Man United can overcome tough battle against the old enemy

Sunday 1.30pm

LIVERPOOL may not be the force of old but when they play Manchester United it’s still the biggest clash in English football.

United’s long standing servant Paul Scholes came out this week to maintain that, despite Manchester City’s emergence as a force, the Reds were still their greatest rivals.

And Liverpool’s new signing Daniel Sturridge wasted little time in endearing himself to the Kop by scoring on his debut versus Mansfield and then declaring the club as the biggest in the land.

The Red Devils have beaten Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield this season and Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are sitting pretty, seven points clear at the Premier League summit. Inspired by a rampant Robin van Persie, United must fancy their chances at Old Trafford against the inconsistent Merseysiders.

Brendan Rodgers’ side have been bailed out this term by the form of Uruguay striker Luis Suarez. Never far from controversy, the 25-year-old has weighed in with 15 of their 34 league goals.

However, Reds fans would counter that it is actually Sunday’s rivals that are reliant on their star striker. Stats show that without Van Persie’s 16 league goals and six assists United would have won just five league matches this campaign and earned only half of their 52-point tally.

Liverpool have a habit of taking the lead in this fixture – they have done in four of the last five – and, combined with the league leaders’ tendency to give teams a goal start, can strike first through Suarez at 13/2 with Coral.

But, as West Ham will testify, United don’t know when they are beaten and I can see them coming from behind and recording the win. They have done that eight times already this season in the league and the explosive power of their frontline makes it almost impossible for any defence to deal with their attacking threat.

The 19-times English champions have only failed to score twice in 21 league games this campaign – both 1-0 away defeats – and will be looking to extend their Premier League record by finding the net for the 60th consecutive home game.

With all that in mind, chance the draw/United double result at 9/2 on Betfair.

The last three encounters have finished 2-1 and I wouldn’t put anyone off backing that scoreline at 7/1 with Blue Square Bet.

■ Pointers…
Luis Suarez first goalscorer at 13/2 with Coral

Draw/Manchester United at 9/2 on Betfair

Manchester United to win 2-1 at 7/1 with Blue Square Bet