With Manchester City running away with the league title, the drama surrounding the remainder of the Premier League season will lie elsewhere. The relegation battle is setting up to be fairly epic, but we also have a war at the top. At this point, we essentially have four teams battling for the remaining three spots in the top-four. City’s place is obviously secure, but which other three teams will be participating in next year’s Champions League?
There’s still a long way to go, but Manchester United and Liverpool look fairly assured of finishing in the top-four. While both clubs would obviously be happy to finish in the top-four, there is a bit of pride on the line between the rivals. You know either side would love to finish second and in front of the other.
This coming Sunday’s clash at Old Trafford should be a doozy. United are two points ahead of Liverpool, which makes this head-to-head clash even more important than just bragging rights, and you’ll find top notch betting picks across multiple bookmakers as the North West derby promises to be the biggest global game of the weekend.
Frankly, there may not be a team in England playing better football than Liverpool right now, City included. The Reds are currently riding a five-match unbeaten streak in the Premier League, which includes a controversial 2-2 draw against Spurs. Jurgen Klopp’s men also thrashed Porto 5-0 in Portugal a couple of weeks ago, with a drab if comfortable return leg draw at Anfield that’s taken them to the CL quarterfinals.
The Reds cruised to an effortless 2-0 victory over former manager Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle side this past weekend.
This is the beginning of a busy couple of weeks for Manchester United. Fortunately, they won’t have to leave England. After having the midweek off, United host Liverpool on Sunday before facing Sevilla in the return leg of their Champions League draw. The two sides battled to a scoreless draw in Spain a few weeks back. Brighton are up in the FA Cup next weekend, which makes for three extremely important games that United must win to achieve any sort of success this season.
This should be an interesting battle between a pair of managers that play contrasting styles. Klopp is obviously known for his “heavy metal football” type of coaching, while Mourinho is typically more willing to sit back and defend. United have a boatload of attacking talent, which makes Mourinho’s strategy look a bit confusing. When you have Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Jesse Lingard and others all on the same team, why aren’t you relentlessly attacking?
Mourinho’s style won out the last time these two teams met. They played to a scoreless draw at Anfield back in October, but plenty has changed since then. Sanchez was still at Arsenal back then, while Philippe Coutinho was still patrolling the Liverpool midfield.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Red Devils deal with Mo Salah, who has been the most unstoppable goalscoring force in England all year. The Egyptian added to his tally against Newcastle, which brings his total to a whopping 24 goals in 28 league appearances this season.
Home sides have a way of dictating a game’s tempo, which would seem to favour United once again here. However, stopping a Liverpool attack that has outscored opponents by a 13-3 margin over the last five league games is a tall task for anyone.
Liverpool seem to have an edge here, but this is a series United has essentially dominated over the last several years. The Reds haven’t won a game at Old Trafford since 2014, when Luis Suarez was still marauding around the pitch for the Merseysiders.
We’ll see what Mou has up his sleeve on Sunday. If United want something out of this season, it had better be good.