Ok, so Brendan Rodgers’ record away to Manchester City is about as promising as Malky McKay’s career prospects but the visitors will be all out tonight to put down a marker against the reigning champions who denied them their first league title win since 1990.
The mind games have started early for Manuel Pellegrini who’s been busy dissing the House of Scouse as ‘bottlers’ after he claimed Liverpool’s end-of-season acrophobia – and not City’s ability to call on a well-oiled squad – cost them the Premier League last season.
And mouthy Manuel will be relying on the Blues’ home record last term of W17, D1, L1 in Monday night’s Bank Holiday clash (8pm) at the Etihad to show that his side really do have the cajones to deal with their Merseyside opponents.
The Paddy Power Blog has tried to unearth some value before it all kicks off.
These sides have produced four 2-2 draws in their last six games in all competitions – the most recent coming in the off season cash-fest at the ICC Trophy in New York.
And only a 78th-minute winner from Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho at Anfield last April (3-2) prevented this stat reading five from six. Not a bad scorline to take a flyer on if you’re a neutral or your head’s too sore to think after being out on the razz for the long weekend.
You don’t need to be Stephen Hawking to figure out that if four of these side’s last six meetings ended 2-2 then there could be a bit of value in backing either – or both – to score exactly two goals in tonight’s encounter.
City opened their campaign with a 2-0 win away to Newcastle last weekend as David Silva and Sergio Aguero hit the onion bag on Tyneside. The Citizens won 2-0 at home twice last season and by the same scoreline, three times on the road. The Reds managed to overcome Southampton 2-1 on the opening weekend with Raheem Sterling and dancing Daniel Sturridge doing the business.
The league clashes between these sides have traditionally been high-scoring affairs with the last six contests producing 21 goals (1-1, 3-0, 2-2, 2-2, 2-1, 3-2).
City netted 102 goals on their way to their second title in three years last season – but a Luis Suarez inspired Liverpool were just a goal behind on 101. (Chelsea finished 30 behind in third on 71.)
So going for goals might be the smart play with over 3.5 goals trading at 6/4 in Paddy Power’s total goals market as both sides look to prove who is top dog in this early season smash up.
If you’re happy just to let them get on with it there’s a special match bet on Sergio Aguero to outscore Daniel Sturridge at 2/1 (over 90 minutes & both must start) while Sturridge is 10/3 to outscore the Argentine in the same market.