An end of the International break means the reemergence of Premier League soccer, as Pep Guardiola's possession-based Manchester City welcome Jurgen Klopp’s high-pressing Liverpool to the Etihad this Saturday. Who can send a message to the rest of the potential title challengers and strike the first L on the opposition’s sheet? Read on to find out.
Live Manchester City vs. Liverpool odds
Manchester City vs. Liverpool betting: Klopp’s dominance
Despite both sides faring well in the Premier League – Liverpool and Manchester City are unbeaten so far – the record in recent games between the two have been dominated by the Liverpudlians.
In the last five Premier League meetings between Liverpool and Manchester City, Liverpool have gone unbeaten and won four; scoring 11 goals and conceding just three in the process.
Manchester City can take solace in the fact that the last meeting in the Premier League ended all square, with Sergio Aguero levelling after James Milner’s penalty.
Manchester City vs. Liverpool odds: A look at recent form
The International break has arguably come unwelcomed by Liverpool, who have been in fine form after their opening day 3-3 hiccup against Watford (who have since also gone unbeaten in the Premier League).
Their 1-0 win against struggling Crystal Palace was followed up by a 4-0 hammering of Arsenal, in what arguably is the performance of the season so far - something that offered momentum that Klopp will be looking to exploit come Saturday.
Mane, Firmino and Salah have accumulated 10.3 shots per game, 4.6 more shots than the rest of their starting lineup against Arsenal combined.
Whilst having the same points total as Liverpool, the Citizens have been less convincing in their first three games. It took an injury-time winner from Raheem Sterling to spare Pep Guardiola’s blushes against Bournemouth.
The win against Bournemouth followed a difficult draw against Everton, which included another red card. That’s three sending offs for Manchester City in three games; a record only worsened by Chelsea. Couple this with seven yellow cards in the opening three games (only Crystal Palace and Chelsea have managed more), and discipline problems could be an issue for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Will either side gave tired legs?
The International break could be the first time this season that squad depth is challenged for both Liverpool and Manchester City; something that could be critical when fighting on both domestic and European fronts.
Of Manchester City’s starting lineup against Bournemouth, there is a possibility that five of those could have less than five days of rest before Saturday’s clash (not including the goalkeeper), including Jesus, David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi.
Fortunately for City, their acquisitions in the recent transfer windows has allowed an impressive squad depth. The likes of John Stones, Kyle Walker and Leroy Sane can all fit into the first team without hindering the ability of the squad which will help the Citizens when dealing with tired legs after the International break.
Of Liverpool’s starting lineup against Arsenal, seven of the starting XI may have less than five days of recovery before their trip to the Etihad. The introduction of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may offer significant squad depth across multiple areas of the pitch, yet he is also likely to have little recovery before the game after the weekday game for England.
Whilst the likes of Dominic Solanke, James Milner and Divock Origi do offer some additional squad depth, they are likely to be assigned substitution appearances as their introduction into the starting XI will weaken the side.
Manchester City vs. Liverpool betting: Reliance vs. Rotation
Klopp’s biggest worry will be the fitness of their front three: Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. The three are likely to have just four days of recovery before their tie against Manchester City and with no cover that will not significantly weaken their attacking presence.
Between the three of them, they have already accumulated seven goals and three assists in their first three Premier League games of the season; just one of Liverpool’s goals so far this Premier League season has been scored by someone outside of their front trio (Daniel Sturridge after coming on for Sadio Mane).
Their reliance on attacking threat from Mane, Salah and Firmino stems further: between the three they have accumulated 10.3 shots per game, 4.6 more shots than the rest of their starting lineup against Arsenal combined.
Manchester City have accumulated three red cards in three games; a record only worsened by Chelsea.
In comparison, Manchester City’s front three against Bournemouth (Bernardo Silva, Jesus and Sterling) have accumulated 5.7 shots per game in the Premier League this season, whilst the rest of the same starting XI have had 8.9.
Whereas Manchester City share the attacking threat more evenly between the squad (unsurprising with the likes of De Bruyne and David Silva in the midfield), Liverpool rely on the might of their front trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah. This can be risky, as quiet games from the three can cause their attacking threat to falter.
Manchester City vs. Liverpool odds: Where is the value?
Despite Liverpool’s fast start, the odds look to be swinging in Manchester City’s favour. A +0.5 handicap on Liverpool at 2.090* points to potential value, as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League. Liverpool will have to show some improvement at the back if they are to shut Manchester City out - in what is sure to be a close game, bettors will most likely be tempted by the draw.
Two sides with some of the best attacking threats in the League points to goals. Despite two clean sheets in a row, their 3-3 draw against Watford is too recent to condemn as simply a bad defensive day and should be taken into account in the Manchester City vs. Liverpool betting. If we also include Manchester City’s sole clean sheet so far this season, over 3 and 3.5 goals at 2.050* may also offer value.
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