It says a great deal about the situation of Manchester United when they are kicking off at 4/1 underdogs in a league game against Liverpool* (betting odds taken from Ladbrokes on October 17th, 2019 at 23:48). But such as the struggles have been for the Red Devils this season, will they be able to raise their game in such a difficult fixture to get one over their old rivals? If they do, United will derby Liverpool equaling Manchester City’s record of 18 straight Premier League wins.
There wouldn’t be a better time for Manchester United fans to see their side produce a good performance than at home against Liverpool, who are striving to equal a Premier League record. A home win would fully be defying some huge odds, but the key to United digging in there and coming up with the goods could be all in their defence.
All of the criticism thrown at United this season has been towards their lack of creativity and indeed, lack of goal-scoring output. That’s justifiable. They have scored more than one goal in just one league fixture this season. That happened in their opening game for the season as well. But United have the third joint-best defensive output among the top twelve teams in the current standings ahead of the ninth-round of action.
Liverpool may be showing up at Old Trafford without Mo Salah who took a heavy, heavy knock against Leicester just before the international break. So that could improve United’s chances. If then summer signing Harry Maguire can produce a near-perfect performance to try and shut down Liverpool’s other key attacker, Sadio Mane, then United may be in with a chance.
The Red Devils aren’t likely to go turn on a brilliant show of attacking power. United will most likely have to sit back and look for the likes of Marcus Rashford on the counter-attack. The Red Devils don’t have the scoring threats in their sides like Liverpool have, so this is one occasion where they could be forgiven for putting out an unadventurous performance. A solid tactical counter-attacking game could get them in this.
Liverpool have won all of their league games this season. They are the runaway leaders at the top of the pile and yet they haven’t looked as good as there were last season. The Reds have taken only two clean sheets in league action this season. Three of their four away wins have been by a one-goal margin only and so they have been challenged. They have not been tearing teams apart on their travels.
For example in their last away game, Liverpool were being kept well at bay by Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, and it was only a mistake that gave Liverpool the 1-0 success in the match. Manchester United can look at how well the Blades contained Liverpool in that match and apply some of the same tactics. The fact is, Liverpool have chinks in their defensive armour and set plays, with the aerial threat of Harry Maguire, could be a way forward for United.
Manchester United played out a 0-0 draw at home against Liverpool last season. They are now undefeated in their last six games at Old Trafford against the Reds in all competitions. That’s a pretty decent record and eight of the last nine meetings between the two giants of English football has ended under 1.5 goals.
A low scoring game would suit Manchester United well because it will mean that they are doing a good job in shutting down the Liverpool attack. The Red Devils too have only lost one of their last seven played against Liverpool in all competitions as well (W1 D5) and you take into consideration that it’s been a long time since Manchester United have looked a title contender, then they have found ways to frustrate Liverpool.
The Red Devils must show some strength in this one. They have to. They have to show some big fight, be prepared to get their hands dirty and run themselves into the ground. They have a huge list of injury problems and key midfielder Paul Pogba isn’t fit to make his return. Keeper David de Gea had a hamstring problem on international duty for Spain and is being assessed.
That’s the kind of thing that should make the starting eleven work all that much harder. Liverpool are on a 17 match winning streak at the moment. It has been a phenomenal run, but that will have to come to an end at some point. Will it happen in fairly unlikely circumstances at Old Trafford?
Liverpool v Arsenal EPL Preview – Saturday, August 24th 2019 – 5.30 pm
The big game of the Premier League weekend comes from Anfield on Saturday evening. Liverpool will be stepping out on home soil as they look to extend a very good home record against Arsenal. These are the only two clubs who made 100% winning starts over their first two fixtures of the new season. Can Arsenal’s impressive attack cause an upset on Merseyside? The odds on Arsenal to beat Liverpool are at 19/4* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on August 20th, 2019 at 8:15 a.m.)
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on August 20th, 2019 at 8:15 a.m.)
The big asset that Arsenal have is a very exciting and potentially prolific goalscoring attack. There are proven sources of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette there, but over the summer they added the new key part to their attacking line-up. That was the arrival of Nicolas Pepe, who moved from Lille.
The 24-year-old scored a total of 35 goals in 74 appearances for Lille. so once he has fully integrated into the Arsenal set up, manager Unai Emery naturally taking his time with him early in the season, then that is a great extra dimension that Arsenal are going to have at their disposal. Will their club-record player be thrown into the action from the start on Saturday evening?
Arsenal have won their opening two games of the season both by a one-goal margin. Their opening win came on Tyneside as they collected a 1-0 victory over the struggling Newcastle. Then in their first home game of the new campaign Arsenal survived a stern challenge from Burnley. Goals from Aubamyeang and Lacazette give Arsenal a 2-1 home success.
But it has been successes this season for Arsenal by narrow margins. But they won’t mind that so early on and knowing that they are likely only going to get better. Arsenal had a terrible time things out on the road in last season’s top flight. They produced a W7 D4 L8 record and managed just one clean sheet away from the Emirates Stadium all season. Their away record saw them go D2 L7 in their nine away games against the other top 10 finishers.
But it is a new season and Arsenal have to be up for this first big test for the season against another of the big six teams. Given that both clubs can put out very strong attacking units the odds on Arsenal to win and both teams to score it is at 8/1 odds* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on August 20th, 2019 at 8:15 a.m.).
With a renewed belief that they can challenge for a top-four place this season once again, Arsenal will also be looking at Liverpool’s defence. The defence of Liverpool has not looked quite as sharp as it was last season. So this could be a great time for Arsenal to be going to Anfield really without any pressure on their shoulders. The bookmakers are certainly expecting Arsenal to lose.
Make no mistake about it this is going to be a huge challenge for Arsenal because you know that Liverpool are going to create chances during the match, even if they aren’t playing at their best. We saw that last weekend when the Reds produced a 2-1 win at Southampton without ever really getting up to top gear. Liverpool have also remained undefeated 39 home matches in the Premier League.
Liverpool have been winning at both half-time and full time in their last three home matches against Arsenal in all competitions. So will Arsenal be able to breach that immense home form which Liverpool have? Arsenal are currently on an eight-match winless streak of form against the Reds in the Premier League, losing five of those fixtures. Even though they don’t have a great record at Anfield, they have at least drawn two of their last three against Liverpool in top-flight action.
The odds-on Arsenal to beat Liverpool are naturally pretty big at that 19/4 quote* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on August 20th, 2019 at 8:15 a.m.). There is a reason for that of course and that reason is Liverpool are one of the top two teams in the country. There will be very few people expecting Arsenal to go to Anfield, and get to get a win.
That means they can play without pressure of expectation really, and perhaps take on the Liverpool defence which has been nowhere near its best this season. Whatever the outcome of the match it has the promise of been very high-scoring affair and six of the last seven meetings have all produced at least four goals.
UEFA Super Cup 2019 Preview – Wednesday August 14th, 2019 at 8.00 pm
The first-ever all English UEFA Super Cup will happen on Wednesday night from Istanbul. This is the traditional annual match between the previous season’s Champions League and Europa League winners. After so much success for English sides in the UEFA competitions last campaign, European champions Liverpool will be looking to add more silverware to their cabinet.
The odds on Liverpool to beat Chelsea are at 4/7 making them red-hot favourites* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on August 12th, 2019 at 2:24 p.m.)
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on August 12th, 2019 at 2:24 p.m.)
Liverpool didn’t have an easy road to the Champions League final last season. Not by any stretch of the imagination. In the group stage, for example, they had to deal with some tough games against Napoli, PSG and Red Star Belgrade. Liverpool won three and lost three of those six games and were under some big pressure there. But they got out in second place behind PSG and that meant a tough draw was waiting for them in the round of sixteen.
Liverpool took on Bayern Munich but produced a show of strength away from home in the second leg to produce a 3-1 aggregate win. They sent FC Porto packing in the quarter-finals before their momentous semi-final tussle with Barcelona. Liverpool won through 4-3 on aggregate but that was remarkably only after having lost the first leg 3-0 away from home. It was a stunning response that they came up with at Anfield. In the Final, they met Tottenham, with Mo Salah setting the Reds on their way within two minutes and easing to a 2-0 success.
Because of the set up that Liverpool have under Jurgen Klopp, they are regarded as one of the best in Europe and would be even if they didn’t have that Champions League title to hand. Their form throughout last season both on the domestic and European front was remarkable. They lost the Premier League title by a single point of Manchester City but only lost one league game all campaign. Still, they managed to push the Citizens so close with the extra burden of having to deal with those big European nights in the Champions League.
The Reds didn’t strengthen their squad over the summer by throwing the cheque book around. They seem pretty happy with what they have got and it’s hard to argue with that. It’s hard to see a perceivable area in which they could really have improved, aside from potentially luring Philippe Coutinho back to the club on loan. That didn’t pan out though so the Reds are pretty much as they were. With their wonderful attacking arsenal, it’s not a bad place to be in at all anyway.
Mo Salah. Roberto Firmino. Sadio Mane. It was a front line which struck fear into the hearts of defences on the domestic and European fronts last season. Watching them it’s easy to see why. While the bulk of the goals came from Mane and Salah, Firmino plays such an important supporting role, creating space for others and creating assists. They have blended together so well that it is an enviable attack that the Reds have.
The odds on Liverpool to beat Chelsea and Mo Salah to score in a Score/Win Double is at 13/8* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on August 12th, 2019 at 2:24 p.m.). The speed and clinical finishing of Salah is their biggest asset of all. He is the star power of a star-studded trio of players and it is hard to imagine that they are not going to create chances against a Chelsea team who looked defensively fragile on the weekend.
Much has been made about Chelsea’s situation over the summer. They have an inexperienced manager at the helm in Frank Lampard. They have a transfer ban so haven’t been able to strengthen over the summer. Given the start that they had to the new Premier League season on the week, a bruising 4-0 loss against Manchester United, that just compound the problems that the Stamford Bridge club have at the moment.
Of course, Lampard is going to need time to find his feet in the top flight. His managerial experience extends to one Championship season with Derby. He clearly has some kind of plan to turn Chelsea into a young, exciting team playing attractive football. They looked decent in the attack, and if Tammy Abraham starts hitting the net, they should be fine, but there is the feeling that they are lacking a world-class number nine. They were defensively naive as well against Manchester United, boldly trying to play and open game which left them exposed to United’s counter-attack, which was just playing into the hands of the hosts.
Liverpool may have only won one of their last six games against Chelsea but that win was in their most recent league meeting from last season, a 2-0 success at Anfield. Liverpool looked as if they just picked up immediately from where they left off last season, whereas the Blues, despite some positive enterprise look to have a lot of cracks to fill in.
This could be another great European night in Istanbul for the Reds as they enter into their sixth Super Cup. They have won three of their five previous visits to the fixture and were the most recent English winners as well, beating CSKA Moscow in extra time back in 2005. It should be a comfortable ride for Liverpool.
The odds on Liverpool to beat Chelsea to nil are at 15/8 and doesn’t look like a bad price at all* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on August 12th, 2019 at 2:24 p.m.)
The UEFA Champions League final will be kicking off at 8.00 pm on Saturday night from the Metropolitano in Madrid. For the second time in the history of the Champions League, there is an all-English final. The previous one was when Man Utd beat Chelsea on penalties in the 2008 Final.
This time around it is Liverpool who will be lining up against Tottenham, who are making their European Cup FInal debut. The odds on Liverpool to beat Tottenham are at 19/20* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on May 26th, 2019 at 9:22 p.m.).
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on May 26th, 2019 at 9:22 p.m.)
When you think about it, it has been quite a tough twelve months for Liverpool. Roughly this time last year they were lining up against Real Madrid in the Final of the Champions League. The night didn’t go to plan at all for Jurgen Klopp’s men as they fell to a 3-1 defeat, unravelled by some goalkeeping howlers from Loris Karius.
Then recently, at the end of a brilliant Premier League campaign, where they lost one game all season, they still couldn’t land their first ever EPL title. They were pipped to the post by Manchester City. So will the Reds finally put all of that behind them when they step out against Spurs on Saturday night? The odds on Liverpool to beat Spurs & both teams score is at 11/4 Tottenham v Liverpool Betting Odds*. That’s the way it’s been between them this season.
Liverpool claimed 2-1 victories over Spurs during the Premier League season. In the first one at Anfield, it was Spurs who scored a last minute goal, albeit being too little too late. Then in the reverse fixture at Wembley, Liverpool got a last minute goal to get the victory. That was their ninth win over Spurs in the last fourteen meetings (L1).
So the Reds are well on top from the recent clashes between the two sides. They have, however, never met in a game of such magnitude as this. So does that level the playing field a little bit? Will Liverpool’s recent experience of such a big occasion serve as a key factor in them driving forward to success against a Spurs team who may rightly feel a little overawed by the occasion?
Another reason to lean towards both teams scoring on the night will be because of recent matches between Tottenham and Liverpool having produced goals. Seven of the last eight fixtures between the two teams have seen both teams to score. Five of the last six meetings have gone over 2.5 goals, just as this season’s two Premier League meetings did.
Both teams have scored in each of the last eight Champions League Finals as well, so there’s another trend. Three of the last four Champions League finals have seen at least four goals scored in them. So this isn’t a match which particularly looks as if it is going to be between two teams who are just going to step out in Madrid and shut up shop.
Liverpool have won all but one of their last fourteen games played in all competition, losing the other one. That is an astonishing run of form from them. In that sequence of fourteen fixtures, the Reds scored at least two goals in all but one of them as well. So they certainly finished the season with a massive bang. Incidentally, the one defeat in that sequence was their 3-0 loss at the Camp Nou against Barcelona in their Champions League semi-final. Not even that stopped them though as they won the second leg 4-0.
Spurs didn’t have quite the same impact at the end of their season. In fact, there were times that they look heavy-legged and uninspired. Their Premier League title challenge drastically fell away with a massive slump of form and they ended the season with five defeats in their last eight games played in all competitions (W2 D1). So they are the ones who really have to try and pick themselves up and sort themselves out. They took just one clean sheet in their last eight games as well, not a great stat to have before facing up to a powerful scoring unit like Liverpool.
Liverpool have claimed the European Cup five times before in their history and this will be their ninth Final. It’s such a rich history that they have and it is the third time in the history of having reached consecutive UEFA finals. Jurgen Klopp has created a powerful team and with their head to head form against Spurs, are justifiable favourites. It’s been a dramatic season for both. What more awaits in the finale?
The comeback that Liverpool produced in the quarterfinals of their UEFA Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, will live long in memory. It was a stunning night of action at Anfield in which Liverpool miraculously overturned a 3-0 deficit from the first leg.
While there have been many stories of optimistic punters having cashed in on Liverpool’s 4-0 scoreline on the night, however one Irish punter took things just a little bit further with their efforts. They not only picked out the correct score but the correct first goalscorer too.
Liverpool got themselves off to a flying start when Divock Origi, filling in because neither Mo Salah or Roberto Firmino were available, popped up with the opening goal of the game in just the seventh minute. That was the platform on which they built their epic night.
The punter with miraculous foresight had played a €20 bet with Boylesports on the day of the game, for Divock Origi to score first and Liverpool to win 4-0 in what at the time, must have felt like nothing too much more than an optimistic scorecast.
The bet was taken at 215/1 odds and even though the first goalscorer was nailed early on, there was still nervous tension around, waiting for Liverpool to get their fourth goal. It arrived, with Origi getting his second off an opportunistic corner kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold. That meant the bet collected a sum of €4,320.
Lawrence Lyons of Boylesports said there were a few optimists who backed Liverpool to win 4-0 at odds of 50/1.
“A huge pat on the back goes to one of our punters in Limerick who nailed the 4-0 scoreline along with Origi scoring first at odds of 215/1. It was a cracking bet and I wonder if they could advise us on this weekend’s Lotto numbers.”
Is there going to be one more amazing twist in what has been such a stunning Premier League title race this season? Liverpool need to come up with one final huge effort at Anfield on the weekend. They have to take three points from this home game and hope that Manchester City fail to produce a win at Brighton. That is the only way that Liverpool, after so many years, can finally touch Premier League success.
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on May 6th, 2019 at 9:40 p.m.)
Liverpool have been in such scintillating form recently. They have put together an eight-match winning streak in the top flight, so they can’t really had done anything more. Naturally, down the final stretch of the season, there have been wobbles here and there. They have rode their luck in the sequence to get notable wins at Fulham and at home against Spurs. They have left things very late as they did against Newcastle last weekend in grinding out a 3-2 win.
But their resilience and never-say-die spirit has kept them going. That was on show on Tuesday when they produced a 4-0 home win over Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie against the Spaniards. That saw the Reds overturn a 3-0 first leg deficit. That was a night full of emotion and raw energy. The question is, will that huge, momentous effort have taken anything out of them ahead of the final weekend of the EPL season?
Liverpool are on a six-match Premier League winning streak at Anfield and they scored at least two goals in each of those successes. That is part of an overall W16 D2 L0 record which Liverpool have produced on home soil this season. It’s been a magnificent effort at both ends of the pitch from them. The Reds have averaged 2.94 goals per home league game this season while their defence has stood up to the task as well.
Liverpool have conceded an average of 0.56 goals per game against them, totalling a clean sheet in 61% of home games. That’s a tremendous return and they will go into this one against Wolves with back to back home clean sheets to their name. Liverpool are unbeaten in their last sixteen Premier League games, home and away and at Anfield, they have netted in each of their last fourteen fixtures there. Going back to their scoring they have scored at least two goals in each of their last eight played, home and away.
Surely that powerful home record is not going to fail Liverpool at the last hurdle? Given the self-belief that they showed against Barcelona in midweek, it’s not looking likely. But what about Wolves? What will they bring to the table? On the evidence of their performances against the strongest teams away from home this season, a pretty decent challenge could be the answer to that question.
Wolves are W1 D3 L1 in their five matches against the other big six in the league away from home this season. That’s a fantastic return. The one loss in that sequence was at Manchester City when Wolves were taken down to ten men early in the game. The overall away record for the season from Wolves is only W6 D5 L7 but they are a tough side to break down when they are on their game. Home away Wolves have won each of their last three Premier League fixtures, including a success over Arsenal in that run.
Given what Wolves have produced against the stronger teams this season the danger for Liverpool is not about seeing Wolves win, as that’s unlikely. It’s about their resilience and ability to deny Liverpool the three points they need. But Liverpool have been thriving under pressure this season and they are likely to get over the finish line. The odds on Liverpool to win to nil are 6/5* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on May 6th, 2019 at 9:40 p.m.).