Manchester City vs. Liverpool – England Premier League Match Preview, Etihad Stadium Manchester, England 1 PM EST Sunday February 3, 2013
By Jason Green of Predictem.com
Match Odds: Manchester City 1.83 / Liverpool 4.20 / Draw 3.40
Moneyline: Manchester City -120 / Liverpool +320 / Draw +275
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
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After a terrible start to the England Premier League season Liverpool has played well in the last couple of months and they now sit in 7th place in the league table. While winning the EPL title is not in the cards they still have a chance to capture a top 4 finish in the league and a Champions League spot next season, but starting that push will be difficult this Sunday in an away match facing Manchester City.
Manchester City is out of the Champions League race, but they still have a chance to add some hardware to their trophy case this season, as they are still alive in the EPL race and they are in the round of 16 in the FA Cup. City sits 7 points behind Manchester United in the EPL race. Manchester United faces Fulham in away match on Saturday, so before this match begins City will know where they stand.
Things may be more harmonious for Manchester City since talented, but troubled striker Mario Balotelli signed with AC Milan after his transfer to the Italian giant.
Liverpool is the big away underdog in this match, but City will be a little shorthanded, as DF Kolo Toure is playing in the African Cup of Nations and captain DF Vincent Kompany is questionable with a calf injury. Still, even with those defenders out the City defense has been playing great and that is an understatement, as they have not give up a goal in their last 6 matches (2 FA Cup 4 EPL).
While the City defense has been superb their offense has sputtered in their last matches with only 1 goal and in their last match they played to a 0-0 draw against QPR, who sit in last place in the EPL table.
Liverpool is coming off a pretty solid 2-2 away draw facing Arsenal while they were upset in their last away match losing to non-EPL side Oldham Athletic, which eliminated them from the FA Cup competition.
The Reds offense has scored 9 goals in their last 3 matches, but their defense has struggled in the last 2 matches. Their offense has been solid this season with 42 goals, but their defense has given up the 2nd most goals of any team in the top 10 in the EPL table.
Very early this season Liverpool hosted Man City and they played to a 2-2 draw.
The City defense really has one goal in this match and that is contain Luis Surez, who ranks 2nd in the EPL in goals (17). He and Steven Gerrard (5 goals) are the only Reds’ players that have more than 2 goals on the season.
Edin Dzeko, Sergio Agero, and Carlos Tevez lead the Man City attack and these guys have to be the trio to spurn the Manchester attack and get them out of their offensive funk. I think they will do just that. The Reds will play a defensive match, but I think City will dominate the time of possession, especially in the midfield, and they will get many scoring chances. To keep that from happening Steven Gerrard has to have a great match in the midfield.
The Reds will have some chances to score, but their best chances may come on the counter attack.
City G Joe Hart has 6 clean sheets in his last 6 matches, but that trend will end in this match. He will play well, as will the Man City defense, but the Reds will find the back of the net once.
Manchester City Recent Form
1/5/2013 Manchester City 3 Watford (FA Cup)
1/13/2013 Arsenal 0 Manchester City 2 (Premier League)
1/19/2013 Manchester City 2 Fulham 0 (Premier League)
1/26/2013 Stoke City 0 Manchester City 1 (FA Cup)
1/29/2013 Queens Park Rangers 0 Manchester City 0 (Premier League)
Liverpool Recent Form
1/6/2013 Mansfield Town 1 Liverpool 2 (FA Cup)
1/13/2013 Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1 (Premier League)
1/19/2013 Liverpool 5 Norwich City 0 (Premier League)
1/27/2013 Oldham Athletic 3 Liverpool 2 (FA Cup)
1/30/2013 Arsenal 2 Liverpool 2 (Premier League)
Jason’s Pick: Would love to pick an upset in this match, as I am far from a City fan, but they have too much firepower and at home they will not let any points slip away. Manchester City will win this match by a score of 2-1 or 3-1.