Monday, October 21, 2019

Prediction: Manchester City vs Liverpool

Verdict: Both teams to Score – Yes

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: bet365

The New Year could have hardly gone off to a better start than with arguably the biggest game yet. With seven points separating the reigning title holders Manchester City and champions-elect Liverpool the Thursday’s clash at the Etihad promises to be a huge one.

Manchester City

It seemed as if it was going to be yet another fully dominant year for Manchester City who hit the top gear early in the campaign and kept it flying high all the way until December. Three defeats in the span of five Premier League games turned it all upside down for the Citizens who are now lagging behind Liverpool, seven points adrift of the top of the table.

Setbacks against Chelsea and then against Crystal Palace and Leicester City either side of Christmas brought plenty of pressure to Pep Guardiola whose men now face a potential title decider. Another loss in this forthcoming game would leave Citizens 10 points off, which – considering the current form Liverpool are in – could prove to be unassailable.  Manchester City were shockingly thrown off the pace in the Premiership and their first aim is to regain the second spot from Tottenham. A point against Liverpool would help them do exactly that but Guardiola will no doubt chase all three points. And if he wants to make 2019 as nearly spectacular as 2018 was, the Spaniard will need to go all-in, which promises a great match at the Etihad.

Team News

Kevin De Bruyne picked up a muscle problem against Southampton and is considered a doubt for Liverpool.

Fernandinho made a timely return last time out and will once again push for his place in the team, while Fabian Delph remains suspended.

Liverpool

The Reds have made a gigantic improvement in just a year’s time. On the constant rise under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool still struggled last season and were a full 20 points behind Manchester City after 20 Premier League games.

The Champions League finalists did have a year to remember, however, and an even better summer which gave them a stronghold in goal with Alisson Becker. Paired with a world-class centre-back in Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool now finally have a fully scaled squad with quality options in each position. As a result, the Reds have launched a lethal Premier League challenge and remain the only unbeaten side in the top flight. Furthermore, they only conceded eight goals in 20 matches and look impregnable. Facing every challenge with a smile, Jurgen Klopp is fully expected to instruct his players to play their game at the Etihad. A win in this match would be their 10th in a row – which is just a record in line Liverpool broke this season.

Team News

Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remain unavailable but James Milner could be back just in time for the game.

Jordan Henderson and Naby keita will be hoping for a recall into the starting line-up, even though Fabinho and Gini Wijnaldum’s current form leaves Klopp with an easy choice.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Liverpool are looking for their 10th consecutive league win
  • Man City lost three of their last 5 Premier League matches
  • Reds only conceded 8 goals in 20 rounds thus far
  • Citizens failed to beat Liverpool in their last 5 attempts
  • Liverpool won 4 of their last 5 away matches

Conclusion

A potential title-decided is at hand with Manchester City hoping to put Liverpool’s rampant form to a halt and make the Premier League race even more interesting than it already is. Recent head-to-head records do not work in the Citizens’ favour whereas the current form also screams Liverpool, but this is one of those matches that are so difficult to predict. The only thing we can guarantee here is – nedless fun and excitement. And possibly goals on both ends.

Verdict: Both teams to Score – Yes

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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