The stage is set. The Theatre of Dreams will draw back its curtains once again as England’s fiercest rivalry unfolds in a ‘Super Sunday’ humdinger as Manchester United host Liverpool. After so many barren years, both giants of English football find themselves back in the forefront, with the Red Devils vastly improving under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, while Jurgen Klopp’s mighty Reds are challenging for the ultimate prize in England – the Premier League trophy. Old Trafford hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Liverpool, and with this being the game tipped by many to decide Solskjaer’s fate at United, a win for the visitors would restore their three-point lead at the summit.
Manchester United 43/20
After a complete turnaround in their season, Manchester United fans can go into a big game believing again. Many eyebrows were raised when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lost his first game as interim boss – 2-0 at home to Paris Saint-Germain – but his response against Chelsea on Monday night surely put any doubt to bed.
Solskjaer is by no means a tactically astute manager, but his willingness in letting the players go out and express themselves on the pitch has worked wonders for Manchester United. Winning 11 of your 12 domestic matches is no fluke, and even in their 2-2 draw against Burnley, they showed the type of mental strength only seen back in the Fergie era.
Paul Pogba has been the centre of attention in United’s recent success, and to no surprise, really. Being the go-to man at the biggest club in the land, pressure will always be on Pogba to perform, and under Solskjaer, he has done just that.
The World Cup winning Frenchman is United’s top scorer across all competitions with 15 goals to his name, while he has also had a hand in nine assists this term.
The player who has profited the most because of Pogba’s form is undoubtedly Marcus Rashford. The England frontman has been superb since the appointment of Solskjaer and his versatility in attack has been a nightmare for opposing defenders.
The Red Devils have also been boosted by the return of Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial, who could be available in this weekend’s showdown.
Win this and who knows, this really could be their year. Right now, pressure is starting to mount at Liverpool, and it has shown this season that the Reds have been at their best when they’re playing as the chasers in the title race.
That was evident in the early stages of the year, when Liverpool surrendered their seven-point lead over Manchester City. Of course, avoiding defeat would put them back on top, but a win would send a message of intent to show that this Liverpool side really are the real deal.
Their form has been indifferent of late, drawing two of their last three encounters, but they’ll definitely be highly-motivated to end Solskjaer’s unbeaten Premier League run.
Despite winning just one of their last three games, over the course of the season, Liverpool have been the best team in the division. Alisson Becker has undoubtedly been the best goalkeeper this season, Virgil Van Dijk is arguably the best defender on the planet, while Mohamed Salah continues to compete for the Golden Boot.
But apart from the usual heavy-hitters at Liverpool, the likes of Gini Wijnaldum has also stepped up this season, as well as Fabinho, who will both be crucial in winning the midfield battle this weekend.
The Reds have also hit a blip away from home in recent weeks, winning just one of their last four encounters across all competitions, edging Brighton out 1-0 in a run that includes back-to-back defeats against Wolves and Man City, not to mention their most recent trip at the London Stadium, drawing 1-1 at West Ham.
Liverpool will really need the fans on their side at Old Trafford in hope of avoiding another defeat at the Theatre of Dreams.
Manchester United: 4-2-3-1
De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; Matic, Herrera, Pogba; Lingard, Rashford, Martial.
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho; Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane; Salah.
Prediction: Rashford to Score Anytime & Man United Win (7/2)
This will certainly be a cagey affair and perhaps it could come down to home advantage with the fans at Old Trafford expected to be the 12th man. Another area in which the game could be won is in midfield, and right now, nothing can stop Pogba in England. Rashford scored a brace in a 2-1 win for United in this fixture last season and I’m expecting the English frontman to produce the goods again. Make sure to jump on Hollywoodbets’ Price Boosts & Specials and back Rashford to Score Anytime & Man United to Win at 7/2.
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