Manchester United vs Liverpool: Is Ten Hag Heading for a Bruising Defeat Or Can United Turn Things Around
Monday 22nd August - 20:00
When Manchester United and Liverpool go into battle, it’s not for the faint-hearted. The way things have gone for the Old Trafford side since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson will have been hard for their supporters to take and even harder when compared to the way their arch-rivals have gone from strength to strength over the same period of time.
In recent years Liverpool have had their fair share of the spoils from this encounter, and last season was abysmal for United. In October, they had to suffer the horror of losing 5-0 at home, and it could frankly have been far, far worse had Liverpool not taken their foot off the gas.
In the return game at Anfield, Manchester United were once again given a footballing lesson, and Jurgen Klopp’s side romped home 4-0.
Man United have failed to win any of the last eight Premier League meetings between the two sides, and there seems little hope that such a run could come to an end in this fixture.
Dark Times at Old Trafford
Last season was seen by most as a low point in the history of Manchester United, and the arrival of Erik ten Hag was meant to be the spark that got the club moving in the right direction, but in the first two games, the Dutchman has been in charge have proven absolutely disastrous.
Firstly, losing at home to Brighton was poor, but the performance itself was even more deflating than the 2-1 scoreline suggested, and fans of the club will have felt a case of deja vu about the way the club capitulated.
However, that result pales into insignificance when you consider the way they imploded at Brentford. To be four goals down inside 35 minutes against, no offence meant, inferior opposition is something that Man United fans will not want to get used to.
Ten Hag will now surely be pushing for new additions before the transfer window closes, and more importantly, he will know a lot more about the squad he inherited. The way they seemed to just vanish in both games is unforgivable when you consider the size and history of the club.
The same issues that plagued Ralf Rangnick’s brief reign are apparent, and it’s almost as if ten Hag’s job is insurmountable, and the visit of Liverpool could be something of a nightmare for the former Ajax manager to undertake.
However bad things have been at United thus far this season, it’s worth noting that Liverpool haven’t exactly impressed either. Klopp was lucky to see his side return from their opener at Craven Cottage with a point; arguably, Fulham deserved to win that clash.
Against Crystal Palace, the Reds weren’t exactly pulling the strings; indeed, they were behind to a Wilfried Zaha joke some way before they were down to ten men when Darwin Nunez was ordered off, and there is something missing at Liverpool right now.
The departure of Sadio Mane, not just in terms of the loss of a world-class talent but also as an important voice in the dressing room, has hit Liverpool harder than more would have expected, and Klopp knows that dropping points at this stage will make the chase of rivals Man City all the more difficult.
Coming off last season, where Liverpool manfully challenged for all major honours, it was always likely that there’d be a blip to start this campaign. Think only of the fact that the club had to play a mammoth 63 games and that the break between seasons being especially short; these are factors that can’t easily be ignored when considering their average start to the season.
Liverpool to win 4-0 - 25/1
Frankly, Liverpool are far better than their early season form, and recent history shows us that Klopp is more than capable of turning things around. With this in mind, and recent results between the two teams, we would suggest backing a big win for the away side.
Erik ten Hag’s side were shockingly bad in fixtures against Brighton and Brentford, two teams that on paper they should have beaten, so now up against a team that pushed for a quadruple last season, you’d have to back a heavy defeat to follow as there’s no sign of any other possible result.
Mohamed Salah to Score a Hat-Trick - 22/1
This is a tempting bet to make. The Egyptian clearly has an eye for goal and loves playing against Manchester United. He scored five against the club last season, including a hat-trick in this fixture last October and has netted in each of his last four games against the club’s traditional rivals.
The odds here are well worth a flutter, especially as another player who might have weighed in with Liverpool’s goal tally, Darwin Nunez, is suspended.