Expect an entertaining match when in-form Liverpool host Man City at Anfield on Sunday (12:00 GMT, live on Sky Sports).
Liverpool come into the game after suffering just their third defeat in their last 25 matches in all competitions on Thursday. Brendan Rodgers’ side travelled to Istanbul with a one-goal advantage over Besiktas ahead of the second leg of their Europa League round-of-32 tie. They made a good start and created the better chances of the first half, but their hosts started to threaten after the hour mark and scored the aggregate equaliser with just under 20 minutes left to play.
The defeat on the night took the tie to extra time and then penalties, where Dejan Lovren’s miss, after nine immaculately converted penalties from those who preceded him on both sides, consigned Liverpool to elimination. It was the first time they had lost in normal-time in 18 matches and brought to an end a run of four consecutive victories in all competitions.
Liverpool’s strong run of form from mid-December onwards has seen them recover from a poor start to the campaign and emerge as genuine top-four contenders. The change to a 3-4-2-1 formation has paid dividends for Rodgers at both ends of the pitch. His side are more solid in defence and more potent in attack that they were earlier in the season.
They are sixth in the Premier League table, just two points off the top four, with 45 points from 13 wins, six draws and seven defeats.
Rodgers will be unable to call on the injured Jon Flanagan (knee), while Brad Jones (thigh), Glen Johnson (illness), Jordan Henderson (ankle), Lucas Leiva (groin), Mamadou Sakho (hip) and Steven Gerrard (hamstring) are all unlikely to play.
Man City make the short trip to Anfield on the back of three defeats and just two wins in their last eight matches in all competitions.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side were outclassed by Barcelona at the Etihad on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie. Former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez scored twice inside the opening half-hour for a Barcelona side that largely controlled the rhythm of the match thereafter. Sergio Aguero (pictured) gave City hope with a well-taken second-half goal.
While they did improve in the second half, it was still a disappointing performance from Man City, who were fortunate not to go into the second leg with a two-goal deficit. Joe Hart saved Lionel Messi’s injury-time penalty following a clumsy foul from Pablo Zabaleta to theoretically keep the tie alive, although a turnaround at the Nou Camp next month does seem unlikely.
They are second in the Premier League table, five points behind Chelsea, with 55 points from 16 wins, seven draws and three defeats and it is the Premier League that represents Man City’s best hope of silverware this season. They will now hope to regain some of the momentum they established with two high-scoring league victories in the build-up to Tuesday’s defeat. With all of his players fit and available for selection, Pellegrini will be confident of overseeing a strong finish to the campaign.
Manchester City have no injury concerns coming into this fixture.
Liverpool v Man City Betting Tips
Man City were 3-1 winners when these sides met at the Etihad earlier this season. Both of last season’s fixtures between these sides ended in home victories – 2-1 for City and 3-2 for Liverpool. The last away win in a league fixture between these sides came back in 2008. The last six fixtures at Anfield have yielded two wins for Liverpool and four draws.
Liverpool were not best pleased about the scheduling of this fixture, with the noon kickoff giving them little time to recover from the trip to Turkey and prepare adequately for the visit of the reigning champions. Rodgers elected to rest Philippe Coutinho from Thursday’s defeat and will also hope to be able to call on some of his injury doubts.
Man City have rarely matched the level of performance they managed last season during the current campaign, but the title holders are still in with a decent shout of retaining their trophy. What they can guarantee is goals. They have kept just four clean sheets in their last 15 matches in all competitions, while only twice failing to score themselves during that period.
A draw has been the most regular result between these sides at Anfield in recent times and we believe a score draw is again likely.
- Back the draw on the ‘match result and both teams to score market’ @ 7/2 with BetVictor or Ladbrokes.
- We expect to see a relatively cagey start to the match, as Liverpool seek to find their rhythm following their midweek exertions. On average, Liverpool at home and City away tend to score and concede their first goal of the match around the 40-minute mark. Back over 26 minutes on the ‘time of first goal’ market @ 21/20 with BetVictor.