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The Soccer Saturday pundits make their Red Monday predictions

Soccer Saturday pundits
Image: Who are Soccer Saturday pundits tipping for victory on Red Monday?

The Soccer Saturday pundits provide us with their predictions for the latest installment of one of football's great rivalries, Liverpool hosting Manchester United live on Monday Night Football.

The hosts are considered favourites as they head into on the clash on the back of four successive wins, a run which has seen them leapfrog their great rivals and climb to fourth in the Premier League.

Jose Mourinho's men have slipped to sixth following just one win during that run, but the travelling fans can take confidence from back-to-back league victories at Anfield.

Here's what the Soccer Saturday pundits are predicting in their Sky Bet tips...

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Where will you be watching? Liverpool vs Man Utd live on Sky Sports 1, Monday 7pm

Phil Thompson

Both sides have their vulnerabilities but I think Liverpool are better at exploiting them in the form they are in, with Jurgen Klopp's front four like the Red Arrows the way they interchange with creativity and pace.

I was actually considering backing a 2-0 win but Liverpool are yet to keep a clean sheet in the league so far this season. They're still vulnerable in the air and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be a threat from set-pieces.

Thommo's tips
Thommo's tips

Agree with Thommo? Follow his 30/1 Sky Bet tip here.

Key man - Sadio Mane

I think the big one is going to be Mane, mainly because of his pace against Manchester United's back line. He's the one player really that I think can exploit them.

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Marcus Rashford is obviously quick and has tremendous potential but I think with Mane's experience against United's back line he will cause them tremendous problems, when there's a turnover of position is when he really comes into his own.

Thommo predicts: 2-1 and Mane to score first (30/1 with Sky Bet)

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Watch match highlights of Liverpool's 2-1 win over Swansea

Charlie Nicholas

I think this is the biggest game in the league calendar. It's a proper match with superstars under super managers and this is England's equivalent to the Old Firm. When these two go head-to-head, it's a global battle.

Jurgen Klopp will not change anything, going with his four attacking players and willing to take risks, whereas Jose Mourinho will look to sit in, flooding the midfield with two protectors in front of his defence.

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I don't like to sit on the fence but Mourinho just makes me think that this United side, which are the inferior side right now, can get something out of it by exploiting Liverpool's biggest vulnerabilities, defending set-pieces.

Key man - Eric Bailly

Well I would be saying Jose Mourinho but in terms of on the pitch, in principle Liverpool are the best team but I think Eric Bailly is one that could be a saviour or make a crucial mistake.

He is so rough and so raw but with great pace, which gets you out of a lot of problems. I've been watching him for two years at Villarreal and he hasn't really improved that much.

New Manchester United signing Eric Bailly.
Image: Could defender Eric Bailly be a key man for Manchester United on Monday?

The decision making will gradually get there under Mourinho's guidance and he's got so much to take on board. These might be the type of games where he stands up and proves himself or he could easily be the man who makes a rash decision in the penalty box.

Charlie predicts: 1-1 and Chris Smalling to score first (175/1 with Sky Bet)

Matt Le Tissier

I think that Klopp has had a bit more time with his team than Mourinho has and it's reflected in the way they are formed. More cohesive is the word I'm looking for.

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Watch a preview of the Monday's Premier League fixture between Liverpool and Manchester United

It's probably a good time to play United in that sense, before Mourinho gets his team organised. He has suffocated games like this in the past but I think the energy of Klopp's team will make the difference.

Key man - Sadio Mane

He's definitely a match-winner on his day and seems to be in one of those streaks of form where he's playing as good as anybody.

Nev and Carra's rivalry memories
Nev and Carra's rivalry memories

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher relive their classic Liverpool-Man Utd moments.

It is another good test for him though in terms of standing up in big matches for a big club, not that Southampton aren't that! 

He's stood up to the test well so far and certainly didn't do too bad in the first game of the season against Arsenal, so I think he's able to produce on the big stage.

Le Tiss predicts: 2-1 and Mane to score first (30/1 with Sky Bet)

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Watch match highlights of Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Stoke

Paul Merson

I don't think Manchester United will be able to live with Liverpool's attacking players. If Liverpool start quickly they will have too much at Anfield.

This is a big game for United because I'm predicting Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham all to win, and the gap can grow quickly. All the top teams are capable of stringing six wins together so you don't want to be playing catch-up this early.

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But I'm not sure Mourinho knows his best team yet and he needs to get that sorted. They played well for 20 minutes against Stoke, but for a large part of that game they didn't look like scoring.

Considering the way Liverpool press high, I think Man Utd will struggle to open the game up.

Key man - Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane of Liverpool in action against Tottenham
Image: Sadio Mane has been nominated as the key man by three of our four pundits

Sadio Mane has really impressed me. He's been quick, sharp and chipped in with goals. Sometimes I think he surprises himself with what he does, and that's not being horrible, so no wonder he catches defenders out.

He can blow a little hot and cold, but he's hot more often than cold these days and I think he will be too lively for Manchester United.

Merson predicts: 3-1 and Sadio Mane to score first (55/1 with Sky Bet)

You can watch Liverpool v Man Utd, plus England's tour of Bangladesh and the British Masters on Sky Sports. Upgrade now and enjoy six months at half price!

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