The English Premier League will say goodbye to 2016 with an excellent New Year’s Eve matchup between two of the top three teams. The big showdown is all set for Anfield where Liverpool will host Manchester City. The Reds won 4-1 at home against Stoke City on Tuesday while Man City downed newly-promoted Hull City 3-0 away on the east coast a day earlier.
Liverpool vs Manchester City – Pinnacle Soccer Betting Line:
- Pinnacle currently lists Liverpool as the favorites to win the game at +135 with Man City +219 and a draw at +256
Liverpool vs Manchester City – Head to Head:
- These two teams met twice in league action last season as well as once in the English League Cup. Liverpool won 4-0 at Manchester in league play and 3-0 at home. They played to a 1-1 draw in Liverpool in the League Cup in February with Man City winning the contest 3-1 in a penalty shootout. Overall, these two sides have met 204 times in the past with Man United winning 100, losing 53 and drawing the other 51. Liverpool has four wins, three draws and three defeats in the last 10 meetings. Man City has just five wins in the past 25 encounters.
Liverpool – A Closer Look:
Liverpool enters the weekend still in second-place as they try to catch Chelsea. The Reds have 40 points from 12 wins, four draws and two defeats with a league-high 45 goals scored and just 19 against. They’re aiming to finish the season at least in the top four to earn a berth in the next year’s European Champions League, but are also proving to be legitimate title challengers. They’re still six points behind Chelsea though and have a one-point lead over third-place Manchester City and a three-point gap over fourth-place Arsenal. The club’s recent 15-match undefeated streak in all competitions came to a sudden halt a few weeks ago with a 4-3 defeat at Bournemouth.
Liverpool has six wins and two draws at home this season and has outscored the opposition 25-7. They’ve done well against the league’s top teams with victories over Arsenal and Chelsea along with draws against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. They’ve also beaten Tottenham in the English League Cup. Liverpool’s weakness is an inconsistent defense with just four clean sheets in their 18 league outings. Manager Jurgen Klopp has several injury concerns to deal with. Forward Danny Ings and goaltender Adam Bogdan are out for the season and midfielder Philippe Coutinho won’t be back until January. Also, midfielder Sheyi Ojo and defender Joe Gomez are listed as day to day.
Manchester City – A Closer Look:
Manchester City has now dropped just two of their past 10 matches in all competitions along with six wins and a pair of draws. However one of the defeats was quite costly as it came against league-leading Chelsea in Premier League play last month. Still, Man City has won just seven of their past 18 contests in all competitions. A recent big win over Arsenal has seen them climb into third place on the table. City has 39 points from 12 wins, three draws and three losses. They’ve scored 39 times and have allowed 20 goals against. They’re still seven points behind Chelsea, one back of Liverpool, and two up on fourth-place Arsenal.
Manager Pep Guardiola will be hoping that defender Pablo Zabaleta will be healthy enough to return to the lineup on Saturday and striker Sergio Aguero is eligible to rejoin the squad after serving a three-game suspension. However, midfielder Ilkay Gündogan is expected to miss the rest of the following recent knee surgery. In addition, captain Vincent Kompany isn’t expected back until early January. Man City has seven wins and two losses on the road this season compared to five wins, three draws and a loss at home.
Liverpool vs Manchester City – Takeaway:
This is a huge game for both teams as they’re still hoping to eventually catch first-place Chelsea and stay in the top four to earn a spot in next season’s European Champions League. A loss or draw will be damaging to either team if Chelsea wins their game this weekend.