Pitchside

Three reasons why Manchester United can beat Liverpool

Pitchside

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Liverpool have all the form going into this Sunday's clash at Old Trafford, but our friends at Squawka believe Manchester United can get the points.

1. Liverpool’s Defence Is Far From Perfect

In attack the Reds have been excellent and with 73 goals they are the Premier League’s top scorers but they have needed to score a large amount of goals due to the fact they only have the joint sixth best defence.

With 35 goals conceded, the same amount as Southampton, West Ham United and Hull City, Liverpool have a worse defensive record than Manchester United, who have conceded 31 goals.

This is in part due to poor overall performances in tackles and headed duels. Over the course of the season Liverpool have won just 48% of the 974 tackles attempted and 49% of the 841 headers challenged for.

Jose Enrique is definitely out of the clash and if Lucas Leiva and Mamadou Sakho do not recover in time it will hamper an already suspect back line.

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2. Luis Suarez Is Having a Slight Dip in Form

The Uruguay international is having a great season with 24 goals in 23 Premier League matches and averaging just over a goal per game as well as assisting a further 10 goals. This means he has been directly involved with just under half of all Liverpool’s league goals in 2013/14.

However, in the last seven games the goals have dried up. Since the 5-3 win over Stoke City, Suarez has scored just twice, once against Everton in the Merseyside derby and a well taken goal against Southampton.

His shot accuracy is also low with just 41% of his 29 efforts in those seven games hitting the target compared to a season average of 55%.

Suarez is still a danger though and has created 20 chances and assisted five goals in his poor run in front of goal.

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3. Juan Mata

While Moyes has got much wrong since taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer he has got a few things right, one of those being the acquisition of Spain playmaker Juan Mata from Chelsea during the January transfer window.

He has played six games for the Old Trafford club and has been key in an upturn in form that has seen United lose just one game in the league since his debut.

Mata has made 17 key passes, almost three per match, and has assisted three goals, or 30% of his team’s goals in those six matches. Mata has also completed 90% of passes and is capable of pulling the strings against the very best.

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