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A 7-1 demolition of Rangers at Ibrox will certainly have improved the mood at Liverpool, though there are still plenty of questions for Jurgen Klopp to answer with his side 14 points off the top following a damaging defeat to Arsenal last weekend. The Reds are a dispiriting W2-D4-L2 in league action this season, with fresh injury concerns after Luis Diaz, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip were forced off against the Gunners.
Back-up right back Calvin Ramsey, a summer signing from Aberdeen, is not fully fit either owing to a back complaint, so Joe Gomez should continue at right back having started there in the midweek rout of Rangers. Ibrahima Konate will no doubt partner Virgil van Dijk in the middle, though there’s a decision to make at left-back with Andy Robertson only having just returned from a hamstring complaint.
Midfielders Naby Keita and Arthur Melo remain unavailable, while Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are expected to miss out as well, having only just returned to training. However, Klopp will be glad that first choice options Fabinho, Thiago, Jordan Henderson and Harvey Elliot are all available, as his biggest dilemma would seem to be he formation.
Over 3.5 Goals
In an attempt to stop the rot, Klopp has ditched the 4-3-3 for a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2. However, he may prefer to pack the midfield against Man City, which could see one of Darwin Nunez or Roberto Firmino miss out in attack. Either way, his high-line defensive tactics will have Erling Haaland salivating at the prospect of adding more goals to his collection.
Pep Guardiola’s concerns are limited to defenders John Stones and Kyle Walker, as well as summer signing Kalvin Phillips, who has barely featured this season and wouldn’t have started ahead of Rodri in any case. However, Guardiola has been rotating his defence a lot, naming a different backline in each of City’s past eight games now, and a different centre-back partnership in each of the last five, which can’t be beneficial for producing a cohesive unit.
Both Teams To Score And Over 2.5 Goals
Although City have kept clean sheets in four of their last five appearances, two were against Copenhagen, while the others were in clashes with struggling outfits Southampton and Wolves. Newcastle and Man Utd have both put three goals past them this season, while Palace went 2-0 up before being crushed by Haaland in the second half, as the visitor’s backline can be gotten at.
Man City failed to score for the first time this season as they were held to a goalless stalemate in Copenhagen, with their star number nine rested after starting every game this season for club and country. Of course, the Norwegian shouldn’t be too tired having been substituted in over half of Man City’s matches this term, with victory already assured, and he’ll be keen to punish Liverpool this time after letting them off the hook in the Community Shield.
Goals have certainly flowed whenever these two sides meet, with seven of the last eight featuring a minimum of four. Nine of the last 10 head-to-heads have seen both teams on the scoresheet, but the result has been hard to call with the teams an even W3-D5-L3 since 2018/19.
Haaland To Score Anytime
With a strong output seemingly an inevitability, Haaland simply can’t be ignored to continue his run. He’s hit a ridiculous 20 goals in just 13 games this season, with 15 from nine in the league alone.
He may have misfired in the Community Shield, but he’s already scored against Liverpool when playing for Salzburg, while he’s only failed to score on one other occasion this season as City ran out 4-0 winners over Bournemouth as he claimed an assist.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE AND OVER 2.5 GOALS
OVER 3.5 GOALS
HAALAND TO SCORE ANYTIME
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