One of the most important games of the Premier League season is upon us and this fixture could yet decide the course of the title race.
It will be the defending champions versus the favorites on Sunday as Liverpool play hosts to Manchester City at Anfield.
Liverpool’s defence of the Premier League title has faltered in recent weeks as just two wins in eight league games has left them in the fourth place, seven points off of the leaders. The unbreachable fortress that was Anfield has fallen as well, with the Reds losing their last two home matches against bottom-half oppositions Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Manchester City, in contrast, are hitting top gear after a slow start to the campaign. Their 2-0 win against Burnley earlier in the week made it thirteen victories on the bounce across all competitions for Pep Guardiola & co. This has meant that the Citizens are now perched atop the league standings with a three-point gap and a game in hand over second-placed Manchester United.
Seven points separate the two sides in the table following a poor run of form for the Reds, coupled with a relentless winning streak from Pep Guardiola’s men in recent weeks.
So often in recent seasons this has been the fixture to have the biggest impact on the title race and, while there are more teams also in contention this time around, it could once again be a pivotal showdown.
It is arguably more important to Liverpool than Man City, though, with the visitors’ recent form giving them some margin for error, whereas Liverpool’s untimely slump has left them with a mountain to climb already.
A run of just two wins in their last eight Premier League outings has left Jurgen Klopp’s side seven points adrift of the leaders having played a game more, and should that gap grow to 10 – or even stay at seven – this weekend then it is difficult to see them making up the deficit over the remainder of the season.
Sunday’s contest may well fall into the must-win category as far as Liverpool’s title hopes are concerned, then, although Klopp has been quick to insist that his side cannot be focused on the title, but rather on the top-four chase.
The reverse fixture, played at the Etihad Stadium last November ended in a 1-1 draw with Gabriel Jesus cancelling out Mohamed Salah’s early penalty. Ahead of the titanic encounter between the champions and the challengers, we bring you the best betting tips to go with for this game.
Both teams to score
Mere looking at the attacking quality of both sides, you can see why we expect both teams to score. However, it’s a difficult one this time around given that City have been immense in defence and have seen a good amount of clean sheets this term. However, form goes out in this kind of game as earlier and we can see an open game where both teams get on the score-sheet at Anfield. Liverpool are expected to do better against a team that come out to play like Manchester City than against the likes of Southampton and Brighton who are happy to sit back. City remain favorites to win the game but we could yet see goals at both ends of the pitch. Bet9ja have 1.60 odds, Bet365 have 1.66 and 1xbet have 1.71.
Over 2.5 Goals
Manchester City have scored at least two goals in four of their last five league games, scoring four and five on separate occasions too. Liverpool might have struggled for goals at Anfield of late but they find themselves in a decent position to end that barren run. If one side takes hold of the other from the very onset, we can expect a good number of goals and the over 2.5 tip should come through. Bet365 have 1.72 odds, Bet9ja have 1.73 and 1xbet have 1.81.
Anytime Goal-scorer (Liverpool)
Much recently, it’s looking like Liverpool only really perform when the Egyptian turns up. He recently bagged a stunning brace against West Ham where he stole the headlines as well. Salah is one for the big games and if there’s any Liverpool player that can come up with individual brilliance, he’s the top shout to do that at Anfield today. There is value with the Egyptian as Bet365 have 2.20 odds while Bet9ja have 2.25 odds for him to score.
He might not score as much as other centre forwards around but he continues to remain a key cog in the Liverpool attack. The Brazilian also has a thing for scoring in these sort of games and we have a hunch he could get on the score-sheet as well. There is even greater value for the Brazilian as Bet365 are offering 3.40 odds while Bet9ja have theirs better at 3.75
Anytime Goal-scorer (Manchester City)
After a recent goal drought in the Premier League, the Brazilian has scored in back to back league games and his goals have proven to be winning goals for Manchester City. In the continued absence of Sergio Aguero, we’re backing him to capitalize on Liverpool’s current defensive struggles and perhaps pop up a goal or two at Anfield. He also scored in the reverse fixture at the Etihad and he’ll be aiming to complete the double against the reigning champions. Bet365 have 2.50 odds while Bet9ja have 2.75.
Raheem Sterling has scored in his last two City appearances and has been directly involved in more goals (99 goals, 55 assists) than any other City player under Pep Guardiola. He is up to seven goals for the season and he’ll fancy his chances of moving closer to double digits for the current campaign. Bet365 are offering 2.62 odds for him to score while Bet9ja have theirs at 2.80.
Football Lover. All-round junkie of the beautiful game. Could be found watching football most of the time. If not he’s writing about them or making some punditry you don’t agree with. A certain bias for Arsenal and Santos FC.