Manchester City are forced into two changes as Kompany and Sterling miss out to injury and suspension respectively, though only the former really weakens given the attacking depth available to replace Sterling. Stones steps into the defense, as does Walker, who replaces Danilo in a positive switch. Sane may start for Sterling, leaving Aguero on the bench once again in a manager’s choice. Man City have struggled against Liverpool of late, not winning any of their last five Premier League encounters, so there will be plenty of incentive to amend that record. With home form the -0.5 handicap seems fair, as they have the attacking quality to secure a win, but defensively they aren’t totally convincing. A draw doesn’t suit them, so they will always look for a winner if level late. Given that both team’s main strengths come in attack, a 3 total goals line seems fair and is reflective of how open the game could become. Man City aren’t a team to sit on a single goal lead, with their defensive form still not totally convincing. They’ll press for more and will really take risks if they go behind. If there’s no early goal it could become more tactical, but there will be chances.
Liverpool have no new fitness concerns and are poised to name an unchanged outfield from their excellent 4-0 win over Arsenal last time out, with the only change coming in goal as Mignolet replaces Karius in a manager’s choice. Clyne and Lallana are still out injured, while Philippe Coutinho won’t be included this weekend, but none are being truly missed at the moment, with others stepping up. They have a good recent record against Man City and after a strong start to the season will feel this is an opportunity to take points off of another title rival. A +0.5 handicap could be a little high, but they are up against a very dangerous Man City team, so they can’t take anything for granted. A draw suits them more but they’ll look to win and will contribute as an attacking force. They have a very dangerous attack even without Philippe Coutinho and will feel they are capable of breaking down Man City on more than one occasion. The 3 total goals line looks well placed as it could be a game where the team’s play on the front foot but ultimately cancel each other out. If there’s an early goal the match will open up and become more stretched, but it may be cagey if not.
Verdict & Prediction
Liverpool have real momentum coming into the weekend and will be looking to make it five straight wins in all competitions. However, they won’t be taking anything for granted despite their form, knowing how strong Man City can be at home, with a point suiting them more than the hosts. Midweek Champions League action shouldn’t serve as any distraction, with the team fully focused on maintaining their unbeaten Premier League start. They’ll believe they can beat Man City and make an early title statement, but coming away with a draw wouldn’t be a poor result on the road.
Prediction: Liverpool +0.50 Asian Handicap (same as Double Chance option)
Odds: 2.00 SBOBET