The biggest tie in the FA Cup 4th Round is certainly Liverpool at home to Manchester United in the early kick off on Saturday. If the Red Devils are going to win the Cup this year, they will need to do it the hard way. After seeing off rivals Manchester City previously, they were again drawn away at one of their bitterest rivals. Can they prevail again?
Manchester United Win 2.86 @ Betfair (After 5% commission)
Liverpool have stuttered since the suspension of Luis Saurez began, and it could be argued that the slump had started even before the Uruguayan was punished. The Anfield club have won just 3 of the last 9 in all competitions or 1 from 6 in the League.
While Kenny Dalglish can boast that his team are unbeaten at Anfield, they have only won 4 times from 11 Premier League fixtures and the biggest problem has been the inability to break down visiting teams – a return of 14 goals from their home programme is considerably less than any of the current top four. Defensively they are solid but will that be enough against the Champions?
Manchester United showed glimpses away at Arsenal that some of their players are beginning to hit top form. Danny Welbeck and Antonio Valencia caught the eye and will hope for a crack at Liverpool. One department of the United team which has been quietly efficient is the defence. Much has been made of the big name absentees – but their away League record shows them conceding just 7 goals in 11 contests. The best away record in the division.
There was also the small matter of a League Cup semi-final for Liverpool to contend with in midweek. Will that success motivate or drain Steven Gerrard and co? It is hard to see how that physically and emotionally draining match makes this tie any easier for Liverpool, despite the outcome.
While this has all the hallmarks of another tight, mammoth clash, the price on the visitors offers clear value. At 2.86 (A shade under 19/10) with Betfair, United look too big. Bigger prices available earlier in the week have been snapped up, and the 6/4 more widely available would seem nearer the mark. With Liverpool drawing so many at home, and the League fixture at Anfield finishing 1-1 between these two, keeping the draw onside is sensible option to consider. Bet365 go 11/20 with United +0.5 on the Asian handicap.