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Manchester City 7/4 to do double over Liverpool

Original article published 14 October 2022

Following Manchester City's excellent start to their season and Liverpool's slow start to theirs, bet365 have priced up City's points against the Reds in the 2022/23 Premier League.

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Manchester City are odds-on to win at Anfield this weekend and 7/4 to take maximum points off Liverpool for the first time since the 1936/37 campaign when they won their first ever top flight title, scoring 107 goals in the process.

Winning titles is like shelling peas for Manchester City these days, but it’s hard to believe you have to go back 85 years for the last time they completed the double over Liverpool.

A lot has changed since the Community Shield defeat just a few months ago in a game where Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah both shone and Darwin Nunez upstaged fellow new signing Erling Haaland with the Norwegian scrutinised for taking just 16 touches.

So much in fact, that I don’t recall the Citizens ever being odds-on to win at Anfield, such is the contrasting fortunes of the two clubs at the moment.

Historically, Liverpool have an excellent record at home to City. Dating back from 1962, through their two decades of dominance in 1970s and 1980s, all the way to 2020, City had recorded just two wins at Anfield.

They recorded a resounding 4-1 win during Liverpool’s injury-plagued 2019/20 season, when Jordan Henderson and Fabinho started at centre-half.

City being as short as 3/4 and Liverpool being as big as 16/5 gives a good indication of where the two sides are at the moment.

Far from experiencing a mere early-season blip, we’re halfway through October and Liverpool are stuck on two wins – one fewer than Bournemouth, who they thrashed 9-0 to seemingly get their season back on track. Their second win came four days later against Newcastle, and even that required 98th-minute heroics from summer signing Fabio Carvalho.

But since then, they’ve been frustrated by rivals Everton, were held to a 3-3 draw by Brighton, and dropped yet more points to Arsenal.

And things don’t look like improving any time soon.

Manager Jurgen Klopp appears set on playing Salah in a wider role which is perhaps in an effort to accommodate Darwin Nunez, but it’s having a profound effect of the Egyptian’s output.

His shots on target/90 have dipped below 1.00 for the first time in his Anfield career, when he typically averages more than 1.50, and his touches/90 are down 10 on the last two seasons.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s defending has come increasingly under the microscope, further exposed by his diminished attacking output.

Averaging more than 11 league assists per season for the last four campaigns, he’s yet to lay one on for his team-mates, and to make matters worse, is set for a spell on the sidelines.

While performances simply haven’t been up to the standard we’ve come to expect, the Reds haven’t had the best of luck with injuries this season, with Luis Diaz set to make his next Liverpool appearance after the World Cup.

For City, however, the contrast could hardly be starker. 

While Guardiola’s men have looked vulnerable at times, particularly in transition periods, they’ve largely had their own way all season.

They’ve scored three goals twice, four goals three times, and six goals twice – most recently against a resurgent Manchester United.

Erling Haaland is playing a different sport to everyone, and it’s no coincidence that the first game City failed to score in all season was against Copenhagen when the Norwegian spent 90 minutes on the bench.

City are already 1/5 for the title with Haaland 1/8 to finish as top goalscorer, and you wouldn’t be surprised to see both of those shorten further still by the end of the weekend.

bet365 make Guardiola’s charges a 2/1 chance to break their own Premier League scoring record of 106 and 5/2 to surpass their points total of 100, both of which they managed during the title winning season of 2017/18.  

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