Perhaps strangely for a side who average 2.8 goals a match in the league this season, Manchester City have struggled to hit the back of the net of late.
The Citizens drew blanks in each of their last two matches and, in the two games prior to a 3-0 win over Stoke at the Etihad Stadium, could only score once against Chelsea and Arsenal.
With their goals per game average for the last five games just one, the last thing City will have wanted is a match against Liverpool, who have the best defensive record in the league.
The Reds have conceded just 15 times in 19 matches this season and only two in the last five games.
That said, it would take a brave man to predict a Liverpool clean sheet at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening at odds of 18/5.
Although it must be tempting to have a punt on City failing to score given the potential winnings – a successful £25 free bet would return £115 – the Citizens have found the back of the net in every single game they have played at the Etihad this season.
And with the likes of David Silva and Sergio Aguero likely to start having been benched for the defeat to Sunderland on New Year’s Day, it would be a huge surprise if Liverpool – as good as they are defensively – were able to keep the Citizens quiet.
It would take a brave man to predict a Liverpool clean sheet at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening at odds of 18/5.
Indeed, the better bet would be on Liverpool failing to score at 29/20.
The Reds have scored just ten times in nine away league games this season, while Man City have only conceded four times in their nine home league matches.
However, the return of talisman Steven Gerrard should ensure Liverpool carry more attacking intent than they have done in recent games on their travels, with the Reds’ captain showing in a second-half cameo against Newcastle just what his side have missed in recent months.
And if there are goals, they are more likely to come in the second half than they are in the first.
Three-quarters of the goals scored by Man City in their home games have come in the second half, while over 70 per cent of the goals conceded by Liverpool have come after the interval.
Similarly, City have yet to concede in the first half of their home games, suggesting Liverpool will have a greater chance of attacking success after the interval.
With this in mind, the best bet heading into tomorrow’s game could be a punt on there being more goals in the second half than there are in the first at odds of 23/20.
A successful £25 free bet on there being more goals in the second half than in the first is set to return £53.75, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
As for the final result, City go into the match as 4/5 favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, leaving the draw at 5/2 and a Liverpool success at 333/100.
Home advantage certainly means that Roberto Mancini’s men are the more likely to collect all three points, although given their struggle for goals and Liverpool’s defensive resilience, a draw could be the better bet.
A 1-1 draw is temptingly priced at 11/2, with this scoreline being the outcome when City visited Anfield earlier in the season.
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