Big Match Preview: Liverpool v Manchester City 14th January

Big Match Preview: Liverpool v Manchester City 14th January

Can the Reds end Manchester City’s unbeaten run when they meet at Anfield on Sunday?

Liverpool v Manchester City 14th January

Can the Reds end Manchester City’s unbeaten run when they meet at Anfield on Sunday?

Manchester City’s 5-0 win over Liverpool in the reverse fixture in September is flattering on paper, as Liverpool were very much in the game until Sadio Mane’s red card for a high boot on City keeper Ederson.  Once they were reduced to ten-men the Reds completely fell apart and Pep Guardiola’s team were relentless in taking advantage.  City now boast an unbeaten 22 games in the Premier League with only Everton and Crystal Palace holding them to draws.  They have the Premier League title pretty much wrapped up, but Liverpool come into this in good form and with a healthy unbeaten record of their own.

After Manchester City, Liverpool arguably deliver the most exciting football in terms of attack in the Premier League this season.  They signed long-time target Virgil van Dijk to help bolster defence and avoid some of the costly defensive mistakes that has seen them miss out on points this term.  His debut couldn’t have gone better as he scored the winner in their FA Cup clash with rivals Everton, which stretched Liverpool’s unbeaten run to 17 competitive matches.  Their last defeat came against Tottenham at Wembley in October, but they’ll head into Sunday’s fixture on the back of four straight wins, three of them at Anfield.

Liverpool have parted ways with Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho in a transfer deal with Barcelona that could rise to a potential £142 million.  The Red’s attacking front three will have to cope without him but Mohamed Salah in particular has been on fire this season.  Only Harry Kane has netted more goals than Salah in the Premier League this term, but the Egyptian striker has missed the last two games against Burnley and Everton with a groin injury, although he has been back in training.

On New Year’s Eve a well organised Crystal Palace side found a way to end City’s winning streak by holding them to a goalless draw at Selhurst Park.  Palace’s defensive and counter attacking style frustrated the Citizens and they were awarded a point for their efforts.  However, this is not a style that manager Jurgen Klopp seems willing for Liverpool to play and they are unlikely to sit back.  Klopp will encourage the attacking approach which could play right into Guardiola’s hands.  The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has one hand on the Premier League trophy, but City face arguably their toughest league match of the season so far and he’ll want to ensure they keep up the pressure.

After drawing with Palace, City bounced back with a 3-1 league win over Watford, a 4-1 FA Cup win over Burnley and a 2-1 victory in the first-leg of their League Cup semi-final with Bristol City.  That keeps Manchester City in the running for an unprecedented quadruple this season.

A repeat of the reverse fixture with a similar 5-0 score is unlikely, but it’s hard to look past a Manchester City win.  However, Liverpool are second only to City in goal scoring this season and given their form there’s real value in picking this fixture in our Classic Pools and Goal Rush competitions this weekend.

 

12/01/2018

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