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It’s First vs Second in the Premier League

Last updated: September 29, 2021 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Sunday, 16:30
Venue: Anfield
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Form: WDWWD
Away Form: WWWDW
Last Meeting: Liverpool 1 – 4 Man City
Competition: Premier League

A top of the table clash between the only two teams that have won the Premier League over the last four years. Unbeaten Liverpool are the league’s top scorers, but they face Manchester City, who has only conceded one goal in six games. A vital six-pointer, even at this early stage of the season.

Jürgen Klopp has stuck to the basic tactics that took him to the heights of a European Championship and winning the league with the Reds for the first time in thirty years. Sticking to the mantra, ‘don’t change a working system’, Klopp’s men employ flying wing-backs with exciting wingers which produce magical attacks.

Trent Alexander Arnold and Andy Robertson are core to the team going forward, relying on the solid defence to cover their adventures. However, Arnold missed the emphatic 1-5 win against Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday, and it looks increasingly likely that he will miss the City game, which will be a blow for Liverpool.

Liverpool are also missing Thiago Alcantara and Harvey Elliott, who are injured. Alcantara has a muscle injury in his calf and is expected to be out for a few more weeks. There is no update on Elliot’s return to the team.

If Liverpool had won against Brentford, a draw against their fiercest rivals would not have been a bad result, but the shocking nature of their 3-3 draw against Premier League new boys has changed the landscape somewhat. Although that said, they are undefeated in the last sixteen Premier League matches and scored at least two goals in ten of the last eleven.

Mohammed Salah became the fourth-fastest player to reach the one hundredth goal mark for a single club, and the Egyptian is in fine form, scoring in the 3-3 draw with Brentford and also grabbing a brace in the win over Porto midweek.

Goals for Liverpool are well shared among their front three; Mane and Jota have scored three goals each while Salah tops the scoring chart with five. Diogo Jota has been impressive, and with Firmino back in the side, the Brazilian can drop deep and try to provide the killer passes to their attackers. However, Klopp could be tempted to place two defensive midfielders and field all his attacking boys to play on the front foot.

The defence conceded three goals in the previous game against newly-promoted side Brentford to draw the game 3 – 3. However, they had just conceded one goal in the last five games, so it may have just been a bad day at the office rather than a sign of deeper problems. They also conceded in the Champions League game against Porto, but the Mehdi Taremi goal was merely a consolation with the game already won at that stage (Liverpool was 4-0 up).

Manchester City are the team to beat this campaign; the defending champions have one of the strongest squads in the Premier League. Since losing the first game, a 1-0 loss to Tottenham, the Citizens have had a decent run and have kept five consecutive clean sheets in the last five games. Remarkably, the goal they conceded against Tottenham is the only one that has been scored against them in the league.

They will be confident on the road, having built a reputation of being good travellers, winning fourteen of their last sixteen away matches. Last weekend, City faced their toughest challenge in the league, a trip to Stamford Bridge and duly won 1-0 thanks to a Gabriel Jesus goal shortly after halftime.

When Ruben Dias won the player of the season award and was compared to Virgil Van Djik, many pundits doubted the choice. However, the Portuguese maestro gave a commanding performance against Romelu Lukaku, challenging pace, physicality, and tackling throughout the game to prevent him from scoring.

Joao Cancelo has been flourishing down the left-wing and produced the assist in the win against Chelsea. The 27-year-old rating wise is City’s best player, averaging 7.47 in the six games he has played.

The stringent defence compliments the lethal attack perfectly, and as Sir Alex Ferguson once said, ‘attack wins you games; defence wins you titles.’. City are pretty rich in both these areas to add to a talented midfield and tactical manager who is bold to try new formations and line-ups throughout the season.

However, like Liverpool, Manchester City was in Champions League action this week, but unlike their opponents, they could not claim a win and lost 2-0 away to PSG. A first-half goal from Idrissa Gueye and a great strike from Lionel Messi on 74 minutes gave the French side the win. Although that defeat is more likely to be a footnote rather than damaging in a group containing Club Bruges and a struggling RB Leipzig.

Ikay Gundogan, who scored twice the last time the two sides met, will be assessed but is unlikely to feature as he is suffering from a thigh injury. Apart from Gundogan and the suspended Benjamin Mendy, City has a full-strength squad.


Team News

Liverpool has Thiago ruled out, and Trent Alexander-Arnold looks highly unlikely to play.

Roberto Firmino is back from injury, and Diogo Jota is playing well; Klopp could play all his four forward players to improve efficiency and productivity.

Ikay Gundogan, who scored twice the last time the two sides met, is injured.

Man City have the best defensive record conceding just one goal and keeping five consecutive clean sheets.


Expected Line-Ups:

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Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson, Milner, Matip, Van Djik, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Firmino, Mane
Subs: Kelleher, Williams, Jones, Keita, Minnamino, Origi, Jota, Tsimikas, Gomez, Konate
Injured: Thiago, Elliott
Doubtful: Alexander-Arnold
Not available:
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Man City (3-2-4-1): Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, De Bruyne, B. Silva, Grealish, Sterling, Jesus
Subs: Steffen, Stones, Ake, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Foden, Garcia, Mahrez Torres, Palmer, Lavia
Injured: Gundogan
Doubtful:
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Liverpool This Season City This Season
1st League Position 2nd
4 (2) Wins (away) 4 (2)
3 – 0 v Norwich Biggest Win 5 – 0 v Norwich
2 (1) Draws (away) 1 (0)
Biggest Defeat 0 – 1 v Spurs
Salah (5) Top Goal Scorer Jesus (2)
Y6, R0 Discipline Y7, R0
0 Failures to Score 1
67% Clean Sheets 83%
33% Both Teams to Score Games 0%
67% Over 2.5 Goals 33%
33% Under 2.5 Goals 67%
  • Liverpool and Man City have played forty-eight professional games, The Reds have twenty wins against Manchester City’s eleven wins, and seventeen draws between them.
  • Salah is top of the scoring charts with five goals and two assists, with Jota and Mane bagging three goals each. City’s best scorer is Jesus and Torres, with two goals each.
  • Liverpool is the best scoring team with fifteen goals, while City are the best defensive side conceding just one goal so far in the league.
  • The last four Premier League titles have been shared between these two teams, with City winning three and Liverpool winning once.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
07/02/2021 EPL Liverpool 1 – 4 Man City Gundogan 49′
08/11/2020 EPL Man City 1 – 1 Liverpool Salah 13’
02/07/2020 EPL Man City 4 – 0 Liverpool De Bruyne 25’
10/11/2019 EPL Liverpool 3 – 1 Man City Fabinho 6′
04/08/2019 EPL Liverpool 1 – 1 Man City Sterling 12’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Liverpool are yet to taste defeat in a competitive game this season but have dropped four points after draws with Chelsea and the 3-3 thriller with Brentford. A tough team to face, their unbeaten run in the Premier League now stretches to an impressive 16 games.

Manchester City’s form has been a bit more erratic, a surprise 0-0 draw at home against Southampton and the opening day defeat against Tottenham. However, with just a point separating the two teams, this is an opportunity to leapfrog one of their main rivals.

The last time City travelled to Anfield, they won 4-1 and are looking good on the road this campaign, winning 14 out of their last 16. However, this is a different Liverpool team to the one that struggled last year.

All things considered, we think this is a game that neither side will want to lose, so therefore we are going for a draw that is available @ 5/2 with William Hill. 1-1 is available @ 13/2 and 2-2 is priced @ 12/1.