Liverpool v Manchester United Spread Preview
Liverpool v Manchester United Preview: Will Liverpool Survive United Test to Stay Top of the Table?
After five straight Premier League wins, and a weekend that saw them become the only remaining unbeaten team in the league, Liverpool entertain Manchester United on Sunday in what should be a classic all-red war of North West giants.
While Liverpool’s main gun Mo Salah appears to be hitting form at the right time, after netting a hat-trick at Bournemouth, Liverpool’s defence provides an equal amount of justification towards their status as favourites. Ahead of kick-off the Reds have conceded just one goal in their last 462 minutes of Premier League football, and in doing so, are preparing to herald a whole calendar year unbeaten in the league at Anfield.
Regardless of their status as outsiders this weekend, Manchester United are a difficult team to predict on the road this season. Starting this round a whole eight points behind the top four, Mourinho’s men have scored in each of their last eight Premier League away games. However, they have managed to win on only three occasions, losing the same number of games and drawing 2-2 on two occasions. Worse yet for United, two of those three defeats have come against opposition that finished in the bottom half last season.
A Tale of Two Defences
Also of potential significance is the fact that United have now conceded first in each of their last five Premier League away games. Although the Red Devils have gone on to recover five points from that sequence – albeit dropping two points in injury time at Stamford Bridge on 20th October – their opponents’ recent form suggests that conceding first would be ill-advised. Liverpool have opened the scoring in every one of their 12 home league wins this calendar year, while also netting three times or more on eight occasions.
Overall, Liverpool’s own defence remains without equal, with a league-low of just six goals shipped across 16 PL matches – or just 0.375 per match on average. Depending on how neighbours Everton perform at the Etihad Stadium the day before, Jürgen Klopp’s title chasers could go four points clear at the top with victory. Although unlikely, if Manchester City were to slip up against Everton, that outcome would represent an unbelievable boost for the Reds.
16 Points' Difference – But Could it be More?
Whether or not Liverpool can win a maiden Premier League title, it is looking almost certain that they’ll gain more points than their long-time Manchester rivals. Liverpool's current outright points spread in the Football Spread Betting market is 90.5-92, which implies the side have as good a chance at the title as they’ve ever had in the Premier League era.
Ultimately, only a win for United on Sunday could reignite whatever tenuous beliefs may still exist in terms of their ability to bridge the gap behind Liverpool, and it is here that the ‘Season Match Bet’ market for Liverpool/Manchester United could take on some significance.
This market concerns the gap in points that will exist between Liverpool and Manchester United (in Liverpool’s favour) come the end of the season. At the moment, the spread on this market is 25.5-27.5, with 25.5 the sell price and 27.5 being the buy price. Which one you back this weekend depends on how you foresee each club’s fortunes unfolding.
‘Sell’ for United Improvement
If you think United will get stronger and Liverpool will begin to drop points, then now is the time to sell on the spread. Anything other than a Liverpool victory will undoubtedly see the spread shift towards a lower sell price, and reduce the multiplier on what is potentially a winning stake.
For instance, if United managed to gain some ground on Liverpool, and finish just six points behind them in May, you would (if wagering on the current sell price) win back 19.5x your stake, with a positive make-up of 19.5 based on the following calculation:
25.5 (Sell price) - 6 (Settle value) = 19.5
If you were to wager £5 on the sell price, you would win £127.50, through this calculation:
£5 (Wager) x 19.5 (Make-up) = £127.50
However, you could still end up losing more than you initially wagered. If United failed to cut down on the current deficit by May, and Liverpool create a gap of 30 points, that would create a negative make-up of -4.5:
25.5 (Sell price) - 30 (Settle value) = -4.5
In this scenario, you would therefore lose 4.5x your £5 wager (£22.50).
Buy for Liverpool to Maintain Momentum
If you believe that Liverpool will easily go even further than the current 16-point gap, then now is the time to buy into this market. Were you to wager £5 on the buy price of a 27.5 point gap in Liverpool’s favour come May, and the current 16-point gap was to be continued and built upon up to 33 points, that would create a positive-makeup of 5.5:
33 (Settle price) – 27.5 (Buy price) = 5.5
And you would then win £27.50: worked out as £5 (wager) x 5.5 (make-up) = £27.50.
Of course, if United were to finish only 24 points behind (for a settle value of 24), that creates a negative make-up of -3.5 (24-27.5 = -3.5).
You would therefore lose 3.5x your £5 stake (£5 x -3.5 = -£17.50).
Open and Shut Case?
Though Liverpool enter this weekend’s crunch clash as favourites, the Anfield faithful will do well to save their enthusiasm for the final whistle. The fact remains that United have still outgunned Liverpool by 13 whole Premier League titles, and while the Red Devils may not have the same degree of power over Liverpool these days, it should be noted that March 2014 remains the last time Liverpool beat United in the league.
There is no denying that Liverpool enter this Premier League tear-up in much better shape than their north-west rivals. However, United have a man on the touchline who will stop at nothing to redeem his reputation after a difficult year at Old Trafford.
What’s more, United boss Jose Mourinho is also a specialist in negotiating matches against Liverpool. With 12 wins from 27 against the Merseysiders, and an average of 1.67 points per match, his managerial win tally against Liverpool is second only to the one he boasts against Tottenham. He has also beaten counterpart Jurgen Klopp once already this calendar year, with a win at Old Trafford in March playing its role in denying Liverpool a podium finish, and extending United’s unbeaten record over Liverpool to five matches.
There is ultimately little else that can be said about City. Their spread values in the outright market remain significantly higher, even more so than closest rivals Liverpool, and it clearly reflects the undying fact that momentum is everything in a title race. City have it by the proverbial bucketful, with an impressive 41 points out of a possible 45 already in the bag.
Can Liverpool finally end nearly three decades of hurt, or will Mourinho mastermind another upset? Get all the latest Liverpool v Manchester United Spread Betting! market prices with Sporting Index!
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