Saturday, September 23, 2017

Prediction: Manchester City vs Liverpool

Verdict: Manchester City to score in the first half – yes

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: bet365

Two of the top teams in the English Premier League this season will collide this Saturday in the match that will kick off the Matchweek 4 in England’s top flight. Manchester City will host Liverpool at Etihad Stadium this Saturday, and either side could move to the top of the standings with a win. The game starts at 12:30 PM BST, and the referee will be Jon Moss.

Manchester City

The Citizens are one of the top teams in the league, at least on paper. And so far they have been up to the standards with seven points in the first three matches, and are only two points behind the league-leaders Manchester United. However, City could not deliver a good performance at home in their season opener against Everton and only settled for a 1-1 draw. There are reasons to get excited about the team, though. They are riding an 11-game undefeated streak, and have scored at least once in their last eight matches. Their recent track record has not been inspiring against Liverpool since they have not defeated them in the past three meetings. But this team is bound to bounce back. Can they stop their negative run against Liverpool and cement their position as a title contender?

Team News

Pep Guardiola has the majority of the squad available for this game.

Aside from Raheem Sterling (suspension) and Ilkay Gündongan (knee), the Spanish manager has the entire team at his disposal.

Liverpool

Liverpool were one of the hottest teams in the English Premier League before the international break, since they were coming off two straight shutouts against Crystal Palace (1-0) and Arsenal (4-0). To make things better for them, The Reds have 5W 3D and 2L over the past 10 EPL matches against the Etihad Stadium outfit. But when they visit City, they have struggled a bit since they won just one of their past eight meetings against The Citizens at their venue. Furthermore, Liverpool’s defensive line has played a bit above the expectations, and City will be their toughest test to date. Winning would make them a serious title contender, but there are reasons for their fans to be excited. They have seven straight games without a loss and five consecutive games scoring. Can they maintain their momentum against City on the road?

Team News

The Reds are a bit depleted ahead of this game due to injuries, as they could have up to four players out due to several injuries.

Adam Bogdan (knee), Nathaniel Clyne (muscular) and Adam Lallana (thigh) are out, while Danny Ings is doubtful due to a lack of match fitness. The 25-year-old attacker has not played since October 25, 2016.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Both teams have looked accurate in front of goal to start the season. Manchester City scored at least one goal in their last eight matches, while Liverpool have found the back of the net in their past five contests.
  • Both teams are carrying decent undefeated streaks as well. The Citizens are in the midst of an 11-game streak, while The Reds have not lost in their last seven matches.
  • The head-to-head record gives an edge to Liverpool. The Reds have 5W 3D and 2L over the past 10 EPL matches against the Etihad Stadium outfit.
  • In fact, Liverpool are riding a three-game undefeated streak against City with two wins and one draw.
  • The Reds defence has looked excellent this season, and they are coming off two straight clean sheets.
  • Manchester City have lost only one of their last eight home Premier League meetings against Liverpool (W4 D3).

Conclusion

Both teams are unbeaten after three Premier League matches, and in fact Liverpool are coming off two straight clean sheets. But City tend to be dominant at home, and The Reds’ defence is bound to come back down to earth at some point. City are favourites here, and I expect them to score in the first half to establish a quick lead.

Verdict: Manchester City to score in the first half – yes

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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