STAR PREVIEW Thurs: Man City v Liverpool

Liverpool’s wait for a 30-year title ended last week but they might have still more to celebrate after they meet Manchester City tonight. Even with no crowd, Jurgen Klopp’s men will enjoy the guard of honour set out for them but sealing the deal in fine style is absolutely not beyond them this evening.

Pep Guardiola’s side will have been disappointed to lose their title in such a fashion, but there’s plenty of interest for them in the season with the Champions League and FA Cup to play for. The gap between the two sides in the Premier League doesn’t reflect City’s ability – according to infogol they have been the best performing side on raw metrics, and should be top, whilst they’ve also been the best attacking side – but other top teams, Liverpool included, have exposed their vulnerabilities once too often with five of the Premier League’s current top eight having beaten them this season.

Man City v Liverpool
Premier League
20:15 Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD

(Maximum 10 matches, since 2010)
NOV 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 3-1 Manchester City
AUG 2019 COMMUNITY SHIELD Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City
JAN 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 2-1 Liverpool
OCT 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 0-0 Manchester City
APR 2018 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Liverpool 3-0 Manchester City
APR 2018 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Liverpool 3-0 Manchester City
JAN 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 4-3 Manchester City
SEP 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool
MAR 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool
DEC 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 1-0 Manchester City

City have won three of their four games since the restart but they were simply too strong for Burnley (Premier League) and Newcastle (FA Cup) whilst Arsenal self-destructed after they lost Pablo Mari to injury. Their greatest test since the restart has come against Chelsea, who pressed remorselessly down the flanks and were ruthless on the counter in a 2-1 victory that saw them finish with 4.78 expected goals (Infogol).

Liverpool can execute that tactic to perfection as we’ve seen so often and with Fernandinho suspended and Eric García injured they’ll be looking to target Nicolás Otamendi who has proven vulnerable in big game situations, even alongside the excellent Aymeric Laporte. Liverpool were very ring rusty in the Merseyside Derby on their reappearance but they improved a huge amount when they put four past Crystal Palace last Wednesday with goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mo Salah, Fabinho and Sadio Mané in a complete performance and it’s possible they could improve once again for that outing here.

City can obviously fight fire with fire going forward (Kevin De Byune, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden could all start tonight) but a price of 20/21 for the hosts looks very short considering how little usually separates the two sides. Liverpool’s 3-1 win at Anfield earlier in the season flattered them a tad and last season just millimetres separated the two sides as John Stones’s remarkable clearance off the line would prove crucial in the title race.

The absence of home fans could be a big boost for Liverpool too – games in England have seen travelling sides over perform compared to previously – and motivation ought to be sky high with no other distractions. 13/5 with Star Sports looks big for the away side.

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BACK Liverpool 1 pt at 13/5 with

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