PREMIER LEAGUE expert Daniel McCulloch (@DMcCulloch1984) previews Thursday night's mouthwatering match-up between Liverpool and Manchester City at The Etihad.
Manchester City v Liverpool | Thursday 3rd January 2019, 20:00 | Sky Sports
Having spent quite a while analysing the market here, I am afraid to say that the match prices look about right to me.
With a gun to my head, I would probably look to back Liverpool in either the Draw No Bet or handicap markets. After all, they are unbeaten against City in their last four encounters and unbeaten all season in the Premier League. However, I am concerned that City have a point to prove and simply feel that the seven-point gap between these two is somewhat unjust.
City’s two defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester have been blown out of proportion in my view and I do not have the gumption to oppose them on Thuesday evening.
I can make more of a case for opposing goals – as well as a goalless draw between these two back in October, five of their nine matches against other members of the Big Six this season have seen two goals or fewer but this feels like one of those games in which a first-half goal could ignite the whole affair.
I would rather be on No Goalscorer at 13/1 than under 2.5 goals at 8/5 but actually believe the value lies in the cards market.
Dejan Lovren has been much-mocked during his time at Liverpool but is generally quite a dependable defender. However, the Croat does lack pace and given that Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold make up the rest of the back four, I believe that City will target him.
His record of 23 yellow cards in 147 Premier League appearances suggests he is quite well-disciplined but it should be noted that very few of the opponents he has faced in his time in England possess as much attacking threat and speed as City.
He is as big as 14/1 with Bet365 to be the first player booked and 3/1 in the anytime market. Both are simply too big in my view and get my vote.