Premier League 2022/23 heavyweights Manchester United and Liverpool will face off at Old Trafford on Monday night (August 23, IST) in a match that in several ways has become a high-stakes fixture for both teams. Neither of the two teams have registered a win this season so far in their two matches. Having said that, it is United who have had a nightmarish start to the season.
While one may feel that the last few years have all been much like that for United, dull and gloomy, the kind of start they have had this season suggests they might be heading towards a new low this season. Successive defeats against underdog oppositions in Brighton and Brentford is enough evidence that the once-dominant team could still be far away from ending their drought of titles as the Red Devils were outplayed by teams who looked weaker than them on paper and consequently find themselves at the rock bottom.
On the other hand, Liverpool might not have won a game but they at least have 2 of the 6 total points with successive draws. Moreover, there was a hint of improvement in their performance from their season opener against Fulham to the match against Crystal Palace even though both matches ended in a draw. Had Darwin Nunez not lost his temper, who knows the Reds might have even come out on top.
But in the season's first Northwest Derby of the season, Jurgen Klopp's men would have to find a way to get the three points as they fear being left far behind in the title race. Meanwhile, United too would be hoping for a turnaround and would want to give it they are here before fighting for a lost battle.
Here is a prediction for the highly-anticipated contest.
1. Goal Scorer Prediction
Liverpool has scored three goals in the 2022-23 season so far with one strike each coming from Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah. In a game where the Reds would be desperate to take all the three points, trust Salah to score for the Reds at the Old Trafford. For Manchester United, all eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo as far as the goal is concerned. No United player has been on the scoresheet so far this season with their only goal against Brighton being termed an own goal.
2. Top Players
Bruno Fernandes could be a vital cog in the wheel of United in this match. Overall, Ronaldo's compatriot has a passing accuracy of 83% and even has impressive success when it comes to dribbles. He could be the one having to do a lot of running back and forth, especially with United's loopholes in defence. Moreover, along with him, his chemistry with Marcus Rashford and Ronaldo could be crucial. For Liverpool, the onus would be on Jordan Henderson in the midfield with Salah upfront. Fabinho might be equally important to Liverpool's performance in this match.
3. Man of the Match
Expecting Salah to carry forward the same form he displayed last season where he finished as the highest goal-scorer in the league. With the title contenders off to not a good start, this is Salah's turn to make merry against a manager in Erik ten Hag who only himself seems to know the rationale behind some of the decisions that he has made. United's defence is low on confidence after a 0-4 thrashing and if Brentford can do it, Salah & Co. are too brutal on their day.
4. Final Score
Liverpool 3-1 Manchester United. If that's exactly what one witnesses after the final whistle at the Old Trafford on Monday night, don't be surprised. Liverpool have absolutely dominated the Red Devils in their recent matches with United winning just 1 and Liverpool clinching 3 games in their last 5 encounters. Liverpool are expected to dominate this match. Any other result would be more of a setback for the Reds and some respite for United, in case of a draw. A United victory seems to be a herculean task at this stage.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the author’s point of view. They neither reflect the opinion of SportsTiger nor advise anyone to make any prediction based on this. SportsTiger does not assume any responsibility and liability for the same.