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The Reds Meet Their Bitter Rivals In Ann Arbor – Man United vs. Liverpool Preview

After losing to Borussia Dortmund last weekend, Liverpool came back into International Champions Cup contention with a 2-1 win over Man City in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Posted by Andy Thompson
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A sleep-inducing first-half saw the two teams trudge in goalless at half-time, only for Leroy Sane to open the scoring early in the second-half.

It was left to Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to show how special they are, with the pair both scoring and ripping City’s defence to shreds after being introduced.

Mane’s last-gasp penalty earned the Reds all three points, and the performance was vastly improved after the interval, both on and off the ball.

Next up for Jurgen Klopp and his players is a meeting with a very familiar foe, as Liverpool make the trip to Ann Arbor to face Man United.

Liverpool to win and both teams to score is 7/2

The Two Teams

Liverpool’s pre-season has been a largely positive one, with only one defeat in six matches and numerous individuals performing well.

As each minute passes you can feel the intensity increasing and the quality going up a gear, with key men returning and matches feeling more important than they were earlier in the summer.

Fitness levels will be improving all the time and Klopp will now have an idea how he will line-up his team for the visit of West Ham on August 12th, as the Merseysiders get their assault on a maiden Premier League title underway.

Salah to score and Liverpool to win 2-0, 2-1 or 3-1 is 13/2

Having Salah and Mane back made an immeasurable difference against City and it was also pleasing to see the prodigiously gifted Curtis Jones again showing what a talent he is.

United, meanwhile, have been ticking along in their own forgettable way, with Jose Mourinho cutting a more miserable figure than an Everton fan after most Merseyside derbies.

Liverpool’s bitter rivals have drawn all three of their summer matches to date, against Club America, San Jose Earthquakes and AC Milan, winning the latter 9-8 in a long penalty shootout.

Alexis Sanchez has been in good form, which is perhaps the biggest positive, but Anthony Martial looks set to leave and has reportedly angered Mourinho after returning home to witness the birth of his child.

There is general unrest about a lack of transfer activity, which is never a bad thing to hear.

This will be United’s sternest test yet and considering the under-strength team Pep Guardiola named on Thursday, it could well be Liverpool’s, too.

The Match

The impressive Michigan Stadium hosts Saturday’s meeting between the two Premier League powerhouses, with a whopping 107,000 watching events occur, assuming the match ends up being a sell-out.

It is the third and final International Champions Cup game for the Reds, while United still have to play Real Madrid next week.

Saturday should see Klopp field his strongest team yet in pre-season, with Salah and Mane expected to start. The more game time they get between now and West Ham the better.

Liverpool to win their first four games of the Premier League is 4/1

Naby Keita is doubtful after missing the City game with a sore neck but new signing Xherdan Shaqiri has a strong chance of making his unofficial Liverpool debut.

Mourinho will also go with a mix of youth and experience, as is the norm in pre-season.

The lively Sanchez will be a key figure in the final third and Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata may also start, as was the case against Milan.

Antonio Valencia is unavailable, however, having flown home after suffering a torn calf.

It is sure to be a clash of different styles – Klopp and Mourinho couldn’t be much more contrasting in the way they approach matches – and an early test of Liverpool’s ability to overcome a parked bus!

Who’s Going To Win?

Frankly, anything could happen on Saturday night, with pre-season matches invariably impossible to predict.

Results are generally unimportant in matches of this ilk, but then again, this is Liverpool vs. Man United we’re talking about.

It’s never friendly and there are always bragging rights.

Liverpool are a better team, though, and with two of their star men back in the fold they will be too strong for United.

Prediction: Man United 1-2 Liverpool

Sturridge to score and Liverpool to win 1-0, 2-1 or 3-1 is 15/2 with RedsBet

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