>An inconsistent run of form from Man City, who have lost three of their last five league games, has seen them drop to third-place behind Tottenham Hotspur, and seven-points behind leaders Liverpool. After two successive defeats against Crystal Palace and Leicester City, the Blues were under pressure to get a result at Southampton, which they managed by running out convincing 3-1 winners.
In contrast, the Reds are in incredible form, having won their last nine Premier League games to enjoy a six-point lead over second-placed Tottenham. This superb run of results has included a 3-1 win over rivals, Manchester United, and an impressive 5-1 demolition of Arsenal, their most recent opponents.
The potential significance of this result cannot be underestimated, with Man City manager, Pep Guardiola, saying that if City were to drop points against Liverpool, they would be out of the title race. Now this is probably just mind games, but it can be argued that with the points cushion Liverpool currently enjoy, a win for the home side is far more important.
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Team news – Manchester City
It feels like this is a must win game for Man City, but Pep Guardiola has some injury concerns to worry about with Benjamin Mendy still ruled out with a knee injury, and the integral Kevin De Bruyne unlikely to play again due to a recurring injury. Fabian Delph is also serving a suspension.
Other than that, Guardiola has a strong squad to choose from, and he is likely to keep faith with many of the player’s that performed so well at Southampton last time out. Aymeric Laporte will have a busy afternoon trying to contain Liverpool’s attacking threat, whilst the pace of Kyle Walker could be key in halting the Reds quick counter attacking style.
Raheem Sterling will be desperate to get on the score sheet against his old club, and add to his tally of nine goals this season, whilst Riyad Mahrez is becoming a real threat for City going forward. Sergio Aguero scored at Southampton and he too will want to add to his nine goals this season.
Liverpool are worked into our accumulator tips for the weekend.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 1, 2019
Team news – Liverpool
Manager, Jurgen Klopp, has his side in prime form but how they approach this game will be interesting to see. If they can avoid defeat with a more defensive display, they will preserve their lead on the Champions; however, they may decide to stick with their attacking style to try to win the game. Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are still ruled out, and James Milner is facing a race to be fit.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 2, 2019
Liverpool come into the game off the back of an impressive 5-1 win against Arsenal, thanks largely to a Roberto Firmino hat-trick. He is surely going to play just behind Mo Salah, with Sadio Mane and Xherdan Shaqiri supporting the attack again.
Dejan Lovren and Virgil Van Dijk will have a crucial role to play to stifle the hosts attacking threat, ably supported by Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson.
Head to head
Thursday’s game will be the 212th meeting between the two sides, after they first met in September 1893, when Manchester City were called Ardwick, and Liverpool won 1-0 in a League Division Two fixture.
Both clubs had been promoted to League Division One by 1899, but it wasn’t until 1903 before Manchester City recorded their first ever win over Liverpool, at their eleventh attempt, with a 3-2 success at home.
Despite the clubs meeting regularly in league matches over the next 50 years, it wasn’t until 1956 before they met in the FA Cup. The game finished 0-0 at Maine Road, before Man City won the replay at Anfield, 2-1, four days later.
Their first Premier League game took place on 28 December 1992, where the sides played out a 1-1 draw at Anfield, but the last time the sides met in a game of this magnitude was last season when they faced each other in the Champions League quarter-finals. The tie was played over two-legs, with Liverpool winning the first-leg 3-0 at home, before securing a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium.
The overall record between the two clubs stand at 54 wins for Man City, 104 wins for Liverpool, and 53 draws.
Another big month ahead. ?? pic.twitter.com/SLkHymd8Dm
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 1, 2019
Manchester City v Liverpool betting tips
A fascinating game that will have a significant impact on who will be crowned this season’s Premier League Champions. We certainly expect goals from the divisions highest scorers and the attacking football could be breath taking.
We expect a tense opening 10 minutes as the sides work each other out, but eventually Man City will have to come out to win the game. This will play into Liverpool’s counter-attacking style.
It’s a tough one to call if there will be a winner, so we’re sticking with goal betting.
Get over 3.5 goals @31/20 with Mansion Bet
Time of the first goal to be scored between 11-20 minutes is 7/2 with Novibet
Man City to score over 1.5 goals is 1/1 with BetBright