The two teams currently tied atop the Premier League clash when Liverpool host Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday (16:30 BST, live on Sky Sports).
Reigning champions Man City remain the odds-on favourites with the bookmakers to defend their title successfully. Liverpool are comfortably the second-ranked team and have started the season in a manner that suggests they are likely to offer a very strong challenge.
Liverpool had won six out of six prior to their 1-1 draw away at Chelsea in an engaging encounter last weekend. Jurgen Klopp’s side probably created the better chances over the course of the match but still required a superb long-range strike from Daniel Sturridge in the dying minutes to secure a point after going behind in the first half.
Despite those pair of dropped points, this has still been Liverpool’s best start to the Premier League season. It is one achieved even though last season’s top scorer Mohamed Salah has been struggling for form a bit during the early part of the new campaign. He has already notched three goals and continues to offer a threat, but he snatched at a couple of chances against Chelsea and hasn’t looked quite at his best.
He was also unable to make much of an impact during Liverpool’s 0-1 defeat away to Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday. On the back of a 3-2 win at home to Paris Saint-Germain in their opening match, Liverpool travelled to Naples confident of getting a result, but they were comfortably outplayed by their hosts, who wasted a number of chances before finally scoring their winner in the dying minutes.
It was a disappointing performance and result and one that Liverpool will be determined to bounce back from this weekend as they seek to assert themselves as genuine title contenders. They generally had the upper hand over Man City last season, losing 0-5 away in the league but winning 4-3 at home and then triumphing in their Champions League quarter-final clash with a 3-0 win at Anfield and a 2-1 victory away at the Etihad.
That loss away at Liverpool in January was just one of two suffered by Manchester City last season. They have made relatively light work of a pretty kind set of fixtures during the first couple of months of the new season, scoring 21 goals and conceding just three over the course of six wins and one draw (away at Wolverhampton Wanderers). Things do now get tougher for them, with matches against Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United in their next five.
Pep Guardiola’s side have not been particularly convincing in their opening pair of Champions League fixtures. They fell to a 1-2 defeat at home to Lyon before coming from behind to win at Hoffenheim in midweek with a late goal from David Silva. There has been little else to indicate any sort of decline since last season.
Then, Man City had both the best attack and the best defence in the Premier League. While the relative ease of their fixtures to date makes it difficult to judge whether that is again the case this time around, there is little reason to believe otherwise. Guardiola still has what is probably the league’s strongest squad at his disposal, including decisive players in key positions.
The difference may be that in Liverpool, they look to have a stronger competitor this time around. Liverpool look a team capable of more or less keeping pace in order to take advantage of any slip-ups City might make.
Our Preview’s Liverpool vs. Man City Betting Tips Verdict
On head-to-head terms, Liverpool and Manchester City look like two well-matched sides. Sunday’s match is likely to be an enthralling encounter with plenty of goals and incident. Liverpool seem to have an approach that works very well against City. With their visitors highly likely to miss the influential presence of Kevin de Bruyne through injury, Liverpool’s home advantage might just be enough to see them to the three points.
The best UK bookies are struggling to split the three options in their match betting: Liverpool are at best odds of 8/5, with Man City at 9/5 and the draw around the 5/2 mark. The Liverpool vs. Man City betting tip for this preview is: