It’ll be the best offense in the English Premier League against the best defense when league leaders Manchester City host sixth-place place Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on Jan. 3rd. City has scored 53 league goals so far this season while Liverpool has only allowed 15 goals against. However, City has allowed just one more than Liverpool at 16.
City blew a huge chance to pull three points ahead of co-leaders Manchester United on Jan 1st when they were beaten 1-0 in Sunderland by a goal in the dying seconds. United had also blown a chance at three points the day before when they were beaten at home at Old Trafford 3-2 by Blackburn Rovers. Liverpool won their last game, 3-1 which was against Newcastle at home on Friday.
Liverpool should have striker Luis Suarez back in the lineup after he sat out the Newcastle game due to suspension. Captain and midfield maestro Steven Gerrard could also start the game after playing the last two as a substitute and scoring against Newcastle. However, Lucas Leiva is still injured while Fabio Aurelio and Jack Robinson will be game-time decisions.
City has a healthy squad to choose from even if they did play just 48 hours earlier. The quick turnaround in the modern game means manager Roberto Mancini will likely sit some of his pampered stars and make several changes to the team that lost in Sunderland. Players who sat out that game include Mario Balotelli, James Milner, and Gael Clichy while others such as David Silva and Micah Richards were used as subs. As usual, striker Carlos Tevez and defender Wayne Bridge won’t be dressed.
These two teams met at Anfield back in November and played tom a 1-1 draw. Liverpool plays the style of football that can frustrate City and you could see this happen again. City is now winless in their last two EPL games after drawing 0-0 against West Brom last week and hasn’t scored a goal in just over two games. In their last five games overall, City has two wins, two draws and a loss while
Liverpool has three wins and two draws. In their last five meetings against each other there have been three draws with each team winning a game 3-0 at home. In fact, City has beaten Liverpool just once in their last 13 meetings. They’ve won all nine of their matches at home this season though.
Betting on Man City vs Liverpool
Liverpool has some fine offensive players in Gerrard, Suarez, Glen Johnson, Charlie Adam, Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt and Andy Carroll, but manager Kenny Dalglish still hasn’t figured out how to utilize them properly and the team has just 24 goals in 19 games. If Dalglish goes with just one striker this should be a close affair which is likely to end in a draw.
The current odds of a City win are listed at 4/5 by sportsbook William Hill with a Liverpool victory at 7/2 and a draw at 5/2. Click the banner at the top for a good free bet at WilliamHill.