Manchester United will travel to Anfield on Sunday afternoon looking to compound Brendan Rodgers miserable start to life at Liverpool, who are without a win in the former Swansea manager’s first four games at the helm.
Despite a return of just two points from a possible 12, it would appear that bookmakers are finding it hard to separate the two teams in the betting ahead of this clash with the visitors holding the narrowest of advantage according to the odds, with Bet365 quoting the away win at 13/8 and the home win at 17/10. Liverpool’s lifeline may come from the fact that they have won four and drawn one of the last five games at Anfield against their deadliest of rivals.
However, Liverpool’s current plight is one which United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, will be keen to exploit in order to register his side’s first win at Anfield in five years.
Liverpool have only won two Premier League games at home during 2012, a stat that will surely have fans fearing the worst ahead of Sunday’s game against a United side that looks to be hitting its stride with 10 goals in their last three Premier League games.
Javier Hernandez, who has scored on each of his two Premier League appearances against Liverpool got off the mark for the season last weekend in the 4-0 win over Wigan but the Mexican is likely to start on the bench with the expected return of Wayne Rooney. Robin Van Persie is also expected to return after missing last week’s win and the Dutchman, who scored twice for Arsenal in their 2-1 victory over the Reds at Anfield last season, will be looking to build on the four goals he has already scored since making the move from The Emirates to Old Trafford and at 5/1 to score the first goal of the game, he won’t be short of backers.
In contrast, Brendan Rodgers will be wondering where his team’s goals will be coming from if they are to win this game. Luis Suarez has accounted for two of the team’s three goals this season and Rodgers will be hoping the Uruguayan is on form again on Sunday, especially after admitting that allowing Andy Carroll to go out on loan to West Ham wasn’t the best decision without a replacement lined up. After Suarez, Liverpool’s other options up front come in the form of Fabio Borini a £10.5m Summer signing from Roma and Raheem Sterling, a 17 year old product of the club’s youth system.
As it stands, everything points towards a United win in this game but given the rivalry between these two teams, it could go either way but based on current form, the three points should be going back to Old Trafford.
One thing is for sure, Sir Alex Ferguson will certainly be reading the “riot act” to Nemanja Vidic prior to the game after the Serbian has been sent off on his last two appearances at Anfield and three of his four red cards have come against Liverpool and he can be backed at 12/1 with Skybet to be the first player shown a card in this game!
Ferguson will know that discipline will be key to winning Sunday’s game. In total, United have had a total 13 red cards issued against them when playing against Liverpool in the Premier League.