When Manchester City and Liverpool go head to head, there are usually goals. All eyes will be on the Etihad Stadium this Saturday lunchtime for a titanic contest between two of the most exciting teams in the Premier League.
Pep Guardiola’s men have rode their luck so far this season, leaving it late to defeat Brighton and Hove Albion on the opening weekend and even later in their victory at Bournemouth.
If truth be told, City have looked far from assured in the early stages of the campaign but this could be the perfect opportunity for the Blues to make a statement of intent.
Liverpool’s defensive woes remain but Jurgen Klopp has one of the strongest attacking units in world football at his disposal. Scoring goals won’t be a problem for this Reds outfit and it would take a brave man to back against the visitors bagging a few here – over 1.5 Liverpool goals is available at an appealing 7/5 for those expecting a goal fest.
This Premier League Malarkey Isn’t Easy, Eh Pep?
Guardiola was never going to find the transition from European football straightforward but it would be fair to suggest that the Premier League has thrown up more challenges than he originally anticipated.
After winning his first 10 matches in charge, the Spaniard has realised just how tough England’s top division is and the Blues will need to be at their brilliant best to defeat Liverpool this weekend.
Pep has a difficult decision on whether to start Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero or both. Punters looking to back either in the first goal scorer market should wait until the starting line-ups are confirmed but he may edge towards Jesus after an impressive showing for Brazil during the international break.
Aguero has the Premier League experience and past record but Jesus is City’s new kid on the block and Guardiola is a big fan. At 11/10 to score during 90 minutes, he is well worth a look in the betting markets – he could be the difference maker against what is a shaky Liverpool defence.
Klopp’s “Heavy Metal” Football Reaping Rewards
Mohamed Salah’s arrival has helped to introduce a new dimension to Liverpool’s attacking play and the Reds are looking very bright in the final third.
With Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and the returning Philippe Coutinho, Klopp is blessed with a wealth of riches and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Liverpool challenge for the title this season.
Attack is the best form of defence in Liverpool’s situation and the visitors could go for the jugular against what is an unstable Manchester City defensive unit. On paper, Guardiola has spent huge sums of money to improve his back four but to no avail – the same old issues remain. Klopp’s men will relish the opportunity to go at City’s struggling defence.
Honing in on one particular player to score is difficult given their quality upfront but Salah has hit the ground running and he could be the difference maker again. Currently a 5/2 shot to notch a goal, he is excellent value – especially as he continued his fine run of form with an international strike for Egypt earlier this week.
Liverpool are going to come unstuck at some point and it doesn’t get much tougher than an away clash at the Etihad Stadium. With the international break now over, Manchester City can focus on building a title challenge and beating the likes of Liverpool at home is a must.
Both clubs are heading in the right direction but City might just about edge this one – the first goal could be crucial. City to win with both teams to score represents solid value at 2/1 in my book...
MANCHESTER CITY 2-1 Liverpool (Priced at 7/1 with 888Sport)