City without Sterling against an ebullient Liverpool

Last updated: September 8, 2017 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 12:30pm
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Team Form: WDW
Away Team Form: WWD
Last Meeting: Man City 1 – 1 Liverpool
Competition: Premier League

It’s one of the silliest things in modern football. You score a goal, and in the throes of passion, you jump into the fans. But you already have a yellow card so now you have to be sent off. What has turned into a moment of joy now could cause problems for the next game. This is precisely what happened to Sterling, who after scoring a scrappy winner against Bournemouth to win the game 2-1, launched into the crowd, and was sent off. Now, facing their biggest rival yet against Liverpool, Sterling’s absence may be the difference between winning and losing.

A game between Liverpool and Manchester City is primarily dictated by pace. We do not expect defensive, Chelsea-style play which breaks the game down. Instead the key question is: Who can provide the most flair, speed and finesse to defeat their opponent? Sterling is a player who knows the Liverpool defence and has the speed to confuse them. Therefore Jesus will have to come on and do a lot more of the heavy lifting. He is still – even with an impressive 8 goals in fourteen games for the club – an unknown quantity, and could surprise us. The problem for City is that Liverpool have an even more unknown quantity who could easily become one of the finest players in the League.

This man is Mohamed Salah, who looks nothing like the ghost he was for Chelsea. Reinvigorated by his time in Italy on loan, he is possibly the fastest player in the league, and has the composure to boot. His performance against Arsenal was a great case in point – nicking the ball, creating chances, scoring a goal and bagging an assist without breaking a sweat. If he manages to improve his finishing in the final third, then we could be talking about the best bargain of the transfer window. I would recommend Man City to get Mendy to man-mark Salah all game to frustrate his play.

The Citizens haven’t been the better team recently and could do with a more defensive strategy. With Liverpool so lethal on the counter-attack, they should hope to make it a cagey affair and squeeze out a late goal. But they probably won’t so I think we can expect a thriller with lot of goals.

Team News

Over the international break, Man City and Liverpool players have traveled a grand total of 185,904 miles. To put that in perspective; the moon is 238,900 miles away.

Liverpool, for reasons only God will know, have signed Oxlade-Chamberlain, for £35 million. He reported fit this Wednesday for training.

Former City star Joleon Lescott says that Liverpool have the edge. As he says: “But there’s no weak defence out of those two, I would say. At this moment in time probably Liverpool (have the better defence) because they’ve played with each other a lot longer than Man City.”

Vincent Kompany is still a doubt for the game after missing training on Wednesday. He is suffering from a calf problem.

Expected Line-Ups:

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Mendy, Stones, Otamendi, Walker; D.Silva, Fernandinho, De Bruyne; Aguero, Jesus, Bernando
Subs: Bravo, Danilo, Mangala, Delph, Sané, Zinchenko, Touré
Injured: Gundogan
Doubtful: Kompany
Not available: Sterling
Liverpool (4-3-3): Mignolet; Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Subs: Karius, Milner, Sturridge, Grujic, Klavan, Solanke, Alexander-Arnold
Injured: Lallana, Clyne, Bogdad
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Manchester City So Far This Season Liverpool So Far This Season
4th League Position 2nd
2 (2) Wins (away) 2 (0)
2-0 vs. Brighton & Hove Biggest Win 4-0 vs. Arsenal
1 (0) Draws (away) 1 (1)
Biggest Defeat
Sterling (2) Top Goal Scorer Mané (3)
Y7, R2 Discipline Y6, R0
0 Failures to Score 0
1 Clean Sheets 2
67% Both Teams to Score Games 33%
33% Over 2.5 Goals 67%
67% Under 2.5 Goals 33%
  • Aguero has a record in sight against Liverpool this weekend. If he finds the net, he will become the fourth Premier League player to score in six consecutive home games against the same opponent after Henry, Hasselbaink and Shearer.
  • Liverpool are the second highest scorers in the league with eight goals in three games, while City have conceded in two of their three. The chances of at least one Liverpool goal are high here.
  • Manchester City have had red cards in two of their three games so far. Against a pacey Liverpool, there’s every chance city’s poor discipline record so far this season will continue.
  • Despite their two clean sheets so far, Manchester City haven’t failed to score yet. The Reds will be hard pressed to prevent City scoring here.

Head to Head

Last Five Competitive Meetings Between The Sides
Date Game Result Round First Goal-scorer
19/03/2017 Man City 1 – 1 Liverpool Premier League Milner 51′ (pen)
31/12/2016 Liverpool 1 – 0 Man City Premier League Wijnaldum 8′
02/03/2016 Liverpool 3 – 0 Man City Premier League Lallana 34′
28/02/2016 Liverpool 1 – 1 Man City (Pens: 1-3) League Cup Final Fernandinho 49′
21/11/2015 Man City 1 – 4 Liverpool Premier League Mangala 7′ (og)

Conclusion & Betting Tips

With this kind of game there are tens of different possibilities to rack up some serious cash. The first thing to consider is simply betting on the team to win. Quite surprisingly, Manchester City have much lower odds than Liverpool; at 17/20 versus 3/1 at William Hill. Therefore, if, like me, you believe that Liverpool can win, it’s a very good bet to have. Additionally, if you still want to back Manchester City as the team to win, we would recommend betting on them with Jesus to score anytime at 13/8.

Another thing to consider is how Liverpool games always seem to be relatively high scoring compared to other teams. With over 2.5 goals a game 67% of the season so far, placing a large stake on that outcome at odds of 4/9 could be a huge return. Additionally, things start really racking up once you consider that result with Liverpool to win too. Therefore my bet of the week: Liverpool to win and 3 or more goals in the game!