So there you have it! Liverpool finally won their first Premier League title following the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace last time out – and Manchester City’s subsequent capitulation at Chelsea – to complete their first top-flight triumph since 1990.
Rusty and lacking in rhythm against Everton in our first game back since the season’s delay, the exact opposite was true against Palace in a thrilling performance packed with attacking vibrancy and flair – the Eagles simply didn’t stand a chance.
Trent Alexander-Arnold opened the scoring with a trademark free kick in the 23rd minute, and from there the floodgates were forced open with Mo Salah notching a second just before half time.
There was never any realistic danger of Palace coming back into the game in the second period, and indeed those hopes were completely extinguished when Fabinho slammed home a fine long-range effort after 55 minutes.
Sadio Mane completed the rout from Salah’s pass shortly after, and it was a case of job done as the players left the field. Next came the waiting game….
The squad met on the Thursday evening to watch Manchester City at Chelsea, knowing that Pep’ men needed to win to keep the title race alive. They didn’t, and it triggered an almighty party among the players and the coaching staff – and pretty much everybody else from the red half of Merseyside too. There was a sense of delight and relief in equal measure.
Ironically, our first game since being crowned champions is against City on Thursday night, who you suspect will be desperate to get some pride back with a win.
There might be a hangover from Liverpool’s celebrations, but don’t think for one minute that they will take their eye off the ball – there’s all manner of records out there to be broken in this outstanding 2019/20 season.
Liverpool Team News
Such was Liverpool’s dominance against Palace that Jurgen Klopp was able to give Premier League minutes to youngsters Neco Williams and Harvey Elliott.
They will no doubt feature some more between now and the end of the season, but against Manchester City you would wager that Klopp will want to confirm his side’s superiority by picking a strong starting eleven.
An eight-day recovery period is plenty of time – assuming the celebratory headaches have worn off – and so we presume something approaching our strongest eleven will be selected.
Joel Matip has dropped a strong hint that his season is over after suffering an ankle injury, while James Milner’s hamstring complaint means he won’t be risked either.
Otherwise, we predict that Klopp will field what he considers to be his strongest selection in order to emphasise our superiority over City this term.
Manchester City Form
Pep Guardiola’s men had looked reenergised and revitalised after the break in the season, coming back with 3-0 and 5-0 demolitions of Arsenal and Burnley respectively.
But once again, they came up short against a team that is happy to attack them, unsettle them and not allow them uncontested possession of the ball.
Chelsea were full value for the victory in their 2-1 win, and for context they had ten shots on target (compared to City’s two) and found it so easy to break through their opponents’ defensive lines.
Without the suspended Fernandinho, Pep will be inconvenienced further on Thursday.
Manchester City vs Liverpool Betting Tips
For two sides so exciting in their attacking phase, it would be fair to say that games between Manchester City and Liverpool haven’t always lived up to the billing.
But they do tend to serve up goals – of the last eight, six have gone over the 2.5 goal line and five have delivered on the both teams to score front.
It would be gobsmacking if Liverpool don’t score here. City are weak defensively, and they will probably line up here with Benjamin Mendy and at least one of Nicolas Otamendi or John Stones – none of that trio is anywhere close to being an elite defender.
Will City score? It’s certainly possible, but we like Joe Gomez in defence alongside Virgil van Dijk, and assuming Klopp also fields Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson nothing will be left to chance.
All of which means we’ve rather talked ourselves into backing Liverpool in some form, and remembering that there is no discernible home advantage to football without crowds we were very surprised to see Liverpool priced at 23/10 here.
So, we can place a Draw No Bet wager at 11/10 – given City’s defensive woes against elite opposition, that has all the hallmarks of a high value bet.