam Lallana’s late equaliser.

The bookmakers have Liverpool as 4/11 favourites to take their current league winning streak to 13 matches.

The draw is 4/1, with a United win a whopping 15/2.

liverpool, milner

KYIV, UKRAINE – MAY 26, 2018: James Milner of Liverpool in action during the UEFA Champions League Final 2018 game against Real Madrid at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv. Liverpool lost 1-3

United’s hopes have been diminished by the likely absence of top goalscorer Marcus Rashford through a back injury.

Should he miss the match as Solskjaer indicated he will, it’s hard to see where United’s out-ball and goal threat will come from. Indeed, the Englishman has scored 14 league goals already this campaign and has also notched three goals in his last four matches against Liverpool (albeit with all three of those goals coming at Old Trafford), so his importance cannot be overstated.

For Liverpool, it’s always difficult to look beyond Mohamed Salah scoring at Anfield. The Egyptian is evens to do so anytime, with his fellow wing wizard Sadio Mané 6/5.

I like the look of both scoring in a 2-0 home victory at 33/1. It’s a bit of a longshot, of course, but the same bet would have landed in Liverpool’s last home league game against Sheffield United.

Roberto Firmino has scored all seven of his league goals away from home this season so may be best avoided for this one, but if you do fancy him to break his Anfield duck, he’s 9/5.

Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood are both 7/2 to score anytime for the visitors. Should he be passed fit, Rashford is 11/4.

Personally, I find it tough to bet on any United player not named Rashford scoring against a side who have kept six clean sheets in a row in the Premier League. I can’t envisage a thrashing as many are predicting, but a Liverpool win with a clean sheet looks reasonable value at 5/4 (providing Rashford isn’t fit!).

I'm a freelance sports journalist who has worked for Goal & Bleacher Report amongst others. Get in touch, you're more than welcome to do so via Twitter.

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