Fri, Mar 9, 1:50pm by Staff Writer
Manchester United and Liverpool battle it out for second place this week in one of the most important matches of this Premier League season.
Manchester United have been in mixed form this season, but after twice come from behind against Chelsea and Crystal Palace in the last two weeks, Jose Mourinho’s side is brimming with confidence.
Liverpool, meanwhile is on a five-match unbeaten streak that has seen it rocket up the table. Add to that a 5-0 win and a 0-0 draw against Porto in the Champions League, and the Reds are fast proving themselves formidable opponents.
United and Liverpool share one of the EPL’s great rivalries and have been trading second place for a few weekends, but the feeling is that whoever prevails this will be holding the spot at the end of the season.
Heading into the match, United leads Liverpool by just two points and the pair could not appear more evenly matched. Their two previous encounters ended in draws – 1-1 in January, 2017 and 0-0 in October.
Sportsbet has made United its narrow favourite to win Saturday’s match at Old Trafford, paying $2.60 for a victory, $2.75 for a draw and $3.25 for a draw.
Despite the intensity, United and Liverpool are realistically deciding who will play second fiddle to runaway leaders Manchester City.
City holds a 16-point lead atop the table and, despite a 2-1 Champions League loss to Basel this week, Pep Guardiola men are unlikely to give ground when they travel to Stoke on Tuesday.
Stoke is facing relegation in second-last place after a draw at Southampton last week and should do little to slow City’s march toward the Premiership.
City thrashed Stoke 7-2 when they last met in October and are paying just $1.17 to produce a similar feat this year, with $12 for Stoke and $6 for a draw.
Snapping at United’s and Liverpool’s heels are Tottenham Hotspur, just two points back in fourth place.
Spurs became the first English club to be eliminated from the Champions League this season when they went down 2-1 at home to Juventus this week.
To ensure another chance at Europe’s marquee competition next season, Tottenham must ensure they hold on to fourth sport, starting with their match at Bournemouth on Monday.
Bournemouth have not beaten Tottenham in five EPL matches and have failed to score in their last four meetings against Spurs.
The London side is the $1.45 favourite to stay in the top four with a win, with Bournemouth on $6 and $4.33 for a draw.
Also vying for a top-four finish is Chelsea, which takes on Crystal Palace at home on Sunday.
Defending champion Chelsea has suffered four losses in five EPL matches to drop back to fifth on the table.
Palace, meanwhile, conceded three goals in 30 minutes to lose 3-2 to Manchester United and enter the relegation zone.
Chelsea in on $1.25 to stay in touch with the top-four, with Palace on a whopping $11 and $5.50 for a draw.
Suggested Bet: Take Liverpool and United to draw: $3.25
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