Liverpool v Manchester City: Can Sterling Outshine Salah as City Look to Break Anfield Hoodoo?
Fourth plays first on Sunday afternoon – kick-off 16:00 – as Liverpool host Manchester City in the standout fixture of this weekend’s round of Premier League games.
City stand head and shoulders ahead of the chasing pack so far this season – 15 clear of second placed, Manchester United. A Sunday win over the Reds would put the two clubs 21 points apart, in spite of Liverpool still being amongst the Champions League qualifying spots.
Early Team News
The Merseysiders are likely to give their new £75m signing from Southampton, defender, Virgil van Dijk his league debut, while this fixture will also be Liverpool’s first since Brazilian attacker, Philippe Coutinho recently left for Barcelona. City will be without Gabriel Jesus and Bernard Mendy, who are both nursing long-term knee injuries, but will still have a plethora of attacking options that boss Pep Guardiola has used to fine effect this season.
This fixture is a rare occurrence in the fact that Manchester City can be punted at odds against in a Premier League game this season. The Sky Blues can be backed with MarathonBet at the best industry price of 33/25 to notch their 21st win from 23 league outings. Liverpool are next best at the tempting odds of 21/10 with Paddy Power and Betway, while a drawn outcome can be taken with MarathonBet at 67/25.
City will have to overturn a horrendous run of recent results at Anfield, where they have not registered a league victory since 2003. The positive side for City is they are the irresistible attacking force this season, in scoring 64 goals, and conceding just 13.
The reverse fixture this season saw City run out comprehensive 5-0 winners at the Etihad Stadium, but the game was far from certain to be won by Guardiola’s men until a red card for Sadio Mane, tilted the game in City’s favour.
This contest promises to be one of the highlights of the Premier League season as goals look inevitable at both ends in a potential classic encounter. My choice of outcome for this game is a high-scoring draw, as both teams will look to play on the front foot.
Individual Goal Scorers
Five of the current ten top Premier League goal scorers play for either club in this fixture, which is a major indication that goals are highly likely here. City frontman, Sergio Aguero is the market leader to score the opening goal at 4/1 with Unibet and 888sport.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has already scored 17 league goals this season and is a very tempting 11/2 to score first with Boylesports, while fellow Liverpool forwards, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane can be backed at 7/1 (Firmino) with bet365 and BetBright, and 9/1 (Mane) with William Hill and 188BET.
Raheem Sterling has become one of the key players in a City shirt this season, and the former Liverpool man could silence his former club at 6/1 (generally available). Others worthy of a mention include Leroy Sane at the standout price of 15/2 with bet365, and Kevin De Bruyne who is widely available at 10/1.
Salah is the man of the moment in a Liverpool shirt this season, and I’m prepared to row in with the Egyptian once again to score the first goal.
Other Side Bets
For the punter who likes to play at short prices, the 1/2 on offer with Sun Bets and Sport Pesa for Both Teams to Score in this game could well be the order here. As already stated in this preview, both Liverpool and Manchester City play entertaining, attacking football, and I can only foresee goals at each end of the pitch.
The short prices are not my personal idea of value however, so my final bet of choice in this game is for a 2-2 Correct Score bet at 49/4 with 10BET and Sport Pesa. This is in-line with my thoughts of this fixture, goals, entertainment and it should be a pleasure to watch for everyone on Sunday afternoon.