Clas­sic en­counter is on the cards... but could it

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT - FRED DONE

I’M supremely con­fi­dent I will be cel­e­brat­ing a fa­mous United win at An­field on Saturday when the Pre­mier League re­turns with a bang.

The Reds on this side of the East Lancs Road have a heaven-sent op­por­tu­nity to end all the jibes from City fans in par­tic­u­lar that they have not played any club of any sig­nif­i­cance so far this sea­son – and that their po­si­tion equal top of the Pre­mier League along­side the Blues is not a fair re­flec­tion of the team’s progress un­der Jose Mour­inho.

United led by the ex­cel­lent Romelu Lukaku have been bang­ing them in and at last bringing back the ex­cite­ment for the fans after some less than in­spir­ing sea­sons fol­low­ing the end of the Tro­phy-laden Fergie era.

After 4-0 wins for United against Palace, Ever­ton, Swansea and Wat­ford al­ready this sea­son hun­dreds of hope­ful sup­port­ers think it could hap­pen again – and 4-0 at An­field is 80/1 at Bet­fred. I’m sweat­ing on that be­lieve me.

Liver­pool in sev­enth need a win big time and with fans start­ing to get anx­ious will be out to put Mour­inho’s new-look team in their place so a clas­sic en­counter is on the cards… and that’s just what we need after the dull as dull can be in­ter­na­tional break. Lukaku is 3/1 favourite to open the scor­ing at An­field, 20/1 for the hat-trick while Mar­cus Rash­ford is 6/1 to hit the first goal.

Eng­land may have qual­i­fied for the World Cup in Rus­sia next year but

un­less there is a huge im­prove­ment in Gareth South­gate’s team we have no chance of win­ning it. We have one world class player in Harry Kane and a fast-im­prov­ing young­ster in Rash­ford – and not much else.

It is no won­der we’re 20/1 at Bet­fred to win it be­hind 5/1 favourites Ger­many, while Brazil are 6/1 and Ar­gentina 8/1. My tip for what it is worth is France at 11/2 – and I hope Bel­gium at 14/1 with so many Pre­mier League stars in their ranks do them­selves jus­tice.

Fi­nally Sir Bobby Charl­ton, a true su­per­star of his gen­er­a­tion who ter­ri­fied the op­po­si­tion when we won the World Cup in 1966, cel­e­brated his 80th birth­day on Wednesday. What a player, what a gen­tle­man – and a true am­bas­sador of the game. With his cul­tured play and thun­der­bolt long-dis­tance shots he’d be worth £150m to­day!

Romelu Lukaku

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