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Northwest contingent Liverpool, Man United and Stoke in action

Two teams renowned for being near the top of the Premier League at the business end of the season are in action, and both at home, as they look to stake a claim for a place in a European place for next term.

Manchester United v Hull City
Louis van Gaal’s United side are overwhelmingly odds-on 3/10 favourites with Coral to beat Hull, as Steve Bruce returns to the ground where he has many happy memories. The Tigers haven’t beaten the Red Devils in six attempts though, which perhaps reflects their 10/1 price for victory.

Last season, the home side beat the visitors 3-1 at Old Trafford, with youngster James Wilson bagging a brace on his debut, as United legend Ryan Giggs took temporary charge. The player is 5/1 to net the opener.

Giggs, who is on Van Gaal’s coaching staff, recently sung the 18 year old’s praises: “He’s a brilliant prospect. I’ve always said about younger players that you can give them the chance but they have got to take it.

“I’ve seen players take it and not let go, but I’ve also seen players given the chance and they throw it away. You might only get one chance so you’ve got to be ready for it.”

While United broke into the top four with a victory at Arsenal, Hull linger just one point and a place above the relegation zone, after no wins from five fixtures. Their best hope of scoring could be striker Nikica Jelavic, who is joint-top scorer for the club with four goals, and is 10/3 to net anytime.

Liverpool v Stoke City
Brendan Rodgers’ Reds are overwhelmingly odds-on at 8/13 to beat the Potters, though the home side haven’t won in the Premier League in four attempts. Stoke fare better with four points from their last three games, which includes a terrific 2-1 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane, and sit one place and a point above their opponents in the table.

They did, however, lose 2-1 to Burnley at home last time out, with Jon Walters netting, who is 7/2 to strike in the anytime market.

Rickie Lambert is aiming for his second consecutive league goal, having opened the scoring in Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace last time out, and is 4/1 to break the deadlock, having also struck against Ludogorets in the Champions League three days later.

Last term, Rodgers’ side did the double over Stoke, which included a narrow 1-0 win at Anfield, a scoreline they are 13/2 to repeat this time around.