Saturday 9th September. 12:30PM. Sky Sports
Premier League football returns with a bang on Saturday afternoon as the early fixture sees two title hopefuls renew their rivalry in what should be a scintillating contest at the Etihad.
Manchester City and Liverpool both enter the weekend knowing that a win here will send them top of the table, at least temporarily. Given that they are two of the most exciting teams to watch in the division too, it should make for a lunchtime cracker.
Suspended Sterling Denied Chance To Haunt Former Club
After a ridiculous red against Bournemouth, former Red Raheem Sterling will miss out against his former club. However, manager Pep Guardiola still has oodles of talent to choose from ahead of this huge contest.
An attacking unit of Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, and Bernado Silva are more than capable of causing problems for Liverpool. The Citizens may be looking for joy down the wings, especially as questions have been asked of the away side’s full-backs.
Guardiola struggled against Jurgen Klopp’s men last year, but this team now has his stamp on it. On home soil, they will be fancied to stretch their unbeaten start to the season before mounting a serious push for the title.
However, the visiting Merseysiders may have something to say about that.
Oxlade-Chamberlain Could Be Set For Debut
Liverpool have enjoyed a fantastic record over City since Klopp arrived at Anfield, and the energetic high pressing could be telling once again as they make short trip to Manchester.
The potential return of Philippe Coutinho following the end of the transfer window will be one of the main talking points while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could make his debut following the switch from Arsenal. Even without those players, though, the Reds will be optimistic.
Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mo Salah have all impressed during the early weeks of the season, firing Liverpool to 14 goals in five competitive matches. They showed their ability to blitz teams away against Arsenal before the international break, and more of the same would give them a great chance of victory at the Etihad.
Whatever happens, it’ll be a passionate encounter between two great footballing sides. Let’s just hope it lives up to the billing.
Manchester City v Liverpool Betting
With home advantage on their side, Manchester City enter Saturday’s encounter as the 5/6 favourites at Ladbrokes while Liverpool are priced 11/4 for the win. The draw, meanwhile, can be backed at 3/1.
One of the key battles is sure to be between Kyle Walker and Sadio Mane. While the England right-back has the speed to match the Liverpool winger, we think the in-from Reds star will get the better of his opponent.
Mane already has three league goals to his name this term. Back him to bag a fourth here.
Both teams will be expected to come out strong, but we’re backing Liverpool to assert themselves by breaking the deadlock. If they do, it could be a very long afternoon for City.
While the Reds can be defensively vulnerable, that quick style could be perfect for hitting City on the counter, especially if the hosts are chasing. With this in mind, 6/1 on the half-time, full-time market is well worth a punt.