Odds And Form Against Man City In Liverpool Clash

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Fireworks are all but guaranteed when Manchester City visit Liverpool on New Year’s Eve, a game that pits second against third, both playing catch-up to Chelsea.

Anfield hasn’t been kind to Manchester City in recent years, as evidenced by the fact it’s been more than 13 years since the Citizens last won at Liverpool’s home ground.

However, it was to correct such unwanted records that Pep Guardiola was brought in at City this season. The Catalan tactician watched on from the stands as Liverpool handed Stoke City a heavy 4-1 defeat on Wednesday evening.

While Manchester City’s betting odds for this game are pegged at 3.19, a result for either side looks more likely given their attacking prowess rather than a draw that will only help Chelsea and the chasing pack.

Guardiola’s side are steadily clicking into gear: their 3-0 win at Hull City on Boxing Day marked a third straight win after the shambles at Leicester City. Since their 4-2 loss to the Foxes, City have also beaten fellow title challengers Arsenal, a result that could determine how Guardiola decides to set his team up against Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Jürgen Klopp’s Reds are among the only two teams to have not lost a home game this term. Their 4-1 defeat of Stoke was the seventh time they scored four or more goals this season, and all of those games have ended in wins for the Reds. It is unlikely that City would be ripe for such demolition, but with forty-five goals, Liverpool remain the only Premier League side to score over 40 goals thus far this season.

Liverpool vs Manchester City Team News

Philippe Coutinho had expected to return from injury in this fixture where he seems to excel, but given the packed scheduling, it is unlikely the Brazilian will make the squad. Danny Ings is a long-term absentee. Joël Matip is also an injury worry. The Cameroonian didn’t feature in the Reds’ three previous games, wherein the partnership of Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren have looked solid.

Predicted Liverpool Starting Lineup (4-3-3): Mignolet; Clyne, Klavan, Lovren, Milner; Wijnaldum, Lallana, Henderson; Mané, Origi, Firmino.

For City, Ilkay Gündogan, Vincent Kompany and Fabian Delph are all out injured. Centre-back John Stones played only 18 minutes against Hull due to a knee injury. It remains to be seen whether Guardiola risks playing the England international. Sergio Agüero, City’s top scorer, has served his four-game suspension and is available for selection.

Predicted Manchester City Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1): Bravo; Sagna, Otamendi, Stones, Clichy; Fernandinho, Yaya Touré; Sterling, Silva, De Bruyne; Agüero.

This season, Liverpool are yet to lose against any of the current top six. Manchester United earned a 0-0 draw by playing a destructive game at large when they visited Anfield in mid-October. It is inconceivable to see a Guardiola side employing similar tactics, but that might be the only way to stop Klopp’s rampant Reds at the moment.

In a year where both teams competed in a cup final that Liverpool lost, it is the Reds who will enter the New Year with a greater sense of purpose than City. City’s summer retooling with Guardiola’s arrival is yet to be vindicated, but a victory at Anfield could set them up nicely for the second half of the season.

Given City’s woeful Anfield record and the Reds’ unbeaten 16-game streak at home, the game looks Liverpool’s to lose. However, Klopp’s men have a significant disadvantage in that they have less time to recover from their Stoke game than City from their Hull encounter.

Such small margins generally determine the result in games as titanic as this, but Liverpool will still be the favourites at kick-off.

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