Monday 17th October sees one of the most anticipated derbies of the season as Liverpool host bitter rivals Manchester United. A series of early lackluster performances from United sees Mourinho under pressure to get a result at Anfield and there is no better man for the job. Mourinho has outmaneuvered Liverpool 8 times – more than any other team he has faced in his career. It should be pointed out though, that those victories did not come while Jurgen Klopp was at the helm of the Liverpool machine.
Klopp and Mourinho have faced off 4 times in the past with Klopp getting the better of the Portuguese man twice, drawing once, and losing once. Clearly over the course of a career Mourinho is vastly more experienced and has a much better record, but the turn-around Liverpool have had since Klopp’s arrival is nothing short of spectacular. It will be interesting to see the tactical choices each manager makes come game day.
Liverpool have burst out of the gate this season and after 7 games have the 2nd best attack rating. They are getting a shot off almost 20 times (including blocked shots) per game and have a respectable accuracy rating of 36.30%. United are hot on their heels however, managing to shoot around 17 times per game, hitting the target 34.70% of the time.
Defensively, both sides are conceding more than they ought to be. Liverpool are currently allowing 1.43 goals per game, while United are letting in 1.14. More worryingly for Liverpool is the fact they are conceding a goal for every 5.7 shots they face, while United’s ratio is a goal for every 9.3 shots.
Here is a side by side look at each team’s key stats.
Both sides have a high TSR (Total Shots Ratio) which highlights the dominance they have had in the games they have played so far. It will be interesting to see the balance of play on Monday evening.
Liverpool have not beaten Manchester United in the league in the last 2 seasons. In fact, in the last 6 league games between these two sides Liverpool have only managed to win twice. That being said, form counts for a lot in the football, and when we look at the last 5 games each team has played, Liverpool are doing much better:
The expected goal figures for this game are:
Liverpool – 1.65 Goals
Manchester United – 1.16 Goals
From this we get the following decimal odds:
Liverpool – 2.05
Draw – 4.11
Manchester United – 3.74
Liverpool are expected to be without Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum, but Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren are expected to have recovered in time. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is United’s only serious concern, but he is expected to recover by Monday.
A more interesting decision will be who to play at left-back. Luke Shaw has recovered from illness and may be preferred to Daley Blind in order to try to negate the pace of Sadio Mané.
Adrenaline will be running high for this one with a buzzing atmosphere. Being a derby, each side will be out to win. Expect an intense game with plenty of action at both ends.