CLOSE your eyes, take a deep breath and taste the air – for anyone living in the north-west of England, there's the scent of battle on the wind as hordes of Liverpudlians make the short journey into the rain-soaked hovels of Manchester.
Make no mistake, this is as big a derby as there is and this one ought to be an absolute cracker.
Man Utd v Liverpool (2.05pm)
It's a bitter hatred between these two teams that transcends football and is sod all to do with religion; this one is about industry and pride.
The Mancunian swagger grates for many reasons but for the folk on Merseyside in days gone by it was borne out of anger after some very clever (and downright dirty) politics diverted goods coming into the world renowned port of Liverpool courtesy of the Manchester Ship Canal thus bringing decades of trade straight through to the fleshpots of Manchester and bypassing those original landing points.
I mention it only because that bitter anger between these two leading lights in world football often forgets its roots and passion and it is that very passion that has made this one of the world's top derbies which may well be on show again today.
A resurgent Solskjaer-led United looked great against Chelsea after their PSG comeuppance but Liverpool will pose an entirely different threat to Sarri's Blues.
The Reds under Klopp are just a purring engine of a side and put a foot wrong, they will tear you apart, that attacking prowess and forward-thinking momentum is a beast that's hard to tame once you let it loose.
But here's the kicker – United have momentum on their side and even a draw would see their former supersub set a new Premier League record for the number of points gained in the first 10 games of a managerial tenure with Solskjaer tied with Guus Hiddink on 25 points. That's some turnaround from Mourinho's reign of misery.
I sense the battle may well be won by how the players react to the occasion and although passion will be critical, it may also prove pivotal if that commitment to the fixture spills over into tackles that warrant a venture into what could be a busy referee's notebook and I can't help but wonder if on-form and on-fire Pogba may fit the bill.
He's a maverick and an awesome player for sure but he's always inclined to hit the headlines for both good and bad – with the levity of this particular fixture I can see him making an impact and in the Old Trafford arena stirred into a cauldron, his own passion may well get the better of him!
I just can't see either side coming away with a clean sheet and am leaning towards a bet that encompasses all of the above.
- Both teams to score
- Pogba booked
(5-1, bet365 – Betbuilder) – 1pt
KÁRI VS. TINDASTÓLL (12.00pm):
Two of the lower leagues highest scoring teams with 3-7-7-5 mgs in the last 4 H2H’s since February 2017 and large current goal counts to boot.
Yes, they have eliminated most markets (no betbuilder total goals) and have full time asians needing 5 goals for a profit BUT they have potentially left the door wide open for first half goals…I’ll take it:
- Over 1.5 FHGL
- (9/10, bet365) 2 Points