Man City vs Liverpool Odds, Pick | Premier League Match Preview
Jonathan Moscrop/Getty. Pictured: Virgil van Dijk.
Man City vs Liverpool Odds
Man City Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-163 / +130)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-150 / +110)|
|Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Man City and Liverpool’s recent Premier League rivalry has lost its luster a bit since the Reds have tumbled down the table this season. Despite the Reds’ regression, Liverpool are still more than capable of giving the champions a difficult test on Saturday as they visit Manchester City.
Erling Haaland’s status is also now in doubt for the Cityzens, who sit eight points behind Arsenal for the league title race with a game in hand. Manchester City need all three points to stay in the race and Haaland didn’t train with the Cityzens on Thursday. His absence is notable given how much he’s leveled up an otherwise inconsistent City attack.
Liverpool are getting healthier too, and have improved defensively in the league this last month. The Reds’ defensive personnel improvement should help them stay in this game and the style suits their willingness to play a more counterattacking style.
Man City Reliant on Haaland For Attacking Success
I’ve written all year that City’s attack is less widespread and dynamic overall with Haaland as the key focal point. Haaland has scored a ridiculous number of goals and his finishing is world class, but the overall shot production is down across the board around him. Take Haaland — and already injured Phil Foden — out of the team and there could be a precipitous drop off in quality shot production.
When you build the entire attack on one player getting a ton of elite shots and then he’s absent, it does increase the risk for your unit. Manchester City have so much talent so they can overcome his loss — but Julian Alvarez is personally in a tricky spot off the back of a World Cup homecoming celebration during the international break. He’d get the start in place of Haaland if the Norwegian is unable to play.
City have the best underlying numbers in the Premier League overall and it’s still somewhat below last season’s even more dominant xG difference per 90.
In fact, Liverpool’s attack is producing more shots, higher quality shots and more shots on goal per match than Manchester City. Haaland is the primary reason City have outpaced their xG this year, but Liverpool’s forwards have been more dynamic as a group.
Liverpool Likely to Be Cautious
Liverpool do have some injuries to contend with, as Thiago is unlikely to play and Stefan Bajcetic is out in the Reds’ midfield. As a result, Klopp will turn to a likely trio of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Harvey Elliott.
With Elliott liking to get forward as much as he does, the declining double pivot of Henderson and Fabinho becomes the key out of possession. Liverpool successfully stifled Manchester City in the first meeting as City had a ton of the possession but few clear scoring chances. They finished with less than 1 xG and the Reds kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 home victory.
Manchester City don’t cross the ball into the area a ton from the very wide areas and the loss of Joao Cancelo to Bayern hurts their ability to do that too. City also aren’t great on set pieces relatively, and they won’t get as many transition chances if Klopp is willing to be more pragmatic on Saturday. The main areas that Liverpool have struggled at times aren’t necessarily as applicable in this matchup.
City could exploit Liverpool’s double pivot which has played below standards this year, but the Reds have conceded less than 1 xG in each of their last four PL matches.
That modest defensive improvement has coincided with Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate’s health in the center of defense. The Reds are forced to be a bit more pragmatic in the midfield to cover for Cody Gakpo’s lack of defensive work from the center of the pitch. Luis Diaz is expected to be on the bench Saturday, but Gakpo is expected to start alongside Darwin Nunez and Mo Salah.
Gakpo’s lack of pressing ability off the ball means a more reserved midfield and fewer chances taken, which does help them as the underdog.
Man City vs Liverpool Pick
My projections make City right around a 0.75-goal favorite in this matchup. The Cityzens are the better team and they’re at home, but Liverpool’s attack is too deep and too potent in transitional moments to not be a live underdog on Saturday.
Despite their poor league form as a whole, Liverpool have beaten Spurs, Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle this season. The Reds aren’t as bad as the public narrative and sentiment around them was after the Real Madrid loss.
Getting a result isn’t out of the question, and the market is showing too much love to a City side that is potentially without Haaland. I’d bet Liverpool +1 at -120 or better.
Pick: Liverpool +1 (-120 or better)
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