Sports Betting Weekly

Manchester United v Liverpool

When: Sunday, 14 December 2014 @ 19:30 (FINISHED)
Where: Old Trafford
The first half of a Sunday’s double-header of Premier League football provides undoubtedly the tie of the weekend as Manchester United host Liverpool in one of the game’s longest-standing grudge matches – and with Liverpool winning both fixtures against David Moyes’ United side last season, Louis van Gaal will be eager to give the home fans something to sing about this time around.

Unlike when the two sides met last season with United arguably at their lowest ebb during Moyes’ ill-fated tenure, there is something of a groundswell of optimism behind the hosts under Van Gaal. The Red Devils have not lost a game in front of their own fans since the opening weekend’s defeat to Swansea and have beaten every visiting team bar Chelsea since then to climb up the table.

Couple that with the fact that this is currently a very shot-shy Liverpool team that didn’t muster an attempt on target in their previous game against Sunderland until the 63rd minute and it’s easy to see why plenty of people are backing the hosts to extend their fine run of form at close to evens. Indeed, so poor have Liverpool been on their travels this season that you can get odds as short as 2/7 on United to win to nil and an attractive-looking 21/2 on the game finishing 2-0 to the hosts.

Given Brendan Rodgers’ men have conceded an average just shy of two goals a game away from home this season, it’s easy to see the appeal of backing United to get amongst the goals at Old Trafford – and with the Red Devils’ creative hub, Angel di Maria, also in line for a return, backing the home side for victory and the game to feature more than 2.5 goals could be the way to go at 9/5.

Given the two sides’ respective form, it is difficult to mount much of a case for an away win, but the visitors may yet be boosted by the return of Mario Balotelli following a groin strain. The temperamental Italian certainly has fond memories of Old Trafford having scored the opening two goals in Manchester City’s 6-1 demolition of United in the 2011-2012 season and – should he start – you can get 15/2 on the striker haunting his former city rivals by getting the first goal of the game.

Beyond that, Reds midfielder Raheem Sterling looked Liverpool’s biggest threat in their last game against Sunderland, with one particularly scintillating run resulting in a golden chance for Philippe Coutinho, and you can get 10/3 on the England international scoring at any time during the game.