Manchester City v Liverpool
Following an incredible month’s action in Qatar, we finally return to English domestic football for the top sides as Liverpool travel to the Etihad in the highlight fixture of the EFL Cup Round of 16. For obvious reasons, this won’t be the star-studded battle we have been accustomed to watching in the past few fixtures between the sides, however the rivalry still stands.
Pep and Klopp are two of the best, if not the best two, coaches in the league, and have faced off 25 times. Dating all the way back to their times in Germany, Klopp has the edge over Pep, a record the Spaniard will want to change sooner rather than later.
This game may not have the buzz around it of a usual City v Liverpool fixture, but with Haaland and Salah fresh off a break there is plenty of reason to be optimistic as a neutral. Here are my 4 best tips for a bet builder:
Given all the talent on show, it’s little to no surprise that this fixture has had a tendency to be full of goals for each side. Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over the champions was the first time either side have blanked since City pumped Liverpool 4-0, 7 matchups before. That 4-0 drumming was the game after Liverpool had sealed the title, the result masked by a patronising guard of honour from the City players.
That day City had the riches available to them defensively, with Stones, Cancelo, Walker, Laporte and Eric Garcia all in the matchday squad. With Walker, Stones, Dias, Laporte and Cancelo all resting following stints in Qatar, the likes of Sergio Gomez and Rico Lewis should be given opportunities. It should be a nice way to be eased into first team football, only facing against a fully rested Firmino, Salah and Carvalho.
Likewise for Liverpool, they will have to live without Van Dijk and Konate (fresh off becoming a World Cup Runner Up) to deal with Erling Haaland and possibly Kevin de Bruyne. The highest scoring side in the league, averaging 2.86 goals per 90 and failing to score just once, I have no doubts about Manchester City burying at least one past Kelleher between the sticks.
And there is no one more likely to get that City goal than Erling Haaland. The Norwegian has enjoyed a break that few others at his level have been able to take due to Qatar 2022. I say at his level but no one has come close to his 1.44 goals per 90 in the Premier League this season, while he also contributed 0.24 assists per 90. His 21 combined G+A is 9 higher than any other player despite playing less matches than de Bruyne and Kane chasing him.
At just 22 years old, Haaland’s potential is frightening, valued at over £60 million more than any other PL player. What makes him so dangerous is his combination of electric pace and sheer strength + power. 7.43 touches in the penalty area per 90 is a league high and considering Haaland hits the target 54% of the time, he is constantly posing a threat.
Against a back line set to feature Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips, Haaland will be relishing the chance to get back into the swing of things with a goal or two on Thursday.
20 year old youngster Fabio Carvalho arrived from Fulham in the summer for £7.7 million and has shown glimpses of his potential, particularly with a 98th minute key winner against Newcastle in August. Still looking for his first goal since then, Carvalho has begun to threaten off the left wing instead of as one of Klopp’s attacking 8’s.
For a youngster trying to impress, Carvalho isn’t nervous or shy of taking a shot, averaging 2.94 per 90, hitting the target with 1.07 of those per 90. When playing on the left wing, as expected on Thursday, Carvalho has had 10 shots and 4 on target in 360 minutes. Lining up against Rico Lewis who won just 1 of 7 defensive duels in the last round, Carvalho has a favourable matchup. Lewis also averages just 3.8 interceptions per 90, a weakness that could be unlocked by some of Liverpool’s distributors to Carvalho as Lewis won’t try and block this avenue of attack.
Finally, I think there is so much value in Liverpool +2 handicap on Thursday night. The Merseyside team can take confidence from their 4-1 victory over Milan last weekend with Salah scoring and Nunez notching a brace. 22 shots to 8 and 57% signifies a dominant performance against a Milan side featuring the likes of Rebic, Saelemaekers and Tonali.
Klopp’s men have also grown into form recently, with victors over Napoli, Spurs and Southampton coming before the break. They also beat City at Anfield, courtesy of a piece of Mo Salah brilliance. That was Salah’s 9th goal against the champions and he will look to make it double digits today.
City’s main XI have featured heavily at the latter stages at the world cup, Haaland and KDB aside. The away side should be able to take advantage of a weakened City back line to try and get a result. Going for +2 Handicap gives us the cushion of a 1 goal defeat too.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
18+ please gamble responsibly.
Haven’t got a Paddy Power account? You’re in luck…
Sign up to Paddy Power and get a full refund if your first bet loses. Grab an account through the offer below and place £30 on the 5/1 Manchester City v Liverpool Bet Builder. Here are the two possible outcomes:
* I recommend waiting for confirmed team line-ups before placing any bets *
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing *