George Pitts looks ahead to Liverpool v Man City on Sunday and feels the hosts could edge another high-scoring encounter between the sides.
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Liverpool v Manchester City (1630 BST Sunday, Sky Sports Premier League)
The clash of the weekend sees the two title favourites face off at Anfield.
After Daniel Sturridge's late equaliser to rescue Liverpool a point at Chelsea last time, Man City regained the lead on goal difference and there will be questions to answer on Sunday.
Can Liverpool topple Man City in the race for the Premier League title? Will Jurgen Klopp's side have the psychological edge after already beating Pep Guardiola's City three times in competitive fixtures in 2018?
Thirteen goals in those three fixtures (one Premier League, two Champions League) just shows how wide-open these all-out attacking sides can be against each other, and it goes without saying that it should be an entertaining watch.
While there are plenty of twists and turns to come in the 2018/19 title race, with Chelsea also looking to have a say, a win for either side would be a significant boost even so early into the season.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-2 Man City (Sky Bet odds: 22/1)
The betting shows just how hard it is to call, with Liverpool slight favourites due to their home advantage and that could be key. Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola's attention to detail and meticulous planning means both sides will know exactly what is asked of them with little margin for error. Some top-of-the-table clashes do not always live up to their billing, but this fixture often does. Goals and a home win is preferred - Liverpool to win and BTTS is a best price of 16/5, which looks a perfectly logical conclusion to reach, and a very fair price to boot.
It's rare that a Sky Bet RequestABet is put forward as the best route to take, but this combination at 15/8 looks like brilliant value, as overlooking the match market itself gives you a chance of winning either way. Our Premier League Vitals stats page shows the Reds average five corners per game this season, while City have had nearly twice as much in total, averaging nearly nine per game. These sides are lower down on the disciplinary table but a match of this pace and magnitude should surely conjure a yellow card for each team.
Make it a South American double. There are some eye-catching odds in the goalscorer markets due to this match being such a close call. Mo Salah still looks out of sorts and Roberto Firmino has been their star forward so far this season with four goals and two assists. The Brazilian is without a strike in four games now and he has previous against City's defence, scoring twice against them last season. Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero has started the season really well with five Premier League goals and two assists and he has yet to score at Anfield - but City's all-time top scorer can break his duck at the ground and the odds for both of them presents good value. For greater odds, set pieces could be key and Virgil van Dijk is 14/1 to score anytime for the hosts.
Opta statistics and facts
- Liverpool are unbeaten in 17 home matches against Man City in all competitions (W12 D5) since losing 2-1 at Anfield in the Premier League in May 2003.
- Man City have lost three matches against Liverpool in 2018, losing in the Premier League in January and two Champions League matches in April. They’ve only lost four matches in one calendar year against an opponent twice before, doing so against Grimsby Town in 1936 and Spurs in 1993.
- Both Liverpool and Man City are unbeaten in their opening seven Premier League games this season – this is the latest meeting between two unbeaten sides in the competition since 2011-12 when Man City and Newcastle met in their 12th game of the season.
- Liverpool have kept a clean sheet in each of their last eight Premier League home games – only in February 2007 (nine games) have they had a longer such run in the competition.
- Manchester City have lost only one of their last 25 Premier League away matches (W20 D4), though it was in this exact fixture last season (3-4).
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 24 home league games, the longest current run in the Premier League (W16 D8).
- Liverpool haven’t lost any of their last 13 Premier League home games against fellow ‘big six’ sides (W6 D7), since losing 0-1 against Manchester United in January 2016.
- Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has had a hand in five goals in his three games against Man City for the Reds in all competitions in 2018 (3 goals, 2 assists), scoring a goal in each match.
- Man City striker Sergio Aguero has played nine matches in all competitions at Anfield in his career (seven with Man City, two with Atletico Madrid), failing to score in any of those games, attempting just 11 shots and three on target.
- Man City boss Pep Guardiola has lost more matches in all competitions against Jurgen Klopp (7) than he has against any other manager, losing three times against Borussia Dortmund and four times against Liverpool.
- Man City boss Pep Guardiola has lost both of his away league games against Liverpool – he’s never lost three consecutive away games against the same club in his managerial career.
- Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has scored 148 Premier League goals – only Thierry Henry (175 for Arsenal) has scored more in the competition with 100% of them coming for a single club.
- Man City striker Sergio Aguero has scored 148 Premier League goals, and could become the ninth player to reach 150 in the competition.
- Liverpool’s Sadio Mane has scored four Premier League goals against Manchester City – only against Crystal Palace (6) does he have more in the competition.
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Odds correct as of 2150 BST on 05/10/18