Manchester City vs Liverpool Betting Tips (01/04/23) – Can Rested Reds Return with a Vengeance?

- - Match Previews

They say that a change is as good as a rest. Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that, this time, a rest is as good as a change as he prepares Liverpool for their first competitive game in some 17 days.

His troops have had plenty of time to stew on their last outing – a 0-1 defeat to Real Madrid that confirmed a 2-6 aggregate loss in the Champions League last 16, and we’ll only know if that’s been a positive or negative experience come Saturday.

Manchester City away is not the ideal fixture after a fortnight off, but perhaps it’s given Klopp more time to prepare his players for the challenge ahead.

Some have been away on international duty, of course, but for the most part the manager has had plenty of opportunity to find a solution to Liverpool’s woes – the 7-0 demolition of Manchester United now a distant memory.

The Reds didn’t just lose in Madrid a few weeks ago, they were soundly beaten. This was a game that they needed to assert themselves in to overturn that 2-5 first leg deficit, but they simply couldn’t get the ball off the Galacticos – this was a rare occasion when Liverpool had less than 50% possession – and, when they did finally gain control, they did little with it: creating just 0.41xG from nine shots on goal.

To make matters worse, Real cut through Liverpool’s at will – slicing through the middle of the pitch with vertical passes or slipping it wide and enjoying numerical advantages there.

It’s a pattern Klopp won’t want to repeat against City, although he’s avoided defeat against Pep Guardiola in their last three Premier League meetings. Can he make it a fantastic four on Saturday?

Liverpool Team News

There’s been some excellent news in the international break with the return of Luis Diaz to training following his lengthy injury absence.

He probably won’t be fit to face City, mind you, and neither it seems will be Thiago, who continues his own recovery in the gym.

Darwin Nunez withdrew from the Uruguay squad during the internationals but is expected to be fit, and otherwise it’s pretty much a clean slate.

The difficulty will be knowing how those that have travelled long distances for international action will return. Mo Salah was in Africa, although there should be no issues with those who have been active on European soil.

As ever this season, Klopp will need to find the right balance in midfield. Against City, it helps to be mobile, athletic and disciplined in the middle, so Jordan Henderson and Stefan Bajcetic could start – Harvey Elliott could provide more thrust than the rather-static Fabinho in the engine room.

Possible Liverpool Lineup Versus Manchester City on the 1st April 2023

Manchester City Form

The intercontinental make-up of the Manchester City squad ensures that they too will be sweating on the return of players from all four corners of the globe.

But all things considered equal, Pep’s men are in rude health. In the week prior to the international break, they blasted RB Leipzig 7-0 in the Champions League and Burnley 6-0 in the FA Cup – not too shabby, is it?

That made it six wins on the spin for City, with their last defeat coming back at the start of February.

Manchester City vs Liverpool Betting Tips

Even accounting for Klopp’s decent head-to-head record against Pep – in the Premier League, at least – this is evidently a game between two sides that have gone in different directions this season.

City appear to be peaking at the right time, whereas Liverpool are still fumbling around to find their perfect starting eleven some seven months into the season.

If the Reds can summon up the performance levels shown in the thrashing of United then who knows? But City, available at odds of 8/13, have to be considered the smart play at a decent enough price too.

There’s not a great deal of confidence that this Liverpool defence can stop Erling Haaland, and more worries too of how the flimsy Reds midfield will be able to keep tabs on the blue shirts fluidly rotating positions around them.

City are priced as short as 8/15 to score two or more goals, and therefore surely the savviest bet is to back them with an Asian handicap – you can back them with a -1.00 line at even money, which seems sound value.

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