The scene is set for a thrllling battle between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield and bwinbetting has asked two of its columnists to argue their respective cases in the latest ‘Shouting the Odds’ clash. David Segar talks up a win for King Kenny’s men, while Nathan Staples tells editor Chris Bryant that United can lay down a title marker at Anfield.
CB: Fergie’s in no doubt – he says it’s the biggest club match in world football. Liverpool v United could be a classic, but what’s going to happen?
DS: Through the decades it would have been unthinkable for Liverpool to be as long as 2/1 to win a game at Anfield, but those are the odds for King Kenny’s men on Saturday. Understandable, given they face an undefeated Manchester United, but recent history is on the side of the home team and the chance to treble your money should be too hard to turn down. Liverpool have won the last three meetings between the sides at Anfield and the last time this fixture saw Kenny vs. Fergie, a Peter Beardsley hat-trick sealed a 4-0 win for the Merseyside outfit. I wouldn’t back Beardsley himself to repeat that feat though.
NS: Although United have been poor in the past three games, an international break can do wonders. With Nemanja Vidic back to fitness, the strike-force fully available and still yet to lose this season, United look a steal at 13/10. I think it’s going to be a really entertaining game.
CB: There’s certainly no love lost between these two. Any particular scorelines you’ve got in mind?
DS: The previous three results in this tie have been 2-1, 2-0 and 3-1 to Liverpool. Natural progression suggests 3-0, but the way United have been playing this season you would be a fool to predict a Liverpool clean sheet. One thing this game should guarantee is goals, which is why I will likely play a safer bet and go for the final score to be either 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 to Liverpool. These are all scores Liverpool have won by in the past three seasons against United (home or away), so 23/4 for one of them to re-occur on Saturday seems solid in my book.
CB: Hmm…interesting. What bets are jumping out for you Nathan?
NS: So far this season, United have scored 13 goals in the second half of their matches. Liverpool, on the other hand, have conceded in each of their last four home games after the interval. With that in mind, United at 19/4 to score twice in that second half makes sense to anyone who isn’t a Liverpool fan. Having said that, the 9/4 on United to score in both halves also appeals as a slightly safer play..
CB: And how about the likely match-winners? Who should we be looking to back?
DS: Last season it was Dirk Kuyt who grabbed the headlines as his six-yard hat-trick sealed a 3-1 win in a game the Reds dominated. However, many people’s man of the match was Luis Suarez, who had a hand in all three efforts. El Pistolero terrorised the United defence that day, but didn’t have a goal to show for it. He has carried on his impressive start to life at Anfield this season and will surely give problems again to a Red Devils defence which has looked far from solid in recent games. The Uruguayan has scored in two out of three Liverpool home games this season, and I’d back him at 11/2 to break the deadlock.
NS: I’m going to say Wayne Rooney! Admittedly, it hasn’t been the best week for Rooney. The sending off against Montenegro has left him out of the group stages of Euro 2012 for England. But this news is music to United fans’ ears. He’ll have plenty of fire in his belly when he takes the field and is the top scorer In the league after all. It would be just like Rooney to pop up with a big goal – 5/1 for him to score first should be more than tempting.
CB: As a final thought on the subject of Rooney are there any other bets you’re looking to have on him here?
DS: I reckon ‘Wazza’ will still be fuming when the two old enemies line up at Anfield. Rooney has been very vocal about his hatred of all things LFC in the past, and if he’s willing to boot a helpless Montenegrin after a fair challenge, then I would have thought it would be odds on he gets wound up enough to do similar against Liverpool, especially if Craig Bellamy gets any minutes. At 14/1, I’d be tempted to throw enough on another Rooney ‘episode’ to pay for my trip to Poland and Ukraine next summer. Oh sweet irony!
CB: And on that bombshell we’ll have to leave it. Who will get knocked off their you-know-what perch? Place your bets!
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