Every week, John Duggan brings you a preview and investment advice for the top football matches in association with Paddy Power...
Sunday sees the best two supported clubs in Ireland, Manchester United and Liverpool, go head to head in a Premier League showdown at Old Trafford.
Whatever the circumstances, this is the marquee game of English football and even if there are Red Mondays, the anticipation is never dimmed for fans of both clubs and neutrals alike.
There is a narrative going into this game that Liverpool need the win more as they push for a Champions League spot. The narrative says that Liverpool will also be fresher, as United played on Thursday. The narrative says that Liverpool are better on the road and United have found it hard going in certain matches at Old Trafford this season.
I don't buy the narrative.
United have been flopping in semi-finals under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and that is now put to bed, with Europa League silverware a distinct possibility. They are 13 points ahead of Liverpool in the table, they have almost a fully strength squad to choose from and both Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani are in form. It seems to be a happy camp under the Norwegian. They have won five of their last six Premier League games at home and will be hungry to make a statement.
The summer break cannot come soon enough for Liverpool, who remain without Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and skipper Jordan Henderson. These injuries have affected the potency of the whole team and Liverpool, while capable of flashes of what we've come to know over recent years, are a fatigued shadow of their brilliant selves. Not being able to hold onto leads against Leeds United and Newcastle United was indicative of the Reds being in a funk, and I reckon United, with their tails up, will go for the jugular and win. They are a value price to do so.
Football recommendation: Manchester United to beat Liverpool in the Premier League - 7/4
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