Three reasons Liverpool will finish above Manchester United this season

Premier League giants clash this weekend

There’s a Premier League corker in store this Saturday as Manchester United host Liverpool at Old Trafford.

Despite the impact of Chelsea and Manchester City in the 21st century, United and Liverpool remain England’s two biggest football clubs.

And they’re locked in a tight scrap to be best of the rest this season behind Manchester City. Both sides only dream of silverware, but local pride is on the line too.

Liverpool sit two points behind Jose Mourinho’s men with nine games to go, but have only finished above their rivals across the M6 three times in the Premier League era.

The Coral News Team reckon Jurgen Klopp’s men can make that four this year. Here’s why…

Clinical finishing

Behind Man City, Liverpool are unquestionably the most effective attacking side in the Premier League.

Even after selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, the Reds remain an irresistible force up front.

They’ve netted 67 times this season, with Mohamed Salah arguably the player of the season so far. Roberto Firmino has also become a top-line forward, while Sadio Mane continues to be a pest for defenders.

Meanwhile at United, their often methodical, slow and predictable forays forward have drawn plenty of criticism.

The arrival of Alexis Sanchez hasn’t been a roaring success yet, while Marcus Rashford has been reduced to a bit-part role.

Liverpool have scored more goals than any other side except City this season, and their exceptional forward play could pay dividends in the final stretch of the campaign.

Club morale

Over at Anfield, the vibe and atmosphere is one of togetherness and progression.

Jurgen Klopp embodies the club’s ethos, and has avoided a potential setback in selling Coutinho to Barcelona.

At Old Trafford, Mourinho’s divisive nature has borne through at times this season.

A scintillating start to the campaign has given way to a stuttering lurch to the runners-up spot, and now that’s under threat too.

At this stage of the season morale can play a huge part, and in this case that’s advantage Liverpool.

Defensive strengths

Liverpool and Klopp’s problem since his reign began have been defensive lapses.

After a failed bid to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton last summer, the Reds finally got their man in January, using up just over half of the Coutinho money.

The Dutchman has helped Liverpool to two clean sheets in their last three league games, and it’s clear that the Merseysiders are now far more resolute with Van Dijk in the side.

Jose Mourinho has a different problem in that he’s been without Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly for much of the season.

Only Man City have conceded fewer goals than the Red Devils, but the Special One has had to make do with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Victor Lindelof.

David de Gea is a trump card, but defensively it can now be argued that Liverpool are on a par with United.

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