Man United v Liverpool Betting Preview: Club Legends Go Head With Big Match Predictions


To commemorate the monumental Premier League encounter between Manchester United and Liverpool this Sunday, we pitted two legends from opposite ends of the Old Lancashire Road up against one another to help us predict best bets and assess the key factors for the upcoming match at Old Trafford.

Step forward treble-winning ex-United star Ronny Johnsen and former Liverpool defender Glenn Hysen, who was part of the last Reds side to win the title in 1990.  

 

These two esteemed alumni are now Unibet ambassadors, and it’s fair to say they know a thing or two about what is one of world football’s fiercest rivalries…

THE ATMOSPHERE

Ronny says:
“Every player will know that this match represents something special. And the feeling gets stronger the closer to the match you come because people around the city are buzzing. The players that have been at the club the longest are extra motivated on occasions like this. It feels like this until you get to the hotel on the morning of the game, at which point you begin pre-match preparation and try to shut the outside world out of your system.”

Glenn says:

“When I was at Liverpool this was the biggest match of the season, bar none. The Merseyside derby matches against Everton were great, but this was something extra special. You can literally feel the hatred from the United supporters as you enter the pitch at Old Trafford – I can recall hearing some pretty foul language directed our way, especially during the warm-up. But most of the players today are more used to the big match pressure. I’m sure it’s nothing they can’t handle.”

KEY STRENGTHS

For Manchester United – Ronny says:

“The team spirit is without a doubt United’s biggest asset. We are not top of the Premier League by accident – we are seven points clear without being in top gear, and that means we have a tremendous spirit. Also, having a prolific goal getter like van Persie lifts you up a notch. You can rely on him when matches need to be won.”

For Liverpool – Glenn says:

“For me, Gerrard is still the heartbeat and he has been playing better and better of late. He’s got a great eye for the game and he serves Suarez with high quality passes, like he did with Torres back in the day. Under Brendan Rodgers, it is really important that the team’s communication works 100% smoothly, which has been the case during their better performances recently.  In my opinion the team is looking better in defence – Reina is stable and we are not conceding as many goals as before. What’s missing, and what has been the problem in recent seasons, is continuity, it’s been up and down and they need to be more consistent. Then again Liverpool traditionally play better against better opponents so this match will suit us just perfectly.”

GOAL THREATS

For Manchester United – Ronny says:

“Robin Van Persie and Javier Hernandez are both sharp, and lethal in and around the box. I would back them both to score this Sunday: The Little Pea to score first at odds of 5.25 because he is normally quick off the mark and loves to score against Liverpool. Then van Persie to score at any time at odds of 1.78 because he is a match winner of the highest order.”

For Liverpool – Glenn says:

“Against United I think we will get our best chances from corners and free kicks. Agger and Skrtel are really good in the air and good value odds too! My top tip is that Agger will score from a Gerrard set-piece. At 15.00 anytime and 35.00 to score first, Agger is a great bet. And if it doesn’t go straight into goal, then Luis Suarez, who has scored against United in the past, will be there like a little ferret ready to pounce and stick the ball in the back of the net. So back Agger for a great value bet, or Suarez for more of a banker at 2.45 to score at any time.”

TACTICS

For Manchester United – Ronny says:

“The game will be won and lost in the middle of the park, where United could be in danger of getting over-run. Until fairly recently I would’ve said that Gerrard did not fit into Brendan Rodgers’ system, but he has had an upswing in form of late, which is concerning for United. Gerrard played really well during the Christmas period and he is the one player in Liverpool’s midfield trio that can strike fear into the United ranks. But if United start quickly from the kick-off then we will control it.”

For Liverpool – Glenn says:

“I don’t think this game is going to be 100mph frenetic from the start. Instead, it will start out in a cautious manner and Liverpool will adapt to the pace of the match as it goes on. My view is that United have a solid midfield and a kick-ass attack, but their weak spot is their defence. They’ve been conceding a lot of goals this season and the only reason they’ve picked up so many results is because they’ve scored even more goals at the other end. There is a winning mentality at Old Trafford that you don’t see at many clubs. I have high hopes for Liverpool’s attack now that they’ve strengthened the team with a goal getter like Daniel Sturridge. The key is to get him the ball in attacking positions so that he can cause problems.”

HOW TO STOP THE STAR STRIKERS

On containing Luis Suarez, Ronny says:

“Suarez is a quality all round forward. He is very smart, and a typical fox-in-the box-player. He can dribble well, so it is all about not letting him have the space in which to twist and turn. I think it is also important to be right at him from the first whistle – don’t let him settle into the match at all. If decisions go against him then you have succeeded in your job, but never ever underestimate him.”

On containing Robin Van Persie, Glenn says:

“You can’t put one defender on van Persie like a rucksack, that just don’t happen in modern football. I’d keep him really close though and always make sure I’d have support behind me. When he is facing the goal try and move him to his right so he has to fire his ‘wrong’ gun. The key is to stay tight and not allow him a shooting opportunity with his left foot.”

IS IT WORTH BETTING ON YOUR TEAM?

For Manchester United – Ronny says:

 “United are short odds favourites at 1.80, and I would still back them at that price. For me, United are rightly clear favourites. The way they we’re playing, if the opponent score one time you know United will score twice, if the opponent scores twice – we will score three times. It has been like that all season. I was surprised to see anything above 1,65 for a home win in this match.”

For Liverpool – Glenn says:

“Liverpool are good odds at 4.35. And although the draw might seem a good bet at 3.75, it’s worth noting that United have only drawn once in the league so far and none of their past 6 home matches. Meanwhile, Liverpool are 4-0-2 in their past 6 away matches, so I wouldn’t go for the draw. It’s win or lose, and I say we win!”

SCORE PREDICTIONS

Ronny says:

“I was at Anfield when we won earlier in the season, and both teams have improved since then. I do believe United have improved more, and I can see us winning 3-1 at odds of 14.00. It’ll be a brace from Van Persie, a goal by Hernandez, and Suarez to score a consolation for Liverpool.”

Glenn says:

“I’m tipping 2-1 to Liverpool at intriguing odds of 15.00. With Suarez and Agger to notch one goal each.”