With the return of the Premier League this after the international break, the match of the weekend is set to be at the Etihad as league leaders Manchester City welcome Liverpool on Saturday evening in what is historically a competitive and entertaining match.
City currently top the Premier League table on goal difference from Arsenal, with both sides on 26 points after 12 matches. City have stuttered in recent weeks however, picking up only five points out of a possible nine in their last three matches and they looked to be devoid of attacking ideas when being held to a goalless draw by Aston Villa last time out. Talismanic striker Sergio Aguero has missed the last seven matches with a hamstring injury picked up on international duty with Argentina but he is well on the road to recovery and may well feature against Liverpool. City manager Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping that Aguero can play a part, as fellow striker Wilfried Bony is also struggling with a hamstring injury picked up in the match against Villa. Bony has however struggled to fill the void left by Aguero, managing only three goals in the Premier League so far this season. City won this fixture last season 3-1 but did lose 2-1 to Liverpool at Anfield in March. If City are to regain the Premier League title then matches such as Saturday’s have to be seen as must win.
Liverpool are looking a more settled side under their new manager Jurgen Klopp, with a home defeat by Crystal Palace being the only league loss so far under the German. Liverpool currently sit in tenth place in the league with 17 points having won four matches, drawn five and lost three. Only Spurs have drawn more matches this season and Klopp will be keen to see some of these drawn matches turned into victories if Liverpool are to push for a Champions League spot. With the abysmal form of defending champions Chelsea, there is a real opportunity for clubs like Liverpool and Spurs to grab a Champions League spot behind clubs such as Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United. Like City, Liverpool may well welcome back their lead striker this weekend with the news that Daniel Sturridge has trained this week and featured in a practice match on his return from injury. The England striker has had an injury interrupted 18 months and has only featured in three league matches this season having also missed the end of last season. The return of Sturridge will be a boost for Klopp, who has faced one setback after another since taking on the Anfield job, including the loss of both full-back Joe Gomez and striker Danny Ings for the season with cruciate ligament injuries.
Manchester City are the 1.67 (4/6) favourites for Saturday’s match with Liverpool available at 5.75 (19/4) and the draw 4.2 (16/5). The football betting tip for the Manchester City versus Liverpool match is the draw at 4.2 (16/5).
By: Scott McGlynn