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Manchester United vs. Liverpool betting odds, preview, and pick

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May 12th, 2021

Bitter rivals Manchester United and Liverpool will face off for bragging rights on Thursday as the two meet in the Northwest Derby.

Thu, May 13 2021, 7:15 PM

Manchester United

+188

Draw

+265

Liverpool

+138

United navigating congested fixture list

With four matches in an eight-day span, it’s been a tricky spell for the Red Devils. Thursday’s match will be their third Premier League fixture in five days, and their 2-1 defeat to Leicester on Tuesday saw them make 10 changes to the starting XI with only Mason Greenwood remaining from their weekend match. Greenwood found the back of the net for a first-half goal, but the youth and inexperience showed in the side at times.

Now, Liverpool visit with United set to rotate the majority of their normal unit into the lineup. However, captain center back Harry Maguire will miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury suffered in Sunday’s win over Aston Villa. Maguire had not missed a single match in the league this season and, despite some issues with his play from fans, has been a mainstay in the middle. Now the team will rely on Eric Bailly to step in alongside Victor Lindelof against the attack of the Reds.

Edinson Cavani is on fire at the moment, and after signing a one-year extension with the club will likely lead the attack on Thursday. He has eight goals and two assists in his last eight matches, and has found the back of the net in each of his last four starts in all competitions with six goals in those appearances.

Leicester was one of the few teams to take an early lead on United and actually pull out a result, as United have taken more points from losing positions this season than any other club with 31 points salvaged. That is three points off the Premier League record. Falling behind against Liverpool shouldn’t be an issue for them either, as Liverpool have struggled to hold onto leads of late.

Liverpool hoping to capitalize on Chelsea defeat

As for the Reds, their hopes of making Champions League dreams a reality got a huge boost with Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday. A victory over United would put them on 60 points, just four points back of Chelsea with a match in hand. While it would still be a tall task, they could pull within a point and be in position to capitalize over their final two matches were the Blues or Leicester to slip up. Europa League is also in reach, as a win would move them into fifth.

First, they must find a way to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford, something they have done just once in their last 10 visits in all competitions. In fact, over their last 16 total meetings, Liverpool have taken a victory just three times, with United winning six and drawing the other seven. Liverpool have just two wins over United since 2016, and the reverse fixture in January was a scoreless draw. A week later, United knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup with a 3-2 win.

Ozan Kabak is likely out, and with the injuries to nearly everyone in central defense, the Reds may have to rely on youngsters Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips at center back. Liverpool have just one victory in their last three league matches, and have kept just one clean sheet in their last four. United will be a much tougher task to do that against than Southampton, and without their mainstays in defense it will be even tougher.

Trends to keep an eye on

In eight of Manchester United’s last nine league matches at home, the final score has seen at least three goals scored. However, two or fewer goals have been scored in eight of Liverpool’s last 10 Premier League matches in total.

United have lost just once to Liverpool at home in their last 10 meetings. Liverpool have taken at least a point from each of their last six Premier League matches in total.

Manchester United have kept just one clean sheet in their last six matches in the league, a scoreless draw with Leeds two weeks ago. Both teams have scored in those other five outings.

Both teams are trying to drag themselves to the finish line, but the pressure is off of United, who need just three points over their final three matches to secure second place—and just one point to guarantee Champions League next season. Liverpool must win this match to hold onto hope, which means they will need to take some risks.

United are the better team at the moment, and they have shown they can come from behind while Liverpool has shown they cannot hold a lead as of late. Take United to win with both teams scoring, and bet on Cavani to put his name on the scoresheet in the process.

Picks: United win/Both teams to score (+370), Cavani to score anytime (+175)

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