592 Dugout’s Premier League Fixture of the Week Preview .

Image via The Sun

Liverpool host rivals Man Utd at Anfield on Sunday, needing a victory to keep up their hopes of a top four Premier League finish in 2022-23. We look ahead to the big match with our Opta-led preview and prediction..

Liverpool vs Man Utd: The Quick Hits

  • Liverpool the favourites with the Opta supercomputer to continue their great recent home form versus Man Utd and defeat their rivals on Sunday.
  • Mohamed Salah needs one more goal to equal Robbie Fowler’s club record tally of 128 goals for Liverpool.
  • Man Utd looking to do the Premier League home/away double over Liverpool for the first time since 2015-16.

Match Preview

Manchester United and Liverpool renew their rivalry this weekend, with the two most successful English clubs meeting in the Premier League at Anfield. It’s the biggest fixture in the English football league calendar, and the 180th such league meeting between the pair – only nine fixtures have been more commonly played in EFL history.

A fixture fuelled by the close proximity and industrial rivalry of the two cities, this is considered one of the biggest in English league football – so much so, that most fans would consider this bigger than their respective local derbies against Manchester City and Everton.

Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool side are unbeaten in their last six league games against Man Utd at home (W3 D3) since a 1-0 defeat at Anfield in January 2016. This is their longest run without defeat against the Red Devils at home since a nine-game sequence between 1970 and 1979. In all competitions, Liverpool have conceded just once in their last seven home games against the Red Devils, including three clean sheets in a row most recently – keep another one in this game and they’ll have shutout Man Utd in four successive meetings at Anfield for the first time since 1992.

With this his 15th Premier League meeting with Manchester United (three more than any other Liverpool boss in the PL era), it’ll come as little surprise that a win in this match would see Klopp victorious against Man Utd more often than any other Reds’ boss – a record he currently shares with Gérard Houllier (five wins).

No team have won away at Anfield in the Premier League more often than Manchester United (12), while Erik ten Hag’s side are looking to complete the home/away league double over Liverpool for the ninth time in Premier League history in this match, having defeated the Merseyside side 2-1 at Old Trafford in August. They haven’t achieved this in the competition since winning against Liverpool at both Anfield and Old Trafford in 2015-16.

Previous Meeting

Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool – 22 August 2022 (Premier League)

Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool August 2022 Goals

Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Man Utd at Old Trafford in August saw them winless in their opening three games to the 2022-23 Premier League season (D2 L1) – the first time that they’d suffered this feat since 2012-13 under Brendan Rodgers. It was their first defeat in 22 Premier League matches and the first time that they’d lost a league game in 2022.

This game also saw Erik ten Hag become the first Manchester United manager to secure his first-ever competitive win at the club with a victory over rivals Liverpool.

Jadon Sancho opened the scoring, before Marcus Rashford hit the first of his 28 goals in 2022-23 for club and country in the 53rd minute. That strike also saw Rashford score for the fifth time in the Premier League for Man Utd versus Liverpool; a tally that only Wayne Rooney (six) has more than.

Mohamed Salah scored a late consolation past David de Gea with nine minutes to go. It was the Egyptian forward’s 10th goal in all competitions against Man Utd, the most of any Liverpool player in this fixture in history.

Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool August 2022 xG

Recent Form

Since the resumption of Premier League football following the 2022 FIFA World Cup, no side have averaged more points in the competition than Man Utd (2.30). The Red Devils have lost just one of their last 11 games – one of these coming pre-World Cup, 10 after – with eight wins and two draws. The only defeat in this run was a late 3-2 loss to Arsenal in London in January.

Man United’s current scoring run of 15 successive Premier League games is the longest in the competition and their longest such a run of 17 matches between February and October 2020.

After a terrible run of winning one point in four games (D1 L3) to kick off 2023 in the Premier League, Liverpool’s midweek win over Wolves means that they are now unbeaten in four games and have kept a clean sheet in each match (W3 D1). Should Liverpool avoid defeat in this game, it’ll be their first five-game unbeaten streak in the Premier League this season. Liverpool’s current run of four clean sheets in a row is their best in the Premier League since April 2022 (five in a row).

They have lost just one of their last 35 Premier League matches at Anfield (W26 D8 L1), averaging 2.46 points per game on home soil across that period. Their only home defeat in this run came against Leeds United in October 2022 (2-1).

Only bottom-half teams Nottingham Forest (76.0%), West Ham United (73.9%) and Leeds (72.7%) have won a higher proportion of their Premier League points in home matches than Liverpool have so far in 2022-23 (69.2%).

Across all competitions in their last five games, Liverpool’s only defeat came in a 5-2 loss at Anfield to reigning Champions League winners Real Madrid, in a game that they led 2-0 thanks to goals from Darwin Núñez and Mohamed Salah.

Players to Watch

Liverpool: Mohamed Salah

It’s hard to look past a man that’s scored in each of his last five appearances against Man Utd as Liverpool’s key player for this match. Mohamed Salah is Liverpool’s all-time highest scorer in matches against the Red Devils (10), with nine of those strikes coming in those last five games versus them.

Eight of his 10 goals against United have come in the Premier League, with only Alan Shearer (10) scoring more against them in the competition.

Most Premier League goals against Man Utd

Salah is also on the search for yet another record in this match, with his current tally of 127 Premier League goals for Liverpool only one behind Robbie Fowler’s record tally of 128 for the club in the competition.

With 29 goal involvements in all competitions in 2022-23 (20 goals, nine assists), Salah is by far Liverpool’s most dangerous attacking threat. In fact, the only other players to have reached double figures for goal involvements this season for the Reds are Darwin Núñez (16) and Roberto Firmino (13). With Sadio Mane departed to Bayern Munich, Luis Diaz still out through injury and Diogo Jota having spent large spells of 2022-23 on the sidelines, Salah’s goal threat has been even more important to Klopp.

Manchester United: Fred

It’s taken five seasons and the appointment of Erik ten Hag as manager to do it, but Fred is finally showing his importance to Manchester United and winning the adoration of their fans.

With fellow midfielders Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro often stealing the limelight, Fred has slowly become a key part of United’s midfield in recent months, and he’s begun adding important goals and assists to his ball-winning qualities.

He’s been involved in seven goals in his last 10 appearances (four goals, three assists), including a vital goal against La Liga leaders Barcelona in the Europa League at Old Trafford a few weeks ago and a midweek FA Cup strike versus West Ham.

Since the resumption of club football post-World Cup, Fred’s been one of the most crucial players in Man Utd’s open play attacking sequences, with 6.2 involvements per 90 and only Casemiro (45) has put in more tackles than he has (43) across all competitions.

Fred Man Utd Involvement

Liverpool vs Man Utd Prediction

Liverpool vs Man Utd Prediction Opta

The Opta supercomputer’s heavy lean towards a Liverpool win in this fixture may surprise you. They are favourites and have been given a 55.4% chance of victory in this match, with Man Utd winning less than one-in-five of the thousands of match simulations played out by the machine.

However, Liverpool’s record at Anfield against Man Utd in recent years is excellent, with their six successive league meetings without a defeat there their longest such run since the 1970s.

United have also picked up just one point in their three away games this season versus the ‘big six’ – defeats against Arsenal and Man City, plus a 1-1 away draw at Chelsea in which they were rescued by a 94th minute Casemiro equaliser.

Liverpool have been strong in matches against fellow ‘big six’ sides in recent memory at Anfield, too. Unbeaten in seven such matches there (W3 D4) and losing just two of their last 35 games against ‘big six’ opposition at Anfield in the Premier League (W20 D13 L2), it’s not an easy place for any opponent to travel to.

Klopp’s side really need a win in this game to keep up their aspirations of a top four finish in the 2022-23 Premier League table. The Opta supercomputer currently rates those chances at 33.0%, which is the fifth highest behind the current top four sides.

Manchester United have already all but secured Champions League football for next season, with an extremely high chance of a top four finish in our Premier League predictions (95.9%), while they have a very outside chance of mounting an exceptional title charge and winning the Premier League (2.2%) behind Arsenal (51.3%) and Man City (46.4%), but ahead of rank outsiders Newcastle United (0.2%).

Opta Premier League Predictions March 2

Via The Analyst


Rabada six-for leads South Africa to victory over West Indies

Roach five-for and Blackwood fifty went in vain in Test that finished in three days

Getty Images.

South Africa 342 (Markram 115, Elgar 71, Joseph 5-81) and 116 (Markram 47, Roach 5-47) beat West Indies 212 (Reifer 62, Nortje 5-36) and 159 (Blackwood 79, Rabada 6-50) by 87 runs

West Indies threatened to turn the tables on South Africa by rolling them over for 116 on the third morning at SuperSport Park, but their own batters collapsed in similar spectacular fashion, chasing 247. Kagiso Rabada was chiefly responsible for that collapse, bagging 6 for 50 to dismiss them for 159 and seal South Africa’s victory inside three days on a track that offered variable bounce.

Jermaine Blackwood‘s thrilling counterattack – 79 off 93 balls – raised West Indies’ hopes, but Rabada found a little extra kick off the pitch to take him out and ensure the new era under captain Temba Bavuma and coach Shukri Conrad began with a victory in Centurion, where the South Africa women’s team that reached the T20 World Cup final five days ago was also in attendance.

It was Roach who had set the scene for the day with his 11th five-for in Test cricket – and first away from home since 2017. He also surpassed Joel Garner‘s tally of 259 to become West Indies’ fifth-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket. Just before lunch, Roach was warmly welcomed back by his team-mates, Jimmy Adams, West Indies’ director of cricket, and Brian Lara, the team mentor.

However, the mood and tempo of the match changed quickly when Rabada struck either side of the lunch break. After having captain Kraigg Brathwaite caught down the leg side for a duck, he drew an outside edge from No. 3 Raymon Reifer.

Tagenarine Chanderpaul kept playing and missing at full balls, but wasn’t particularly flustered against that length. It was the short ball that bothered him. He fell on his backside twice while trying to deal with them and then when he dared to hook a head-high bouncer from Marco Jansen, he could only top-edge it to midwicket for 10.

Jermaine Blackwood played some outstanding shots.

Roston Chase misjudged an inswinger from Jansen and was castled after offering no shot. Then, when debutant Gerald Coetzee produced extra bounce to get rid of Kyle Mayers, West Indies were 33 for 5 in the 15th over.

Blackwood came in and hoicked the seventh ball he faced, off Rabada, over square leg for four. He continued to regularly pump the ball over the top, running away to a 51-ball half-century. At the other end, Joshua Da Silva was more circumspect and contributed 17 to a 58-run sixth-wicket partnership before he fell to Rabada.

Blackwood, though, went after South Africa’s premier seamer and shanked him over his head for an imposing four. When Anrich Nortje shifted his angle to around the wicket, he ramped him over deep third for four. Jason Holder also operated at almost a run-a-ball in a 37-run seventh-wicket stand with Blackwood before Rabada had him nicking behind with a perfectly-pitched delivery. Though Rabada looked like wasn’t at his best earlier in the day, floating some balls in the lower 130-kph range, his seven-over spell post tea, in which he dismissed both Holder and Blackwood, was perhaps the most decisive passage of play.

The day had started on a more promising note for West Indies. Roach struck with his first ball to cut Aiden Markram’s innings short at 47 off 58. He went wide of the crease, tricked Markram into playing for the inward angle from over the wicket but got it to straighten late off the seam and graze the outside edge. Marais Erasmus, the on-field umpire, didn’t rule Markram out initially, but he opted to walk back to the dressing room. In his next over, Roach went wide of the crease again, but this time he beat Jansen’s outside edge and hit the top of the off stump.

Roach also helped snip the South African tail, but Coetzee’s spunky cameo (20 off 15 balls) pushed their lead closer to 250. Markram aside, Coetzee was the only South Africa batter to score more than 10 runs in their second innings. He then combined and Rabada, Jansen and Norje with the ball to compensate for their batting collapse and wrap the game up before drinks on the third afternoon.


Australia v West Indies: Nathan Lyon takes six wickets as hosts seal 164-run win.

Lyon now has 446 wickets in 111 Tests.

First Test, Optus Stadium, Perth (day five):
Australia 598-4 dec (Labuschagne 204, Smith 200*) & 182-2 dec (Labuschagne 104)
West Indies 283 (Brathwaite 64; Cummins 3-34, Starc 3-51) & 333 (Brathwaite 110; Lyon 6-128)
Australia won by 164 runs

Nathan Lyon took six wickets as Australia beat a dogged West Indies by 164 runs in the first Test in Perth.

Set a record 498 to win, the tourists began the final day on 192-3 needing a further 306 for victory.

But Lyon removed Kyle Mayers for 10 and bowled Kraigg Brathwaite, who resumed on 101, for 110 in the first 10 overs.

Roston Chase and Alzarri Joseph battled for an eighth-wicket stand of 82 before spinner Travis Head bowled Joseph for 43, allowing Lyon to seal victory.

The off-spinner had Chase caught at deep square leg for 55, sealing his 21st Test five-wicket haul, and bowled number 11 Kemar Roach for a duck a ball later to finish with 6-128 in 42.5 overs.

West Indies were all out for 333 in 110.5 overs.

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood also took a wicket each for the hosts, who were hampered by captain Pat Cummins being unable to bowl because of a quad injury.

The win was set up by Marnus Labuschagne’s 204 in the first innings and 104 not out in the second.

Story By The Guardian.

Netherlands dominate USA in first knock-out World Cup match!

A 3-1 victory for the Oranje at the Khalifa International Stadium sends Team USA home.

Image via Getty Images

The Netherlands have put three goals past the USA to book a place in the football World Cup quarter-finals in Qatar.

Despite scoring once, the USA posed little challenge to their opponents, who repeatedly outclassed the Stars and Stripes at the Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday.

Matt Turner in the USA goal produced some spectacular saves to deny the Dutch a larger scoreline, while his opposite number Andries Noppert was called upon far less frequently.

Although the USA enjoyed long periods of possession in a bright first-half display, all too often a lack of composure in the final third let them down.

Instead, it was the Dutch who calmly bided their time before carving open the USA defense with forensic precision.

USA forward Christian Pulisic squandered a golden chance to put his team 1-0 up after only three minutes when he found himself in space only to see a scuffed shot saved.

But the Netherlands grew into the game, with Memphis Depay and Daley Blind finding the net after being both assisted by Denzel Dumfries in the 10th and the first minute of first-half added time, respectively.

Image via Getty Images

Cody Gakpo cleared Tim Ream’s header off the line early in the second half to keep the Netherlands’ advantage safe, but the men in orange wasted chances to put the game to bed.

Second-half substitute Haji Wright cut the US deficit to 2-1 in the 76th minute when Pulisic’s cross hit his trailing foot and popped over Noppert and into the net.

But Dumfries restored a two-goal lead for the Netherlands in the 81st minute – this time Blind provided the assist.

Runners-up in 1974, 1978 and 2010, the Oranje extended their unbeaten streak to 19 games and will face next the winner of Saturday’s evening clash between Argentina and Australia.

Image via Getty Images


Pelé moved to end-of-life care in hospital, reports say

Brazilian football legend is reportedly no longer responding to chemotherapy treatment.

The Brazilian football great Pelé is receiving palliative care after he stopped responding to chemotherapy treatment for colon cancer, the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S Paulo has reported.

Pelé, 82, was admitted to hospital on Tuesday to re-evaluate his cancer treatment, according to medical reports.

According to Folha de S Paulo, the chemotherapy has now been suspended and Pelé is receiving end-of-life care, being treated only for symptoms such as pain and shortness of breath.

The Albert Einstein hospital in São Paulo declined to confirm reports that the football legend known as the The King is under palliative care and said it would only communicate through official bulletins. The latest medical report, released on Friday, said Pelé was being treated with antibiotics for a respiratory infection. His condition was “stable, with a general improvement in his health status”, the report said.

Pelé sought to reassure fans in an Instagram post on Thursday, saying that he was making his “monthly visit” to hospital. He posted a picture of a Qatar building lit up with a message wishing him a prompt recovery and thanked the World Cup-hosting nation for “the tribute”.

His daughter, Kely Nascimento, who is in Qatar for the tournament, also sought to assuage concerns surrounding the football legend’s health. “The media is freaking out again,” she said on social media on Thursday, adding that her siblings were with their father and that Pelé’s health did not require her to jump on a plane back to Brazil.

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pelé is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time. He rose to international fame aged just 17 when he scored six goals for Brazil in the 1958 World Cup, including two in the final in which Brazil beat the hosts, Sweden, to win their first world title.

Pelé, who retired from football in 1977, has been suffering from health problems in recent years. He was diagnosed with colon cancer in September 2021 and spent two weeks in hospital last December.

Story Via TheGaurdian.com .