After a disappointing result last weekend, Liverpool look to bounce back on Sunday afternoon, though they’ve not exactly been presented with an easy opportunity (4.30pm; TV: Live on Sky Sports). Fellow title hopefuls Manchester City travel to Anfield after a timely win over Chelsea last time out in the Premier League.
Read on for our match preview of this clash of EPL titans, with betting tips.
Things have gone well for the 2020 champions, who currently top the division, though with Chelsea, Manchester United and Sunday’s opponents hot on their tails, they are far from in a dominant position, while they arrive at this junction having shown a few weaknesses last weekend. Despite looking typically threatening offensively, scoring three goals, the Reds were twice pegged back by a Brentford side that scored late in the day to deny Jurgen Klopp’s men a three-point lead at the Premier League summit.
In contrast, Man City picked up their best result of the campaign last time out in the Premier League, beating Chelsea, who were many people’s favourites for the title, by a goal to nil on the road. Such a result showed Man City’s capability to grind out a result in a tough game against one of the best teams in the division. Nobody questions the ability of Guardiola’s men when it comes to passing teams off the park, obliterating the lesser teams. As we saw when they lost to Spurs earlier in the campaign, there have been questions raised over whether they can do it in the big games when teams sit off, so their win last time out was a real plus.
How to judge the hosts?
If we look merely at their form, then Liverpool have done very little wrong at home. Seven points from a possible nine shows a promising start, while they only dropped points against a strong Chelsea side. However, if we scratch beneath the surface, you could argue that what they’ve done is far from impressive. Their wins against both Burnley and Crystal Palace were resounding and rather routine, but they struggled to breakthrough against the Blues, who played the entirety of the second period with only ten men. They did create plenty on that occasion, posting an xG number of 2.7, which is far from poor, so perhaps they shouldn’t be judged too harshly.
At home, Manchester City have been typically explosive for the most part, scoring ten goals in three games, while they’ve also done an excellent job of stopping their opponents, or rather dominating to the level where the opposition was unable to get seriously involved offensively. On the road, though, it has been a slightly different story. They’ve picked up a credible six points away from home but have seemingly done so in less flamboyant fashion, scoring just two goals in 270 minutes of travelling football.
For a while, this was a fixture dictated by the Reds, who between 2018 and 2019, won five out of eight renewals, losing just one of the other three, though in the last year or so, the tide has started to turn. Sunday’s hosts are now without a win in three renewals, two of which have been won by Manchester City. The Citizens won by four goals to one at this venue when the pair last met back in February.
LFC vs MCFC Betting Tips Verdict
Many people will fancy the hosts at odds of 2/1, that’s for sure. After all, they’ve done very little wrong this season, they are generally strong at home and go up against a Man City side that hasn’t exactly been in rampaging form on the road. Then again, some people will no doubt like the look of 6/4 about an away win, as the Citizens come here in strong form, seemingly growing as the campaign progresses, especially on the road. In truth, a case can be made for both, but neither the home win nor the away win appeals most at the prices.
The bet that does stand out is ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ at odds 5/4. When two big teams clash, goals are always forecast, and we may well see plenty on Sunday. There will be no shortage of attacking talent gracing the Anfield turf, what with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane going up against the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and summer signing Jack Grealish, but given what we have seen, especially from Man City on the road, it is not terribly difficult to conclude that there’s a slightly greater chance of a low-scoring fixture than the early betting odds from the leading bookmakers would have us believe.
For starters, the goals have been in short supply when Man City play on the road, with just three goals going in (at either end) in three matches. In those fixtures, Guardiola’s men have given little away, keeping two clean sheets, surrendering an average 0.8 expected goals, as well as an average of just one shot on target. Put this together with Liverpool’s averages of 0.8 xG against and 2.33 shots on target against and a low-scoring fixture becomes easier to support. So, for this preview’s betting tips, this is the suggestion:
- Go under 2.5 goals @ 5/4 with BetVictor.
Compare LFC vs MCFC Match Winner Betting Odds from Top UK Bookies
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.