Red hot Reds too much for United to handle at Anfield

LIVERPOOL are set to break into the top four for only the second time this season if they land the knock-out blow in Sunday’s north-west derby with bitter rivals Manchester United.

On Monday evening the Reds escaped from Swansea with maximum points owing to a fortunate winner from man-of-the-moment Jordan Henderson. It was a scrappy performance that required some fine saves from a rejuvenated Simon Mignolet to ensure all three points returned to Merseyside, but it proved they can win even if playing under par.

Brendan Rodgers knows that another victory on Sunday lifts his side above United as they look to finish the season with a flourish. The Reds have been in red hot form of late and have serious momentum heading down the final stretch.

December 14th 2014 was the last time any domestic club got the better of Liverpool. In a nice bit of symmetry it was United that pulled off that feat in a game that could have been very different if David de Gea hadn’t been in such inspired form.

He kept the Reds at bay during the opening exchanges before United capatalised on some poor defending to go 2-0 up before the break. It finished 3-0 and Liverpool will have revenge firmly on the agenda.

United won by the same margin on Sunday against Tottenham in one of their best performances this campaign. Louis van Gaal got the result he desperately needed to draw a line under the insipid effort against Arsenal in the FA Cup.

Spurs certainly were not at their best, but they weren’t allowed to get a foothold in the contest and United’s backline actually looked assured for a change. Sunday’s clean sheet was a third on the spin, but Liverpool are a far harder proposition than Sunderland, Newcastle and Tottenham.

Rodgers has guided his men to 13 successive league games without defeat and they’ve won their past five. At home they have recently claimed the scalps of Spurs and Man City with two memorable displays that showcased fight and tenacity. Another major factor in Liverpool’s rise has been the return of fast starts as they have bagged the opener in each of their previous five triumphs.

Anfield has been a bogey ground of late for United. A 2-1 win during the 2012/13 season is the only win here from seven visits and I expect another Liverpool victory. Betway have the home win at 11/10 and that looks a fair price to me.

■ Pointers…
Liverpool to beat Man Utd at 11/10 with Betway