- The fourth round of England’s FA Cup takes place this weekend
- The tie of the round is on Sunday when Liverpool travel to Old Trafford to play old rivals Manchester United
- We preview the games, look at the odds, and offer a best bet
The big two of English soccer meet this weekend in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday, January 24 (KO 12pm ET), with United hoping that home advantage of Old Trafford, even an empty one, will prove decisive for them.
They will also be hoping to heap extra pressure on Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp, whose team is on a poor run of form.
Manchester United vs Liverpool FA Cup Odds
|Manchester United vs Liverpool||MAN pk (-114) | LIV pk (-105)||MAN +150 | DRAW +265 | LIV +163||Ov 2.5 (-127) | Un 2.5 (+104)|
All odds taken Jan 22 at DraftKings
Liverpool Nightmare In Midweek
After last weekend’s draw at Anfield between English soccer’s big two in the EPL, the show moves to Old Trafford for part two. With United considering themselves unlucky to have left Merseyside with only a point from a 0-0 draw, the Red Devils will fancy their chances of an FA Cup win with the added benefit of home advantage and with Liverpool being in the midst of a slump, further heightened by their midweek defeat by Burnley in the EPL.
MATCHDAY | Head over to YouTube now to relive last night’s win over @LFC ?⚽️
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) January 22, 2021
Both managers will make changes and will use the opportunity to offer game time to fringe players but this is Man Utd vs Liverpool — a game neither team ever wants to lose, whatever the circumstances.
Tricky Balance For Klopp
For Jurgen Klopp, it will be a case of balancing game time for his players with the urgent need to get the Reds firing again in front of goal after going four Premier League games without a goal. In the last round of this competition, Liverpool hit four in their away tie at Aston Villa but it was against a Villa second-string team as their first-team squad had been struck down by COVID.
No excuses, we need to be better. It’s up to us to step up and show it. And we need to do it all together. #YNWA pic.twitter.com/Eu8DySgpSE
— Gini Wijnaldum (@GWijnaldum) January 22, 2021
The flipside to Klopp wanting and needing a win against the old enemy is his distinctly average record in this competition, having exited the competition in round three once, round four twice, and in the fifth round last season.
As a result, pride will play a big part here and the last thing Liverpool and their supporters will want is to suffer more pain at the hands of their fiercest rivals. The problem for Klopp is how to reinstill a winning habit, and his team’s problems now extend beyond missing central defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez – they are also struggling to score goals.
Manchester United vs Liverpool Head-to-Head Stats
|1st||Current position in EPL||4th|
|19 / 12||Games played / Wins||19 / 9|
|19||FA Cup finals||14|
|12||FA Cup wins||7|
United in Terrific Form
For Ole Gunnar Solkjaer, this offers a great opportunity to edge closer to winning his first bit of silverware as United boss, and he will be looking to do so using the momentum his team has built via some terrific EPL form. The Red Devils have won seven and drawn three of their last 10 league games and have transformed from a team on the cusp of sacking its manager to one with genuine title hopes, and a win here would trigger thoughts of a league/cup double.
ℹ️ The boss has revealed whether a key #MUFC defender will be available for Sunday’s #FACup clash ?
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 22, 2021
United’s humiliating 6-1 home defeat by Tottenham in early October now seems a very long time ago, and the re-emergence of Paul Pogba alongside the excellent Bruno Fernandez in the center of their midfield is now the fulcrum from which everything flows. Pogba’s fine form has had a positive effect on the whole team, and the addition of Edinson Cavani up front has given them an additional source of goals and reduced the pressure on Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
Poor Form No Excuse For Liverpool
All things considered, it is no surprise that, for once, Liverpool, does not start a game as favorite.
But, as ever with cup games in England, team selection remains key to the outcome. This game has far more at stake than just a place on the fifth round of the FA Cup and Liverpool’s poor form will be seen by their fans as no excuse for defeat.
For me, however, they are going to be disappointed. United’s form plus home advantage, plus the numerous goalscoring options in their team points to a United win in normal time.
Pick: Man Utd to win (+150)