Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Liverpool V Manchester City
Sunday 1st March. 12PM. Sky Sports 1
The headline fixture from this weekend’s set of Premier League matches serves up an enthralling prospect as last year’s top two meet in what should be an epic battle at Anfield.
Passions will be high as these two rivals meet once more and both will be equally desperate for the three points as each looks to give their respective seasonal aspirations a giant lift.
With Mario Balotelli set to face his former club, expect fireworks.
Reds Determined to Keep League Form Going
Make no mistake; Liverpool will have been gutted to drop out of Europe thanks to Thursday’s shootout defeat to Besiktas. Despite that disappointment in Turkey, though, the Reds have enjoyed their best form of the season as far as the league is concerned and Brendan Rodgers must refocus his men ahead of this crucial test.
The worst thing about Thursday’s loss in Istanbul is that it went to extra-time. Facing 120 minutes of cup football, especially in the very furthest point of Europe, cannot be good for Liverpool’s players and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the likes of Raheem Sterling suffer from tiredness against the Premier League champions.
On a brighter note, Liverpool haven’t lost a league game since December and are unbeaten at Anfield in 11 competitive matches. The hosts will additionally take heart from the victory in last year’s corresponding clash as they look to replicate that stunning performance once more.
Liverpool have been in great form in the league, but they could be a little deflated after Thursday. It could go either way for the Reds, which makes this a truly fascinating contest.
Citizens Out To Pile Pressure On Chelsea
Having cut Chelsea’s advantage to five points last weekend, Manuel Pellegrini’s men would love to bridge the gap once more – particularly as the league leaders aren’t in action due to their Capital One Cup commitments.
The Citizens suffered a disappointing European defeat of their own this week, losing 2-1 to Barcelona at the Etihad. However, the fact they kept it tight after a first-half battering is credit to their spirit and that could serve them well at Anfield.
Additionally, it is well worth noting the importance of Yaya Toure’s return. The Ivorian’s suspension played a huge part in City’s midweek loss and the 31-year-old will be eager to underline his worth in Sunday’s showdown, especially against his brother’s team.
Meanwhile, Wilfried Bony is set for a first start following his January move and could become an instant hero by putting on a show against Liverpool. It should be an absorbing encounter.
Liverpool V Manchester City Betting
Despite boasting home advantage, Liverpool are slight underdogs with Bet365 pricing them at 21/10. Manchester City have been established as favourites but odds of 11/8 echo the feeling that this won’t be easy. The draw is available at 13/5.
It’s a tough game to call as both will be a little low in confidence after their midweeks disappointments. Also, it’s an in-form Liverpool against the best away record in the division, which again makes it difficult to predict.
However, the two days extra rest and lack of travelling could be a huge factor for Manchester City and we think they’ll enjoy a much better time at Anfield than last term.
Manchester City win @ 11/8 with Bet365
One thing we can expect from both sides is passion and we know each team will fight to the very last whistle. With that in mind, one goal could open the floodgates at both ends.
The midweek results could lead to a tentative start, but once the teams get going it should be a thrilling spectacle. We’re looking forward to a very enjoyable second period.
BTTS in 2nd half @ 2/1 with William Hill