New Premier League champions Liverpool will be welcomed to the Etihad Stadium by a guard of honour from the Manchester City players, according to home team coach Pep Guardiola, this Thursday evening. Although City finished second to the Reds in the league this season, there has been a huge gap between the teams. Although nothing now hangs on the outcome of this game, one senses that City will want to prove a few points. Read on to see where to find the best betting value in what should be an interesting fixture.
Pep Guardiola’s City team have been in good form since football resumed in June. Apart from the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea that handed the title to Liverpool, they have recorded two Premier League wins and also reached the semi-final of the FA Cup. They achieved that by winning 2-0 at Newcastle United at the weekend. Their two Premier League wins came against Arsenal and Burnley, both at home, with them winning 3-0 and 5-0 in those two games. They have scored 2.48 goals on average per Premier League game this season, an imposing figure.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have played two games since football resumed in June and have drwn one and won one. Those results have proved enough to claim the Premier League title – their first top tier crown since 1990. In their first game back in action after the resumption, they drew 0-0 away at local rivals Everton. They followed that result up with an impressive 4-0 win at home to Crystal Palace, which gave them enough points to seal the title. They might well have something of a collective hangover after the celebrations, but they are sure to still to want to make a point against the team that finished as their runners up.
City have won 11 of their last 15 games in the Premier League, so will feel confident going into this game, even though they are facing the champions. The Reds have a good away record this season, with them having won 12 of their last 15 away games. Of course, home advantage does not seem to matter so much when there are no fans in the stadium, but it could still play a part.
Kevin De Bruyne is a key man for City. The Belgian midfielder is his team’s top assist provider in the Premier League, with 16 assists to his name. He has also scored 10 goals, showing just how important he is to Guardiola’s team. He is likely to be up against Jordan Henderson on Thursday. The Liverpool midfielder is one of the Premier League’s top tacklers, with 59 league tackles racked up this season.
These two teams have played each other on 45 previous occasions in the Premier League. Out of those 45 games, City have won just nine, with eight of those coming at home. The Reds have emerged victorious on 20 occasions, but only four of those wins have come on City soil. Goals have also been plentiful when these sides have met in the Premier League in recent years. There have been 19 goals scored in total in the last five Premier League clashes between the sides. Coral have a price of 1/2 on both teams scoring in the match, and also have odds of 27/20 on this game producing more than 3.5 goals.
Liverpool’s top scorer this season is Mo Salah. The Egyptian has 17 Premier League goals to his name in 2019/20. City’s top league scorer is Sergio Aguero, who has a total of 16 in the Premier League in the current campaign, and is also out injured for this game. If you think that Salah can add to his tally this week, then Coral have him priced at 13/8 to score at any time in the game, which looks a pretty good bet to us.
We suspect that this game is going to end in a high-scoring draw, and we think that anyone who backs 2-2 as a final result might well be very happy. Our recommended tip comes from Coral, who are offering odds of 16/5 on the game being a draw where both teams score. City will want to prove a point against the Reds, but their title win may also give Liverpool something of a lift. With nothing real to actually play for, the game may take on the feel of a training game, which could be good for any spectators watching the live stream.