Two hated rivals meet on Monday and both sides battle their way out of the gates in the 2022/23 Premier League season, making for a delicious duel between sides who, with a little added desperation, will be walking down either touchline.
Liverpool travel to the Theater of Dreams to take on Manchester United, with the Reds only managing a couple of frustrating draws in the first two games of the season and watching title rivals Man City carve out a four-point lead in the table.
Their opponents are in an even more desperate position, however, as Man United have lost the opening two games of a Premier League season for the first time since the league’s inaugural season in 1992.
Liverpool struggled to convert chances in front of the net, missing a multitude of chances in draws against Fulham and Chelsea. The Reds are also working their way through an injury crisis with several players missing for the opening games of the season. Man United, meanwhile, have deeper problems under new manager Erik ten Hag as their side look leaky at the back and toothless at the front.
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Manchester United vs Liverpool betting odds
Liverpool are understandably the big favorites at Old Trafford after Manchester United’s first two results of the season. The Red Devils lost 2-1 to Brighton in the opening weekend before being defeated 4-0 by Brentford in the second week of play.
The bookies also support the game to offer a lot of goals. The over is the favorite as both teams to score, odds are also set for the yes result.
|United States of America
|Man United wins||+470||5.02||9/2|
to score Y/N
|-174 / +138||1.55 / 2.16||1/2, 6/4|
|-198 / +160||1.49 / 2.44||1/2, 6/4|
|Man United +0.5||+140||2.36||—|
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Manchester United vs Liverpool forecast
While Liverpool have drawn their first two games, a closer look reveals they should be getting back to winning ways soon.
Liverpool scored two goals against Fulham and one against Crystal Palace, but the Reds led the league in the first two weeks with 4.58 xG in terms of expected goals. The attack creates chances even if the finish was bad.
Darwin Nunez will miss United through suspension while Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota are both injured so it remains to be seen how the Reds will line up in attack. Whoever plays, the creativity remains top notch and the finishing will come.
Meanwhile, Man United have earned last place. They were beaten by xG in their opening two games, although the game against Brentford didn’t go as wildly as the 4-0 final score would suggest (the Red Devils conceded just 1.39 xG). While the defensive mistakes are a concern for Ten Hag, the passing out attack is far more of a concern.
Despite lagging behind for almost the entire Brentford game, United only generated 0.90 xG over the 90 minutes, with Cristiano Ronaldo isolated as Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford looked hopeless to create chances. In 128 minutes of Premier League play, Ronaldo has fired seven shots totaling just 0.27 xG, or 0.04 xG per shot, a miserable rate. The Portuguese superstar has yet to shoot into the six-yard box. Man United have deeper problems to solve.
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Manchester United vs Liverpool best bets & analysis
Man United vs Liverpool best bet
With Darwin Nunez suspended and Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota injured, it remains to be seen how Liverpool’s attack will develop. However, we know that Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz will remain heavily involved.
Salah featured prominently in the Liverpool attack and the opposing teams will obviously be focused on pinning the Egyptian. When Nunez was sent off against Crystal Palace it was Luis Diaz on the opposite wing whose brilliant moment helped Liverpool to a point.
The Colombian is a spectacular dribbler and weaved through Palace’s defense before delivering a long shot into the top corner. He’s been known for this in the past and has eventually set an example on the Premier League stage.
With Nunez and several other Liverpool attackers now sidelined and Salah the obvious center of opposition attention, Diaz could be the center of attention against a big club rival. Look for Diaz taking on Man United right-back Diogo Dalot, or whoever he’s playing on his flank.
- Choose: Luis Diaz to score or assist (-105 on FanDuel)
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Prop Man United vs Liverpool: Keeping a clean sheet
As mentioned, the most worrying part of Manchester United’s poor start was the anemic seizure. A lack of chances for Cristiano Ronaldo has left the Red Devils without many clean shots on goal.
Manchester United have conceded 32 shots in their first two games of the season, scoring just a single own goal out of a total of 2.32 expected goals (xG). That’s a meager 0.07 xG per shot, a meager total that means the Red Devils aren’t creating good scoring chances and are content with poor efforts from distance.
Of the team’s 32 shots, 12 came from outside the box, a mark of just 0.02 xG per shot. There were also 17 shots from the penalty area, but even those are only 0.08 xG per shot. Only three attempts have been generated from the six-yard box so far, with those three chances accounting for a third of the team’s expected goals.
As mentioned above, Ronaldo’s struggles are at the heart of the issue. With the Portuguese attacker looking to leave Manchester before the end of the transfer window, there is currently no one behind him on the United list keen to take his place as a dangerous man at the top.
Prop flyer Man United vs Liverpool: Red card
A rivalry match between two teams desperate for a positive result? Cue the crunchy duels and late challenges, a recipe for poison and vitriol.
Referee Michael Oliver, who officiates Monday’s game at Old Trafford, isn’t exactly known for letting the cards fly, but there was one thing he did more than any other Premier League official last season: sending players off.
The seven red cards Oliver showed last year led the league, earning a red card every four games. It’s the first season Oliver has been a significant source of early showers so it could be an anomaly, but his six yellows shown in two games this season prove he’s not retiring from that mantle just yet becomes.
Between the players desperate for a result and a referee not afraid to take drastic action, this game has a good chance of ending differently than 11v11.
- plane: Red card players (10/3 at SkyBet)