Can a resurgent Liverpool slow down Manchester City?
Last updated: January 11, 2018 by Leon Marshal
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|Last Meeting:||City 5 – 0 Liverpool|
It was back in early September that Manchester City started to assert their dominance upon the 2017/18 Premier League season. Their first match against top opposition set the tone for the season to follow, with Liverpool the unwitting victims of a 5-0 mauling by the Citizens.
Liverpool fans will be quick to point out that City were leading by just one goal when Sadio Mané was given a straight red card for a kick to the face of Ederson. But the ease with which Liverpool were dismantled was worrying, albeit a sign more of City’s ability to dominate, than Liverpool’s fragility. A testing run after that defeat is a distant memory now, with the Reds on the league’s second longest unbeaten streak, but the effects are still felt; Liverpool are only fourth in the league despite being the second most inform team. Philippe Coutinho’s exit has been what has grabbed the headlines this week, along with the return of Mohamed Salah from injury, who is perhaps even more key to Liverpool now Coutinho is gone. Virgil van Dijk should bring stability to the defence who are sure to be tested here.
Those betting on City’s unbeaten streak coming to an end here might think this match is as good a time as any to do so. Having just edged past both Newcastle and Bristol City in recent weeks, City drew with Palace on the last day of 2017 to bring their record eighteen game winning streak to an end. Those suggestions of a stutter in form have some justification then, but in truth, City are still as dangerous as ever. David Silva has returned to the team, while Sergio Agüero will likely be relishing the opportunity an injury to Gabriel Jesus has granted him. The league is all but wrapped up for City, but that won’t stop Guardiola or the players giving it their all. Alexis Sánchez is the name being touted as the Citizen’s next player, with Guardiola stepping up interest in the Arsenal man.
Mohamed Salah is reported to be back in training after being out through a groin strain.
Liverpool will of course be without Coutinho, with the Brazilian having moved to Barcelona earlier in the week.
With Gabriel Jesus out for some time, Sergio Agüero is expected to lead the line, although Raheem Sterling did so in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup match.
Guardiola is said to be shaping up to bid for Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez, while also stepping up interest in Jonny Evans.
|Liverpool (4-3-3):||Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Matip, Gomez, Can, Wijnaldum, Mané, Lallana, Firmino, Salah|
|Subs:||Karius, Lovren, Milner, Robertson, Solanke, Woodburn, Klavan|
|Injured:||Moreno, Clyne, Henderson|
|Man City (4-3-3):||Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva, Sterling, Agüero, Sané|
|Subs:||Bravo, Danilo, Gündogan, Mangala, Bernardo Silva, Zinchenko, Y Touré|
|Injured:||Mendy, Foden, Jesus|
So Far This Season
|Liverpool So Far This Season||Man City So Far This Season|
|12 (6)||Wins (away)||20 (10)|
|5 – 0 vs. Swansea||Biggest Win||6 – 0 vs. Watford|
|8 (3)||Draws (away)||2 (1)|
|0 – 5 vs Man City||Biggest Defeat||—|
|Salah (17)||Top Goal Scorer||Sterling (14)|
|Y26, R1||Discipline||Y26, R2|
|3||Failures to Score||1|
|54%||Both Teams to Score Games||50%|
|68%||Over 2.5 Goals||72%|
|32%||Under 2.5 Goals||28%|
- Liverpool have scored over 2.5 goals in an impressive ten of their thirteen game unbeaten streak. Their scoring record against top six opposition is not so great however.
- City have scored over 2.5 goals in a whopping 72% of their league matches this season. Unlike Liverpool, they’ve kept this up against most of the top opposition, scoring five against the Reds, four against Spurs and three against Arsenal.
- Liverpool have also kept six clean sheets throughout this run, though City have failed to score just once this season.
- Relatively speaking, City’s recent form isn’t so hot. Having edged past Newcastle and drawn with Crystal Palace, they only just beat Bristol City in the cup.
Head to Head
|Last Five Competitive Meetings Between The Sides|
|Date||Game Result||Round||First Goal-scorer|
|09/09/2017||Manchester City 5 – 0 Liverpool||Premier League||Agüero 24′|
|19/03/2017||Manchester City 1 – 1 Liverpool||Premier League||Agüero 69′|
|31/12/2016||Liverpool 1 – 0 Manchester City||Premier League||Wijnaldum 8′|
|02/03/2016||Liverpool 3 – 0 Manchester City||Premier League||Lallana 34′|
|28/02/2016||Liverpool 1 (1) – 1 (3) Manchester City||League Cup Final||Fernandinho 49′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
The last game aside, Liverpool have won twice and drew one of the last three matches against Manchester City. Their goal-scoring record this season is great and suggests there will be goals in this one.
However, this season’s Manchester City is a different beast than before. A ruthless winning machine, City have one key difference to Liverpool this season: they also perform against top opposition. Of the other teams in the top six, the Reds have beaten only Arsenal once this season. Manchester City, on the other hand, have beaten all of the other top six opposition. This suggests a Manchester City win, but Liverpool have hit the best form of their season so far. How much of that was down to Philippe Coutinho remains to be seen, as his absence could be strongly felt. Mohamed Salah being back to full fitness is key if Liverpool want to win.
At a push then, we fancy City, but Liverpool will be well up for this one and are at home. For this reason, we’ll be playing it a bit safer with over 2.5 goals, which you can get at Grosvenor.