Manchester City vs. Liverpool Odds, Picks: Betting Predictions for Thursday’s Premier League Match
Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin de Bruyne
- Manchester City will face Liverpool in Thursday (3:15 p.m. ET, NBCSN) Premier League soccer action.
- According to live Premier League odds, Manchester City are -105 favorites over Liverpool.
- Check out our full Manchester City vs. Liverpool betting preview, including our predictions and best bet pick.
Liverpool at Man City Odds, Pick
|Liverpool odds||+240 [BET NOW]|
|Man City odds||-105 [BET NOW]|
|Draw odds||+290 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Thursday at 3:15 p.m. ET|
Manchester City’s loss to Chelsea last Thursday took a lot of the intrigue out of this Thursday’s battle between England’s top two teams. Liverpool clinched their first Premier League with that Chelsea win and neither team has much to play for over the next month.
The Reds will play out their final seven matches of the PL season, while City will turn their focus to the FA Cup semifinal and final later this month while gearing up for the Champions League in August. City are nearly assured of a top-four spot, but the Cityzens will need to hope their two-year Champions League ban is overturned to get in.
Because handicapping motivation is an inexact science and impossible to predict until we get lineups, I’m going to treat this game as if both teams will play near their top lineups.
The casual fan may look at the line and wonder why Manchester City are such significant favorites. City have the league’s best goal difference per 90 at +1.38, compared to +0.93 for Liverpool. The Cityzens have the most league goals.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
City have lost eight matches in the Premier League this season, in the six immediate Premier League games after a defeat (one not counting due to 100-day layoff), the Cityzens have won all six and outscored their opponents, 19-1. Guardiola has shown an ability to get a response out of his team.
When you look at the underlying metrics like expected goals, they suggest City are actually the better team in this matchup. But they’ve lost matches to United, Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool and more this season due to individual errors, poor defending and slip ups that the Reds simply never had. They’ve been vulnerable on the counter attack, and without Fernandinho (suspended) in defense, the Reds should be very dangerous on the counter.
While Liverpool may not produce the gaudy xG numbers, they are much more efficient and have been in control more than City. Fewer 5-0 and 4-0 drubbings of lower-tier teams, more complete performances against the PL’s toughest foes.
I have no doubt that Pep will want to play a strong team to challenge Liverpool, but he’s still without Sergio Aguero up top, and Gabriel Jesus isn’t on his level. Aguero didn’t start against Arsenal in the first match since the restart, and then missed the Chelsea match due to injury. In the three halves without him, Manchester City created very little in attack.
Only a Kevin De Bruyne free kick and David Luiz error enabled the Cityzens to net goals without Aguero since the restart. He’s a vital piece of the attack and I believe Virgil van Djik should be able to handle Jesus.
Liverpool are in a perfect position to sit back and counter with their elite counter-attacking unit of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah which ripped City apart in a 3-1 win at Anfield in the reverse fixture.
Meanwhile, despite a miscommunication that led to the opening goal at Chelsea on Thursday, City’s defense has remained relatively solid since the restart, shutting down Arsenal and lowly Burnley.
Because both teams have excellent defensive records this season in the opening halves of games, I’ll take the first-half under with the chance of the game to open up in the second half with neither team playing for much. Liverpool have conceded seven first-half goals this season and City has conceded 15.
If Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp chooses to start his best three attackers (Mane, Firmino, Salah), Liverpool ML is worth a look at +240, but we’ll have to wait for lineups. Liverpool’s ability on the counter is the exact type of team that has given City nightmares this season.