With the two-week international break set to draw to a close, attention turns back to Premier League football, and there could not have been a bigger game to resume the season than Liverpool against Manchester United.
The Reds and the Red Devils are two of the biggest clubs in the world and are fierce, historic English rivals. The match at Anfield on October 14 promises to be a very competitive and hugely entertaining game of football.
Despite being the visiting team, United will head into the game as favourites. Jose Mourinho’s side are in better form and arguably have the better squad, and are level on 19 points with league leaders Manchester City. The Red Devils are scoring goals for fun; they have found the net just once fewer than the Citizens, and have conceded just twice.
Meanwhile, Liverpool find themselves as low as seventh in the Premier League table with only 12 points from seven games. Jurgen Klopp’s side kicked off their season encouragingly enough, but they have fallen off the pace largely due to the fact that they have won just one in their last seven matches in all competitions. Winning the Premier League title is looking increasingly difficult for a team that just about managed to finish fourth last season.
However, Liverpool could kickstart their season if they pick up all three points against United at Anfield. It is going to be hard, but the Merseyside outfit showed last season that they can match the top teams in England. Klopp’s side’s performances against the big teams so far this season have been mixed. A 4-0 victory over Arsenal at Anfield was followed by a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. Then came the 2-2 draw with Sevilla at home in the Champions League.
Given the opposition, Liverpool players are certain to step up their game at Anfield. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be a key player for the Reds. Despite struggling to make an impact following his move from Premier League rivals Arsenal in the summer transfer window, the 24-year-old central midfielder was called up to the England squad for their final two World Cup qualifiers. Having now helped the Three Lions qualify for the competition in Russia in 2018, which they are 20/1 to win according to latest international football betting odds, Oxlade-Chamberlain, who can also operate as a winger, will be full of confidence.
United have some superb players as well. Romelu Lukaku has started the season strongly and has scored seven goals in seven Premier League appearances. Attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has already provided five assists, while David de Gea remains arguably the best goalkeeper in the Premier League. Manager Jose Mourinho knows how to win big matches, and he will have had two whole weeks to hatch a plan to get the better of Liverpool.
The form book goes out of the window under such circumstances, and Liverpool will be buoyed by the fact that it is a home match and the fans will be behind them. The two-week international break will have allowed manager Klopp to work with his players and find weaknesses in the United team. Although it is not inconceivable that the Red Devils will pick up all three points at Anfield, Liverpool should have just enough to draw with their bitter rivals from Manchester United.
Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United