Manchester City vs Liverpool - Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks
- Manchester City was dethroned last week and will be keen to bite back
- Liverpool has still lost just once all season and has several records in sight
- With little need for caution, we should expect a game with plenty of goals
|What||Manchester City vs Liverpool|
|Where||Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England|
|When||Thursday, 2 July 2020, 3.15 PM EST|
|How to watch||NBC Sports|
It has been a long wait for Liverpool, but the famous old club is the champion of English soccer once more. Manchester City’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea last Thursday made it impossible for Pep Guardiola’s men to catch Jurgen Klopp’s at the top of the table, thus ending an agonizing 30-year wait for the Reds’ 19th title.
Liverpool fans were desperate to seal the championship as soon as possible, and thus took great delight in City’s loss to Chelsea. But some would no doubt have preferred to win the prize at the Etihad Stadium, which it would have done had City triumphed at Stamford Bridge last week.
City and Liverpool have been the two best teams in England for two or three years now, and a rivalry has consequently developed between them. Dethroning City, last year’s champion, on its own patch would have been quite the statement.
With the title in the bag and elimination from the FA Cup and Champions League already confirmed, it may look as if Liverpool has little left to play for in 2019/20. Yet there are a number of records in the team’s sights – and many belong to City. Chief among them is the 100-point tally Guardiola’s side managed in 2017/18, and one which Liverpool can beat by as many as seven points. City will be desperate to stop that from happening.
Although the league has been decided and there will be no supporters present, we can expect a high-intensity affair at the Eithad. These are – by some distance – the two strongest sides in the country right now, and it is to be hoped that they will serve up a contest befitting that status on Thursday.
Manchester City vs Liverpool Odds
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City was undone by defensive sloppiness in its loss to Chelsea, but its attack has been scintillating in the rest of its games since the restart. City tore Arsenal apart in its first match back, before hitting five goals past Burnley and then striking twice against Newcastle in the FA Cup on Sunday.
Liverpool was similarly irresistible in attack against Crystal Palace last time out, and with the title already secured, it can play without pressure on Thursday. That should result in an open and attractive encounter.
City Will Be Desperate to Make Statement Against the New Champion
Guardiola has already warned Liverpool that his team will bounce back next season, and City will want to ram that point home on Thursday. It was pushed all the way by Liverpool last term and ultimately won the title by a solitary point, yet it currently finds itself 23 points adrift of the Reds going into this game.
On its day City is a match for any team in Europe – including Liverpool. But it has failed to match its rival’s consistency this season. Too often it has been undone by avoidable errors in defense, as was the case in the aforementioned defeat by Chelsea. City has the strongest attack in the division, having found the net seven times more than Liverpool so far, but it has conceded 12 more goals than the Reds.
City will seek to make a fast start here, and Liverpool may be pushed back in the opening stages. But wide forwards Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will be licking their lips at the prospect of darting at a vulnerable City defense in the open field, and Liverpool should have success on the break.
Liverpool’s Resilience Is an Underestimated Aspect of Its Success
Early on in Klopp’s tenure, Liverpool’s all-action approach was capable of blowing opponents away. But it was not a reliable formula for winning a league title, which requires consistency across 38 games.
Liverpool has swapped chaos for control this campaign. It is still able to play at 100 miles an hour and leave opponents breathless with its heavy pressing, but it can also manage games intelligently and hold other teams at arm’s length. Crystal Palace did not even have a touch in Liverpool’s box when they were beaten 4-0 at Anfield last week.
Klopp has turned his team into the most resilient in the Premier League, and that will help it if City takes the lead here.
With Little to Play for in Real Terms, We Can Expect Goals and Entertainment
These two teams are not only the best the Premier League has to offer; they are also two of the most positive. Even if Liverpool will have to cede a greater share of possession than it is accustomed to, it will still be focusing on ways in which it can hurt City.
That, together with the fact that Liverpool has won the league and City will almost certainly finish second, should make for a great game at the Eithad.
Take the Over option here – this should be a highly watchable encounter with goals for both teams likely.