Liverpool vs. Manchester City and Pick to Win
Date:Saturday, September 9th, 2017
Where: English Premier League Etihad Stadium – Manchester, UK
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem
Match Odds: Liverpool 10/3, Draw 29/10, Manchester City 22/25
Moneyline: Liverpool +333, Draw +290, Manchester City -112
Over/Under Best Market: UNDER 3 17/16 (+106)
Once again the Football Capital of England, the North West will be rolling up their sleeves as the Merseyside and Cottonopolis clash in a battle of Liverpool and Manchester. The Citizens of Manchester City will curate the hosting duties as they welcome the Reds of Liverpool. Man Citys powder blue now sits in fourth place with seven points, playing host to the Reds who sit in second with seven points as well. The difference maker between the two? Goal differential. The Mancunians sit a +3 with five goals forced and two against. Liverpool owns eight goals forced and just three against. Liverpool enters in exceptional form as they are 5-0-1 in their previous six fixtures. Manchester City sits at 4-1-1 in their previous six after losing to Girona in Champions League play. Inside English Premier League play, both teams have yet to lose a game.
Manchester City has not had the same panache it had in 2016 when regarding the scoring department. The Blues squeaked by Bournemouth in their most recent exploit when they required last minute heroics to get out with a 2-1 victory. The go-ahead goal literally came in extra time and when scored, the reaction was as if Manchester City had just won the English Premier League itself. Bournemouth came into the contest as a heavy underdog. Securing a draw against City would have been classed as a victory for the Southern England side. In the off-season, Manchester City made some huge acquisitions in the transfer window to bolster their defense. In fact, the Blues spent 228 million pounds to pick up the likes of Danilo, Mendy, Kyle Walker, and Bernardo Silva. All of these additions were designed to fortify a back line of Manchester City that was very permeable and prone to letting up goals. The likely difference between City vying for the Premiership title and finishing within the top four was likely rooted in their lack of defensive acumen in 2016.
Like Manchester City, Liverpool had a busy transfer window period. The Liverpool offense has only gotten better with the acquisition of some speedy wingers. Their question mark once again resides in their inconsistent defensive tactics. Skipper Jurgen Klopp has empowered the Reds forward to an impressive 4-0 victory over Arsenal but they have shown to be vulnerable to let-downs against the likes of Watford, who found the back of the net three times in a draw against Liverpool. Given the talent that this team to has to offer, the Reds are a sexy pick here against Manchester City. However, Liverpool will not be afforded the privileges of playing this one at Anfield and that could be a huge influence on the outcome.
Often laying juice is and always will be a perilous move especially when expectations are through the ceiling. This could often be the case when the Blues are at the Etihad. But given the situation, the Cityzens are offered here at not much more than a traditional vig, the price is one we can live with. While Manchester City may not go on to win this league, it would be outrageous to call for a Liverpool upset at Etihad Stadium. It would even be safe to say that a draw may be out of question here. Last year, when Liverpool came to town they came up short and the market has assessed this contest accordingly. While the odds are palatable, they are designed to entice attention away from Man City. Given the prospect of Manchester Citys improved defense curtailing Liverpools offensive operations, the UNDER 3 offers tremendous upside at a price of +106 or 17/16. In conclusion, we stand to risk 2.12 units with a potential yield of 2.06 units. City should go ahead and secure what will be a big early-season win.
Liverpool Recent Form
W Arsenal 4-0
W Hoffenheim 4-2
W Crystal Palace 1-0
W Hoffenheim 2-1
D Watford 3-3
Manchester City Recent Form
W Bournemouth 2-1
D Everton 1-1
L Girona 0-1
W Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0
W West Ham United 3-0
Keith’s Prediction for the Game: MANCHESTER CITY 22/25 (-112) and UNDER 3 17/16 (+106)
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