ENGLAND: Premier League
Date: Thursday, 13 May 2021
Kick-off at 19:00 UK/ 19:00 CET
Venue: Villa Park (Birmingham)
This late-season Premier League (PL) derby between England’s most successful clubs is probably more important for top-four seeking Liverpool than a Manchester United side that’s all-but assured of Champions League football next season.
The games are coming tick and faster for the Manchester side that played and lost to Leicester City just two days back. It is obvious that their focus will be on the Europa League final match against Villarreal
United’s 6-2 Europa League win over Roma again showcased their late-game prowess – they’ve averaged 1.43 goals scored per game after the 70th minute across their last seven competitive fixtures! Curiously though, they’ve played out a league-high seven goalless draws this term, more than they have in one season since 1980/81 (eight). Aptly, nine of the last ten competitive H2Hs either finished 0-0 or witnessed scoring after the 70th minute (W2, D6, L2).
Winning against Roma after trailing at the break highlighted another trend as they haven’t claimed a HT lead in any of their last three home PL matches (HT: D2, L1). Meanwhile, the ‘Red Devils’ have only lost one of the last 15 home competitive H2Hs (W10, D4) and none of the last eight (W4, D4).
With a better recent first-half league record (HT: W3, D1, L1) Liverpool might look to capitalise should their hosts start slowly. Having dropped four points via goals after the 85th minute in their last two league games, they might have to score early to give themselves a chance.
Although unbeaten in four league away games (W3, D1), those wins all came ‘to nil’ without scoring before first-half injury-time. Incidentally, their last success at Old Trafford came with a clean sheet but following that 3-0 win in March 2014, they’ve only scored over 1.5 goals in one competitive game here (D4, L4).
Players to watch: While Marcus Rashford (MUN) has scored four times prior to the 50th minute against Liverpool at Old Trafford, Mohamed Salah (LIV), who scored twice here in January’s FA Cup clash, has bagged eight of his last nine PL goals after the 50th minute.
- Aston Villa’s form in last 5 matches: LWDLL.
- Everton’s form in last 5 matches: WLWDD.
PREDICTION: Away Win