Following a titanic battle in the Premier League last weekend, Man City and Liverpool are now set to face off in the semi-finals of the FA Cup (3.30pm Saturday; Live on TV: BBC1). Sunday’s game at the Etihad ended with honours even but one side must now win on the day with the glory of the cup final waiting.
That 2-2 draw last time out underlined just how evenly matched Manchester City and Liverpool are but let’s aim to find some winners as we head down Wembley way. This match preview and its betting tips aim to do just that.
Manchester City start as favourites for the win in 90 minutes and the best odds for Pep Guardiola’s men currently stand at 13/10. Victory for Liverpool is next up at 11/5 while the draw is only marginally further back at 5/2.
Remember, those prices are for the result in 90 minutes, excluding any potential extra time. That means we have a separate To Qualify market where Man City shorten to 8/15 and Liverpool come in at 15/13.
It would be no surprise to see these sides level at the end of normal time. Last week’s 2-2 draw underlines just how evenly matched they are and, while both sides had chances to win it, a share of the points was a fair outcome.
This preview’s feeling is that extra time will be needed on Saturday but, before we commit to the result with our betting tips, let’s take a look at the key players.
Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring last time out and the Belgian attacking midfielder is quoted at 7/1 in Saturday’s first goalscorer market. Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah starts as the favourite to find the net first at industry best odds of 11/2 while Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez is next at a top price of 13/2.
A number of players can be found at similar odds here. Along with De Bruyne at that 7/1 figure, Raheem Sterling is also quoted at 7/1 while Liverpool’s Sadio Mane is marginally further back at 8/1.
Away from the individual player markets, Both Teams to Score in 90 minutes is a short option at best industry odds of 6/10. A bet on Both Teams Not to Score can be claimed at 29/20.
Switching to the Total Goals section and a bet Over the 2.5 combined line currently comes in at best odds of 8/11. We could consider going higher by taking the Over 3.5 option which is listed at a top price of 15/8. Alternatively, if you think this is going to be a cagier affair, a stake Under the 2.5 line currently attracts a general 11/10.
That leaves some Correct Score suggestions and a repeat of last week’s 2-2 draw after 90 minutes is on offer at best industry odds of 14/1. A 2-1 win for Manchester City can be claimed at a top price of 10/1 while the same outcome in favour of Liverpool is quoted at 11/1.
Our MCFC vs LFC FA Cup Semi-Final Match Preview & Betting Tips Verdict
Just because we saw four goals in last week’s corresponding fixture, we shouldn’t necessarily expect another high scorer. Both teams really needed the win in terms of Premier League title aspirations and an attacking 90 minutes followed as a result.
In the FA Cup, with the option of an extra period on the line, it could be a tighter game. Perhaps we may even see a similar outcome to Manchester City’s recent Champions League quarter final with Atletico Madrid where just one goal was scored over two legs.
We may also expect some minor changes to the starting XIs. Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez was introduced from the bench last Sunday but many expect him to come back in for Gabriel Jesus. While Jesus scored Man City’s second goal, Mahrez has consistently looked to be the most likely goal threat for his side across the season.
We suspect another tight game and this could be a lower scorer. However, we’ll opt for two selections that can drop, irrespective of how many goals are scored across the 90 minutes.
The draw is the first pick as we expect the two teams to cancel each other out once again. This tie must be decided on the day but the draw will pay out if the sides are level after 90 minutes.
Our goalscorer bet focuses on Raheem Sterling. The winger looked dangerous throughout last week’s game and had a goal chalked off for a marginal offside.
Sterling at 7/1 for the first goal would convert a generous profit but we’ll play slightly safer and take the player for an anytime goal. Odds for a Sterling strike in 90 minutes still offer relatively good value for what should be another intriguing contest. These are our two betting tips for this FA Cup semi-final preview: