The 199th North-West Derby is upon us: Liverpool – Manchester United

There are numerous big derbies across the globe. You have the Old Firm in Scotland, El Classico in Spain, Derby della Madonnina in Italy and the North-West Derby in England. After an detoxing week with international football, we are immediately spoiled, because Liverpool will host Manchester United this Saturday (12.30 local time). Down below, we will discuss this fixture from several angles? What can we expect from this North-West battle? Fireworks or will both managers approach this game quite cautious?

Liverpool are looking to break a six-game streak in which they weren’t victorious over Manchester United (home & away). The visitors have been performing wonders on Anfield in the last years, with just one loss in the last six encounters (3 wins, 2 draws). And it’s even more remarkable that Liverpool hasn’t scored against Manchester United in their last two home games in the domestic league. Something which happened just one time before from 2005 till 2007 where the visitors kept a clean sheet in four consecutive games.

Manager José Mourinho has started this campaign almost perfect, only drawing away at Stoke. Meaning they are currently second behind their neighbours City, solely on goal difference. Manchester United has been looking quite convincing lately: winning their last six games in all competitions. And huge wins too. Scoring twenty and only conceding three. Thankfully for them, Mourinho has placed his faith in Romelu Lukaku. Which has resulted in seven Premier League-goals, making him the top scorer of the league. United were quite boring last season, but Mourinho has slightly changed his approach. Giving more creative freedom to those who deserve it. But also keeping a secure back-line, because United kept a clean sheet in six of their seven PL-games. Only Stoke City (2) managed to surpass David de Gea.

A complete different story is happening at Liverpool, which already conceded twelve goals. Only keeping a clean sheet in two fixtures. A true leader in their backline is missing. A role which players such as Lovren or Matip can’t take on, because they are struggling too. This Liverpool needs a world-class centre back. Another problem is the lack of a true world-class striker in their squad. Agüero, Kane, Lukaku are all brilliant forwards and are incomparable to Roberto Firmino. I think that Liverpool will drop points in the upcoming weeks with Sadio Mané being out for ‘up to six weeks’.

Overall, the difference in quality between the Manchester’s and the rest is quite significant in my eyes. Their convincing playing style makes me think that United and City will be the clear number 1 & 2 this season. Something which the bookmakers thought too.

Knowing José Mourinho,  he won’t take any risk in going forward this Saturday. His side simply holds more quality players and I think that his approach will be a frustrating one for the viewers, but he will get his result. I expect Liverpool to have the majority of the ball, but without knowing how to break down their opponents. I’m thinking that Manchester United won’t lose here. Therefore, my prediction is ‘+0 Manchester United’. Meaning you’ll win your bet when they win, but get your money refunded when this fixture ends in a draw. The odd for this pick is hovering around 1.95.