Liverpool vs Manchester United – Match Preview
The big match of the weekend is undoubtedly the huge clash between two great rivals at Anfield. Liverpool, who are in need of a win, take on Manchester United who have made an impressive unbeaten start to the season. Infogol’s Analyst previews the game, using underlying expected goal data to produce the best bets.
Liverpool come into this game with just one win in seven matches in all competitions, with question marks being asked of Jurgen Klopp in recent weeks. They were held by Newcastle last time out, with supposed defensive issues once again taking the headlines.
The fact is though, that Liverpool have been a little unlucky so far this season, and their performances have been consistently better than has often been made out. They have scored just 13 goals this season, but have been expected to score closer to 15 with the chances they have created, and it is a similar under-performance in defence, where they have conceded 12 but would have expected to concede closer to 10.
Two of their most recent results, against Newcastle and Burnley, both ended in 1-1 draws, but the aggregate expected goals total was 4.0-1.0, again showing Liverpool’s misfortune. The Reds’ process remains one of the best in the league, meaning they will always have chances in matches, and they should still be a threat going forward despite the loss of Sadio Mane through injury.
Manchester United have been very impressive so far this season and remain unbeaten, winning all but one of their opening 10 matches. They have scored 32 goals in the process, with Jose Mourinho adopting a much more attacking style of play this season.
Their process has been impressive so far this campaign, generating a lot of good chances on a consistent basis – aided by the quality they can bring off of the bench. They are averaging 2.6xG per game, though they have had the second easiest start to the season, based on average xGD/90 of opponents, and this is undoubtedly their toughest test yet.
We all remember the dull encounter at Anfield last season in which Mourinho played a back six at times, but injuries to Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini may have forced his hand this time around. With only Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick to choose from in central midfield, he may have to go attacking and stick to the team and formation that has served him well so far this season.
Both teams have impressed in attack so far this season, so expect a game with plenty of goals, with Mourinho set to take the game to Liverpool. Manchester United have been the more consistent of the two sides, and look the more balanced, so are fancied to gain another valuable win.
Manchester United win @ 17/10
Over 2.5 goals @ 5/6