Liverpool vs Man United: Klopp intensity could account for the Red DevilsPublished January 14, 2016
Traditionally one of the heavyweight clashes of the season, Liverpool v Manchester United on Sunday afternoon (2.05pm kick off) suddenly looks a lot more appealing than it might have done after both teams were involved in highly-entertaining 3-3 midweek draws.
It would be fair to say that Liverpool came out of their battling draw with Arsenal far happier than Manchester United did after effectively throwing away two-points at Newcastle United.
Liverpool are in the midst of a hectic schedule, with a Capital One Cup semi-final 2nd leg and an FA Cup 3rd round replay looming large. Squad rotation will be key over the coming weeks, but it’s a safe bet that Jurgen Klopp will send out his strongest possible XI for this game.
Dejan Lovren could be back in contention for Liverpool and with Klopp having brought Steven Caulker in on loan, the recent lack of central defensive options looks to have been addressed. The ever fragile Daniel Sturridge could also supposedly be available, but you can never take anything for granted. Philippe Coutinho, Martin Skrtel and Divock Origi are all still several weeks away from returning.
The Reds form has been patchy of late, with just three wins in their last 10 games in all competitions and each of those coming by a solitary goal to nil. Even so, you get the impression that Liverpool are a happier camp under Klopp than Manchester United is under Louis Van Gaal at present.
As for Manchester United, results may have picked up slightly of late, but it’s still just two wins in their last 11 games in all competitions and, in truth, neither those victories (at home to Swansea City and Sheffield United) were particularly convincing.
The Red Devils 3-3 draw at Newcastle United on Tuesday evening made for great viewing, albeit the quality on display from both teams was somewhat wanting. Encouragingly for Manchester United, Wayne Rooney scored twice (the second being a top quality strike) and he was also instrumental in the other goal. The fact that they surrendered 2-0 and 3-2 leads against a Newcastle team struggling for goals themselves is a major concern though.
Liverpool under Klopp play with a much greater intensity than is evident at Manchester United under Van Gaal, particularly in the big games. That coupled with home advantage and the spirit within the Liverpool squad makes them look the marginal favourites here. Backing them for the win is risky though, so the security of taking them on the ‘Draw No Bet’ market looks the safer option.