Sports Betting Weekly

Liverpool v Manchester City

When: Sunday, 01 March 2015 @ 18:00 (FINISHED)
Where: Anfield
With the defeat to Swansea raising a fresh set of questions about the legitimacy of Manchester United’s recent improvement, one team who really gave their detractors something to chew on last weekend were Liverpool, who saw off top four rivals Southampton in impressive style.

In last week’s Sports Betting Weekly, we pointed out that despite Brendan Rodgers’ men being on a great run of form, they were yet to be tested by a legitimate top-half rival away from home – but with that question mark now eradicated, it might be time to start treating the Reds as the real deal.

Having taken more points than any other Premier League side since the start of 2015, Liverpool will have the chance to demonstrate just how much they’ve improved as Manchester City visit Anfield in Sunday’s lunchtime kick-off – and though the champions are 6/4 favourites for the tie with the hosts out at 2/1, this will be as much a test of their own title credentials as it will Liverpool’s aspirations.

Like Liverpool, Manchester City also warmed up for the heavyweight clash in impressive fashion last weekend as they thrashed a poor Newcastle side 5-0, and despite facing Barcelona in the Champions League in midweek, Manuel Pellegrini’s men will have had two extra days of rest on Liverpool, who travelled to Turkey to face Besiktas on Thursday night and will need to recover even more quickly.

In terms of the recent history, it is Manchester City who hold the slight edge with three wins, two draws and only one defeat from their last six encounters with Liverpool, but with the Reds having not lost at home to City since the 2002/2003 season, the bookies have priced the draw up at 5/2 and wisely named 1-1 as their most likely scoreline at 13/2, with both teams scoring as short as 8/13.

It is perhaps this last market that is the most telling, as City have scored two or more goals in each of their last six meetings with Liverpool, making the likelihood of there being over 3.5 goals slightly over-priced at 21/10. Indeed, if we are to back either side to emerge with all three points in this one, we are far better off doing so while coupling the result with over 2.5 goals – a combined bet that is available at 5/2 when coupled with a Man City win and a slightly better 10/3 paired with Liverpool.

Interestingly, of those six high-scoring encounters, three ended as 2-2 draws and that particular scoreline is available at a best price of 14/1 – the same odds available on a 2-0 home win. In terms of who could profit from such an open encounter, Sergio Aguero is unsurprisingly the favourite to be first goalscorer at 5/1, but with Edin Dzeko looking magnificent against Newcastle, if he again keeps Wilfried Bony on the bench, he could be the man to back at 7/1. For Liverpool, Philippe Coutinho is the player in form and you can get 12/1 on the Brazilian scoring first in back-to-back league games.