Liverpool run riot in Portugal
Liverpool inflicted another heavy defeat on Porto to remain top of their Champions League group in midweek. Jurgen Klopp‘s side were superb throughout as they maintained their 100% start in the competition, running out 5-1 winners in Portugal. Mohamed Salah and substitute Roberto Firmino each bagged twice with Sadio Mane also on the scoresheet.
The Reds performance was brimming with pace, precision and energy, and acted as the perfect warm-up for Sunday afternoon’s mouthwatering match-up. Although the Merseysiders’ forwards took plenty of plaudits, Liverpool’s midfield – Jordan Henderson and Curtis Jones in particular – were excellent throughout alongside Fabinho.
Speaking post-match, Klopp said: “First and foremost the most important thing is the result. It is a massive one away at Porto. Winning, and the way we won, makes it better” before looking ahead to the weekend’s challenge, adding “We need to play better than we did tonight, that is clear anyway. It will be a completely different game.”
Manchester City fall short in Paris
Manchester City failed to follow last weekend’s eye-catching triumph at Chelsea after falling to a 2-0 defeat at PSG on Tuesday night in an enthralling Champions League game. Pep Guardiola‘s group enjoyed long spells of dominance but couldn’t find a way through a resolute PSG defence, and Champions League debutant keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Having fallen behind early on, City had several chances to score before conceding the decisive second with Raheem Sterling‘s header hitting the bar and Bernardo Silva striking the woodwork from the rebound with an empty net in front of him. The Citizens had seven on-target attempts in their first group-stage defeat since September 2018.
Guardiola refused to be downbeat post-match and offered a sanguine assessment of the result, saying, “We’re going to eat good tonight, drink a glass of wine, recover and prepare for the Liverpool game.” Man City will again be without Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko ahead of their trip to Merseyside.
Liverpool suffered their first defeat in 17 home Premier League matches with Manchester City in the duos most recent Anfield encounter (W12-D5-L1). The Reds were in the midst of an unfortunate injury crisis back then and started with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho as their centre-back partnership, which resulted in the Citizens running out 4-1 victors.
Liverpool 3.002/1 are the only side still unbeaten in the Premier League this term (W4-D2-L0) with Jurgen Klopp’s outfit also netting more goals than any other side (15). The Reds are now unbeaten in 16 (W12-D4-L0) Premier League games and have produced significantly strong underlying performance data metrics during their resurgence since March.
Manchester City 2.506/4 are again projecting as the team to beat this season yet Pep Guardiola’s side have notched no more than a solitary strike in four of six league fixtures. Nevertheless, the Citizens boast the best defence, and haven’t faced a shot on target in three of their six encounters thus far despite a difficult opening schedule.
Head-to-heads between Liverpool and Manchester City have tended to be fun affairs. Indeed, eight of the duos last 10 match-ups have produced Over 2.5 Goals 1.768/11 profit and there’s certainly a small slice of value in supporting a goals-based approach considering how Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola are likely to set-up their side.
However, at a bigger price, taking Liverpool +0, 0.5 at 1.855/6 stands out in the Asian Handicap market. Man City have regularly toiled when travelling to a raucous Anfield, whilst Guardiola has lost more games against Klopp than has against any opposing manager in his career. The visitors also arrive off the back of a testing seven days against Chelsea and PSG.
Supporting the Asian Handicap option gives us a half-stakes profit should the match end all-square, as well as a full pay-out if Liverpool pick up top honours. The only way in which we’ll lose our stake is if Manchester City earn maximum points.