AFTER their dismal display last week, will Manchester United fight back on Thursday against Liverpool? Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) looks at the game for us.
Manchester United v Liverpool | Thursday 20:05 | BT Sport Europe
Another chapter was added last Thursday in the rather bustling ‘Bad Times At Manchester United Under LVG’ book when his side produced a pathetic, pithy performance at Anfield in their opening Europa League Last 16 leg.
This Thursday they try to restore some pride in the second leg at Old Trafford and go into the game 2-0 down from their Anfield (mis)adventure.
Backers of United here would have been encouraged in a sense by their decent performance against West Ham on Sunday at Old Trafford. Yeah, they only managed a late draw but there’s ample evidence to suggest that West Ham are simply a better team than Manchester United this season.
United went into last Thursday night’s game protecting a dominant record against their North West foes. The Old Trafford outfit had won their last four matches against Liverpool and triumphed in eight of the previous 10 meetings. Their insipid display belied those stats.
The shame that has emanated from that game makes me think there will be some sort of reaction this Thursday. United for all their problems have been fairly strong at home this season.
If we have a look at those Old Trafford stats in more detail we see a team unbeaten in five and with four wins in that spell. The Red Devils have lost just two home games this season. One against Norwich the week before Christmas and against Southampton the month after.
They’ve beaten Spurs in Manchester, saw off Arsenal, drew with Man City and beat their opponents fairly convincingly 3-1 back in September. Defeat here seems unthinkable.
To be honest I’m really surprised to see Manchester United as big as 8/5 to win this game. It’s only a few weeks since they crushed Midtjylland and beat Arsenal and an impressive Watford side.
Liverpool for all their recent guile (unbeaten in seven) are still not a side to trust. They’ve let punters down at short odds at various points this season and look too short for me here.
This is yet another defining match for Van Gaal here. If his side crumple United fans will never forget the shame of that so I’m expecting a rousing effort from them and I’ll back them to win at odds of 8/5 at a venue where they’ve beaten tonight’s opponents eight times in the last nine.
Manchester United v Liverpool – Manchester United to win (8/5 William Hill)
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