Matthew Ireland's tips for Saturday's huge clash at the Etihad Stadium include a win for the champions with goals at both ends.
The Premier League could hardly return from the international break with a bigger game as top two Manchester City and Liverpool lock horns at the Etihad on Saturday.
City can open a four-point gap over the second-placed Reds with a win over Jurgen Klopp’s side, who last tasted a league victory in the Citizens’ backyard eight years ago.
City have won their last 15 home league matches and beat Liverpool 4-1 in April, and the Anfield outfit will be looking to get back to winning ways on the road after a defeat at Tottenham and draws at Brighton and Luton.
Man City v Liverpool best bets
Best bets Manchester City to win & both teams to score @ 19/10
Rodri 1+ shots on target @
City could edge a thriller
Pep Guardiola’s side more than played their part in a thrilling 4-4 draw last time out at Chelsea, but they have been unstoppable at the Etihad this season and, while Liverpool are one of the strongest teams to have visited, it is difficult to oppose them.
City have won their last 15 league games on their own patch and should come through again with the Reds having failed to win their last three on the road, although Klopp’s side are unlikely to go down without a fight.
While their last Etihad league success came in November 2015, the Reds have at least scored on nine of their last 11 visits.
It is also notable that both teams have scored in nine of their last ten away matches and City have conceded in ten of those 15 wins, so doubling up on a City win with both teams scoring appears to make sense.
Rodri will not be afraid to shoot
While Erling Haaland still grabs all the attention for his goalscoring exploits, there is a growing acknowledgement that defensive midfielder Rodri is just as key to City’s success.
The Spaniard scored the winner in the Champions League final against Inter Milan that confirmed the treble for Guardiola’s side last season and he appears to have a keen eye for goal.
He scored in the draw at Stamford Bridge and also netted a late winner in City’s win at Sheffield United. The 27-year-old has had ten efforts on target this season, including in each of his last four club games.
Rodri did not hold back on the international stage either, having two shots on target in Spain’s 3-1 win over Georgia on Sunday, and he looks a tasty price at odds-against to have at least one in what could be an open clash against the Reds.