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Manchester City vs Liverpool Odds, Pick: How to Bet the Carabao Cup Match

Manchester City vs Liverpool Odds, Pick: How to Bet the Carabao Cup Match article feature image
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Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images. Pictured: Erling Haaland.

Manchester City vs. Liverpool Odds

Thursday, Dec. 22
3 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Man City Odds -160
Liverpool Odds +330
Draw +310
Over/Under 2.5 (-235 / +166)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No) (-169 / +130)
Odds via Caesars. Get up to the minute soccer odds here.

In a fascinating transition following Sunday’s 2022 FIFA World Cup final, the most captivating domestic fixture of recent years resumes Thursday when Manchester City host Liverpool in the Carabao Cup fourth round.

Manchester City had 16 players in full at the World Cup, while Liverpool sent seven of their own to Qatar.

Despite that, both squads could be near full strength on Thursday. Only City’s Julian Alvarez and Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate participated in the tournament beyond the quarterfinals.

Liverpool won the teams’ two previous meetings this season, 3-1 in the Community Shield played at Wembley Stadium and then 1-0 in the league at Anfield.

However, City have enjoyed the better season so far. On Boxing Day, they’ll resume the Premier League schedule five points back of Arsenal in second place and 10 in front of Liverpool.

Man City Buoyed By Key Man

Aside from two defeats to The Reds, the Cityzens have only lost one other competitive fixture all season, that being a 2-1 defeat in the league at Brentford just before the World Cup break.

Their second loss to Liverpool may have arrested some early momentum.

It’s not that City have been bad since the Anfield loss. They’ve just lacked killer instinct, posting only a +5 goal differential and a 4-1-0 (W-L-D) record in the league.

Premier League goals leader Erling Haaland will face the challenge of continuing his unbelievable production after more than a month idle.

The Norwegian international has an astounding three hat tricks and five multi-goal league appearances. He’s failed to score in only three league appearances. Two of those were also City’s only two league defeats.

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Liverpool Looking to Turn Their Season Around

It’s been a strange season on Merseyside for last year’s league runners-up.

Liverpool have authored some signature wins over elite foes. They’ve beaten City twice in domestic play and downed reigning Serie A champions Napoli in the UEFA Champions League

Yet, they’ve also been vulnerable to lesser sides in ways manager Jurgen Klopp’s men haven’t previously been. That includes league losses away to Nottingham Forest and home to Leeds United, both of which were deserved according to the expected goals (xG) totals.

Summer signing Darwin Nunez looked to be finding his footing last in a Liverpool shirt. He scored a brace in a 3-1 win over Southampton the last time out before the World Cup break and now has five goals in his first Premier League campaign.

But Nunez was largely unproductive for Uruguay at the World Cup, failing to score as they crashed out in the group stage.

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Manchester City vs. Liverpool Pick

There’s a few unique variables at play here.

The League Cup is always a little tricky to handicap because of trying to suss out teams’ respective motivation. Then there’s the unknown of how the return from the World Cup will impact the respective squads.

Fortunately, there’s an extended history between these clubs under their current managers to draw on, and it’s one that suggests a likelihood to combine for lots of goals.

Since Pep Guardiola took the reigns at City in 2016, the total has exceeded four goals in half of 18 meetings in all competitions against a Klopp-managed Liverpool. That includes the only previous single-elimination clash, a 3-2 Liverpool victory in April’s FA Cup semifinal.

The return from the World Cup clouds the picture a little bit, but there are more likely to be key absences in defense rather than attack. Liverpool defenders Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold were both involved at the quarterfinal stages, as was most of City’s rear guard.

That makes this a good place to sell a goal and play an aggressive wager on the total going above 3.5 at +150 odds and an implied 40% probability.

Pick: Over 3.5 (+150)

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