Both to score in entertaining game: Manchester United vs Liverpool
Manchester United take on Liverpool in Saturday’s early Premier League game, in another edition of one of the biggest rivalries in English football. Infogol’s Analyst previews the game using expected goals, and generates the best bets.
Manchester United Expected Goals (xG)
Manchester United left it very late on Monday night when beating Crystal Palace, but Nemanja Matic’s stunning last-gasp strike (4%) came as a deserved winner (xG: CRY 0.8 – 1.5 MUN). That win moved them back up to second in the league, and nine points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea.
They continue to out-perform their expected goals this season, and have been only the sixth best team in the league according to xG. United are heavily reliant on David de Gea, as they concede a lot of chances in games. There is no doubt that had they had another goalkeeper in net all season, they would have conceded a lot more goals.
Jose Mourinho has a decision to make ahead of this game; respect Liverpool’s attack and keep things tight, or go toe-to-toe and try to exploit Liverpool’s defence. Either way, United are averaging 1.8 xG per game this season, so do create good chances.
Liverpool Expected Goals (xG)
Liverpool made it through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a 5-0 aggregate win over Porto. They deservedly beat Newcastle last time out, but it was a hard-fought victory as they had to capitalise on Newcastle’s mistakes (xG: LIV 1.7 – 0.4 NEW).
They have impressed a lot of late, not only with their attacking play, but defensively too, having conceded less than 1 xG in six of their last seven league games – the only time they have conceded more was against another top four team, Tottenham.
Mohamed Salah scored first against Newcastle last week, registering his 24th goal of the Premier League campaign. He is averaging 0.8 xG per 90 minutes, so he will almost certainly get a chance in the game, and with Liverpool’s attacking powers, he may well add to his tally.
Both of these sides have a proven track record of both chance creation and conceding chances, so a game in which both teams hit the net is expected. Mohamed Salah looks a good bet to score first at 4/1 given he will get chances in this match.
Both teams to score @ 3/4
Mohamed Salah to score first @ 4/1