With the two Manchester clubs’ absolutely fantastic start to new Premier League season, the one charge that can be levelled against United is that, unlike City, they are yet to play a real competitor or rival. Of course, they can only beat the side that the fixture list provides – and they have won six of their seven games to this point, dropping points only to Stoke City in a 2-2 draw – but until they produce a standout performance and result against a big name, it is hard to take them seriously as real title challengers.
Last season, Jose Mourinho’s first in the Old Trafford hot seat, saw them win just twice against the top five teams, beating Tottenham Hotspur in December and producing their finest performance of the campaign to see off Chelsea in April.
This year, however, the lack of goals that cost them a top four place has been addressed with the signing of Romelu Lukaku; the Belgian has seven in the league and has added another dimension to the Red Devils’ attack.
With City and United first and second respectively, their defensive records, with each conceding just two times, also stand out. A repeat of last season’s dire 0-0 at Anfield on Saturday afternoon appears unlikely, though, as Liverpool have also been exciting going forward – scoring 13 times – but suspect defensively. Indeed, Tipbet have both teams to score at 1.65 in their odds.
Liverpool’s recent results have been underwhelming and they have won just once in their past six games. Jurgen Klopp’s mood will not have been improved with the news that Sadio Mane has joined the growing list of key players out injured.
The 13:30 kick-off (CET) at Anfield starts a run of tricky fixtures for both teams, and a home win would see Liverpool potentially climb into the top four. Tipbet have over 60 markets for this huge game and they rate United as 2.65 marginal favourites; they last won there in January 2016. Liverpool cannot afford to drop more points if they want to stay in contention for the title, and they are 2.70 to end United’s unbeaten start, with a share of the points 3.40. There are plenty of other markets available, including identifying the correct first scorer, with Lukaku at 4.00.