Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Prediction: Liverpool vs Manchester City

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: Bet365

The year 2016 end with a Premier League bang at Anfield, where in-form Liverpool will lock horns with rejuvenated Manchester City as both sides look for a win that will allow them to keep up the pace behind league leaders Chelsea.

Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s side bounced back from the Bournemouth defeat at the beginning of December as Reds have since drawn with West Ham and recorded three successive wins to get back in the Premier League title race, respectively. Liverpool did rather well to compensate for the absence of key man Philippe Coutinho with Adam Lallana taking up his leader’s role to guide the team forward with some impressive performances of late. The England international has managed 7 goals and 6 assists in 14 Premier League starts and is one of the most valuable players in the entire league, together with his teammate Sadio mane who joined in with 8 goals and 4 assists. Jurgen Klopp’s men are once again enjoying their game and are displaying a highly exciting brand of football, so there is no doubt that we are in for a mouth-watering clash against Manchester City on Saturday. It is the first time Klopp goes against Pep Guardiola in the Premier League and it will be extremely interesting to see how the pair would behave on the touchline.

Team News

Philippe Coutinho will miss the Saturday’s clash despite getting back in training, but the New Year’s games come too early for the Brazilian.

Klopp is unlikely to ring many changes to his side as he remains without Joel Matip, who will continue to be replaced by Ragnar Klavan.

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola admires Jurgen Klopp and his recognizable style of play, but the Spaniard will be on a mission to put an end to Liverpool’s three-match run by prolonging one of his own. Much like their Saturday’s rivals, Manchester City are also enjoying a three-game winning spell which came after back-to-back defeats to Chelsea and Leicester City, respectively. The Citizens are coming off from the 3-0 victory at Hull City, but the big-margin win hides the true storyline however. City were struggling for the most part of the game and it wasn’t until Guardiola put Iheanacho on that thing started to go in City’s favour. The Nigerian scored a goal and allowed his teammates to fully express their attacking potential, which will put Guardiola in a dilemma now that Sergio Aguero is returning into the fold. The Argentine dynamo has scored 10 goals this season and his return to action will be a timely one, a definite boost to City’s chances at Anfield.

Team News

Fabian Delph and captain Vincent Kompany continue to miss out with their long-term injury problems.

Ilkay Gundogan is facing a lengthy layoff, whereas defender John Stones is a major doubt due to his knee injury.

Key Aspects to Consider

  • Liverpool scored 45 goals this season, more than any EPL side
  • Manchester City beat Liverpool only once in their last 5 league matches
  • The Reds are unbeaten at home turf so far in the season
  • Klopp and Guardiola squared off 8 times in Bundesliga
  • City lost 4 of their last 10 away games in all competitions

Conclusion

There is not much separating the two sides who are recording some great results at the moment. Liverpool will be hoping the home advantage will do their part and that tight defending on Sergio Aguero will disable City’s attacking powers. It will be easier said than done as Liverpool have one of the weakest defence lines as far as top 6 teams are concerned.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: Bet365

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