One of the biggest rivalries in English football will be centre of attention in the Premier League this weekend. Saturday’s early kick off sees Manchester United and Liverpool go head to head at Old Trafford. With Luis Saurez and Patrice Evra providing an additional sub-plot, this fixture could prove to be explosive.
Over 2.5 Goals (10/11 @ BetVictor)
League matches at Old Trafford average over 4 goals a game this season, or around 3.5 if the freak 8-2 result against Arsenal is discounted. Manchester United have rattled in 35 goals in 12 games and with the returning Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young adding to the attacking options that Sir Alex Ferguson can unleash, they have the fire power to give visiting teams nightmares.
Visitors Liverpool are seen as a fairly dour, defensively strong team, but they are still involved in games with 3 or more goals 50% of the time they play away. Given the home team’s habit for high scoring affairs, the 10/11 currently on offer looks a touch too big based on bare statistics.
The numbers only play one part in this pick though. The way the game looks like panning out is a bigger factor. United’s defence was far from convincing at Chelsea, they conceded 3, and but for a sharp save and a woeful lack of confidence from Torres, it could have been worse. Liverpool have had some success trying to stifle teams this season, notably Manchester City in the League Cup Semi-final First leg, but in order to expose the weaknesses of their opponents, they must attack United. Sitting back will play into the hands of the hosts.
Given the trend for goals at Old Trafford, and the likelihood for a more ambitious Liverpool, 10/11 on Over 2.5 goals (with BetVictor) offers some value. United’s defence looks certain to cough up chances, but they also look irresistible going forward so there are positive signs about goals at both ends.