Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City host Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool as third plays fourth in the Premier League. With Chelsea doing what Guardiola did at Bayern Munich and running away with the league title, this match at the Etihad is strangely a little below the level the two former Bundesliga coaches enjoyed during their successful time in Germany at Bayern and Borussia Dortmund.
Guardiola mostly enjoyed the upper hand in Germany while in charge of the Bavarian machine, but his side enter the game having failed miserably against Monaco on Wednesday in the Champions league. City were woeful in the first half in the French principality, inexplicably falling 2-0 behind by the break, before rousing themselves slightly with a Leroy Sane goal to put them on the brink of qualification. Yet City conceded another poor goal from a set-piece to exit the comp on away goals. Guardiola has work to do to salvage a season, which he will have entered with such high expectations.
Meanwhile, without any European football at all, Liverpool have had all week to concentrate on this game. Klopp’s charges have a fine unbeaten record against all the top placed Premier League sides this season and haven’t lost to City in five matches in all competitions.
But with the German Emre Can set to continue to anchor the Liverpool midfield in the absence of captain Jordan Henderson, it’s here I expect the battle to be won for City who will have too much attacking flair for Liverpool on the day. With both defences not exactly water tight, with less than reliable goalkeepers, I also expect goals. BTTS City win is my preferred option at 13-5 with Paddy Power.
City are even money favourites across the board to nick the three points, while Liverpool are best priced 3-1 to win with Betfred. It’s not unusual for sides involved in midweek European ties to then start PL games slowly at the weekend, so I’m going for a DRAW HT CITY FT win at 24-5 to deliver with 188bet as City finally crack open Liverpool in the second half.
Sergio Aguero missed a hatful of chances in Monaco, which would have sealed his side’s passage in Europe. He’s your 7-2 favourite for the first goal and only 5-1 with skybet to score twice.
But how about Raheem Sterling striking first at 9-1 with bet365? The same player is a cracking 20-1 to score twice against his former club. Yaya Toure could also come into contention after missing the mess in Monaco and the Ivory Coast international is an attractive 10-1 with bet365 for the opener as City bounce back from their midweek Champions League nightmare to cement their place in the top four.