Liverpool welcome Manchester City for a mouthwatering Super Sunday showdown from Anfield. Mark O'Haire previews the encounter...
"Looking at the duos records against Big Six opposition this season, 9/11 (82%) have featured Over 2.5 Goals and 7/11 (64%) have broken the Over 3.5 Goals barrier"
Liverpool v Manchester City
Sunday 14th January, 16:00
Live on Sky Sports
Virgil van Dijk made a dream start to his Liverpool career when heading home a late winner to seal Merseyside derby success over Everton in last weekend's 3rd Round FA Cup clash. James Milner had given the Reds the lead from the penalty spot but the Toffees levelled proceedings before van Dijk nodded home.
Liverpool's week has been dominated by the big-money move of Philippe Coutinho away from Anfield but the Brazilian playmaker would have missed this match anyhow through injury. Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are pushing for starts in midfield to replace Coutinho here.
Elsewhere, Jurgen Klopp will be pleased to see top goalscorer Mohammed Salah back in the fold for Sunday's showdown. The African Player of the Year has been involved in 22 goals in his opening 21 Premier League games; only two players have ever been involved in more in their opening 21 Premier League fixtures.
Manchester City required an injury-time winner from Sergio Aguero to come from behind and beat Championship outfit Bristol City in the League Cup on Tuesday. After falling behind from the penalty spot, Kevin de Bruyne equalised for the unbeaten Premier League leaders before Aguero settled matters.
Pep Guardiola's side are still in contention for four trophies this season although for the second time in three days his side leaked the opening goal of the game. Nevertheless, the Citizens' much-changed team were able to recover and extend their unbeaten domestic run to 33 games, stretching back to April.
With Gabriel Jesus injured, Aguero is expected to start in attack although the diminutive Argentine has never scored in five visits to Anfield. Elsewhere, there are no new injury concerns with captain Vincent Kompany still absent.
Liverpool [3.15] have dominated this match-up in recent years, pocketing 10 victories and four draws in an unbeaten 14-game streak since 2003. The Reds are also defending a remarkable record of avoiding a league double by Manchester City in over 80 years.
Jurgen Klopp's troops have enjoyed nine days rest coming into this clash and the Merseysiders will be confident in their ability. Liverpool were excellent in the reverse encounter at the Etihad before Sadio Mane's first-half red card and no opposing manager has beaten Pep Guardiola more often than the German.
What's more, since Klopp arrived in English football in October 2015, no team has won more points between the Big Six than Liverpool (39), secured more wins (9), suffered fewer defeats (3) or scored more goals (40). The Reds are also unbeaten in 18 Anfield outings.
This is probably our last opportunity to back Manchester City [2.36] at odds-against quotes and the Citizens make a strong case for the away success. Only two teams have enjoyed a longer unbeaten Premier League run than City's current 30-game streak and their 62-point haul from their first 22 fixtures is a top-flight record.
The visitors have won 10 of their 11 away days and have already overcome Chelsea, Manchester United, Spurs and Arsenal. However, two of their last three league losses occurred on Merseyside and Liverpool are perhaps the best equipped outfit to upset the odds. The [3.80] draw appeals.
Excitement and entertainment is expected on Super Sunday with the top two Premier League goalscorers locking horns. But before we get too excited, it's worth noting that Liverpool have leaked just four goals at Anfield this term and Manchester City have conceded only five in games as guests.
Still, these two teams have plundered 114 league goals between them City's 64-goal tally is the most a top-flight team have managed at this stage of a campaign since Spurs 55 years ago. It's almost unthinkable to believe this encounter won't live up to expectation and a goals-based approach is encouraged.
Looking at the duos records against Big Six opposition this season, 9/11 (82%) have featured Over 2.5 Goals and 7/11 (64%) have broken the Over 3.5 Goals barrier with 6/11 (55%) seeing both sides get on the scoresheet. With that in mind, the [2.36] available for Over 3.5 Goals is worth a wager.
The 9/2 available from Betfair Sportsbook's #OddsOnThat for Both Teams To Score, 4+ Corners for each team and 2+ cards for each team is well worth a small interest on Sunday.
The two clubs both average just shy of 10 total corners per-game and around 1.50 cards per-game. Meanwhile, Since Pep Guardiola arrived in the Premier League, the three league encounters between the pair have produced 13 cards at an average of 4.33 per-game.
Staked: 215.00 pts
Returned: 240.03 pts
P/L: +25.30 pts