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Big Match Breakdown: Liverpool v Manchester City

Nick Murphy | 4 April 2018

Team news and tips ahead of the big game

It’s an all-Premier League clash in the Champions League tonight as Liverpool host Manchester City at Anfield.

The two sides match up in the first-leg on Merseyside with both in good form. Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have won two in a row and are unbeaten in this season’s UCL. City, on the other hand, demolished Everton 3-1 at the weekend to extend their winning run to five from their last six matches.

It’s all set up to be an enticing and attacking tie at Anfield as two top-flight clubs meet at Europe’s top table for the first time since 2011.

The Coral News Team have previewed all of the action with another big match breakdown…

Head-to-Head

The Citizens don’t usually enjoy their trips to this part of Merseyside. Pep Guardiola’s side have lost on their last five visits to Anfield. They’ve not won in front of the Kop since a Nicolas Anelka double cancelled out Milas Baros’ opener in May 2003.

It was a similar tale of woe earlier this season. The Sky Blues were heavily exposed by Liverpool’s impressive attack. It led to the visitors losing their first Premier League game of the season in a 4-3 defeat.

City did claim a dominant 5-0 win at the Etihad Stadium earlier in this season, but only after the visitors were reduced to 10-men.

Likely XIs

Adam Lallana and Joel Matip will both miss the visit from City, with the latter of those ruled out until the end of the season. That should mean a return for Dejan Lovren, who will partner Virgil van Dijk in the heart of defence.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also expected to start after causing Guardiola’s side no end of problems in the January meeting between the two clubs.

For the visitors, Aymeric Laporte should overcome injury to start, while Gabriel Jesus will lead a three-pronged attack in the absence of Sergio Aguero.

Fernandinho will provide the vital lynchpin in midfield.

Key Battles

This match is all about how the two sides counter each other’s styles. Can Manchester City deal with Liverpool’s press? And can the Reds sustain it to negate the visitors’ fluid style?

The opening 15 minutes or so could be key in setting the tone. If the Reds’ front three or four can get amongst it early on, they’re likely to have City flustered.

Mohamed Salah and Leroy Sane are the main dangers for either side.

Match Odds

Guardiola’s men are considered narrow favourites to end their Anfield hoodoo at 27/20. Liverpool are available at 15/8, with the draw at 5/2.

The two sides have already shared 12 goals in two matches this season. It’s 31/20 for there to be Over 3.5 Goals again tonight.

If there is to be a glut of goals, at least one is likely to come from the boot of Salah. The Egyptian has scored in all but two of Liverpool’s 11 matches since the end of January. He’s 5/4 to Net  Anytime and 5/1 to Score 2 or More.

Guardiola will be hoping that Sane builds on his strike against Everton at the weekend with a second in five days on Merseyside. He’s 12/5 Anytime.

You can also back Both Teams to Score at 8/15, with 18/5 about Liverpool to Win and Both Teams to Score.

Big match previews, betting tips and transfer news – Coral have it all.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing