Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
Premier League titles aren’t handed out as early as January, however, Thursday’s titanic clash between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium has all the makings of a season-defining fixture for both clubs.
Having lost 2 of their last 3 league matches, Manchester City’s title defence is on the verge of collapse. The Citizens have been replaced as title favourites by a vibrant and still unbeaten Liverpool team that has taken full advantage of City’s blip to open up a 7-point chasm between them and the club they are looking to replace as champions.
Liverpool had the beating of City in 2018, winning 3 of the 4 meetings between the teams in their flurry of domestic and continental encounters last year.
Another Liverpool victory on Thursday would push their lead over City to a virtually unassailable 10-point margin, though a home win would reduce the difference between the teams to just 4 points as we enter the second half of the season.
With so much at stake, Manchester City vs Liverpool is a terrific fixture to pick out some potentially lucrative selections from the bookmakers’ individual player markets and specials.
Take at look at our selections below.
Read our detailed Manchester City vs Liverpool match preview, predictions and betting tips here.
Sergio Aguero to score anytime – 5/6
Expert Argentinean marksman Sergio Aguero just loves playing against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium. The 30-year old always seems to excel when appearing against the Merseysiders in Manchester and Aguero will be desperate to enhance his record further on Thursday.
Aguero has scored in all 6 of his home league appearances against Liverpool (6 goals), which incidentally is the best 100% rate of home games scored in by any player against any opponent in the history of the Premier League.
Having recently gone 3 games without scoring, Aguero got back in the groove on Sunday with a timely strike against Southampton.
City will be banking on Aguero’s razor-sharp edge providing the finishing touches to any chances they create on Thursday, and Kun isn’t usually one to disappoint. Aguero is priced brilliantly at 5/6 with bet365 to score anytime against Liverpool.
Fabinho to be booked – 15/8
After a relatively slow start to his Premier League career, Brazilian international Fabinho has been an increasingly regular presence at the base of Liverpool’s midfield over the past 2 months.
The former Monaco star’s ability to simultaneously screen the defence and circulate possession makes him an effective foil for Liverpool’s other industrious midfield runners.
However, Fabinho’s role as disruptor can often land him in trouble with referees and the 25-year old has been booked 3 times in just 8 Premier League starts this season.
Against City, the often heavy-footed Fabinho will be tasked with shackling the forays and perpetual movement of David and Bernardo Silva. His workload is expected to be high, which makes him a cracking bet at 15/8 with bet365 to be shown yellow again.
Leroy Sane to get an assist – 3/1
From a statistical standpoint, flying German winger Leroy Sane has been Manchester City’s leading creative outlet in the Premier League this season.
The 22-year old has racked up 7 assists in the league so far in 2018/19, placing him joint 3rd in the division’s relevant rankings, alongside Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen and behind Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser (8) and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard (9).
On Thursday, should Sane start, he will come up in direct opposition to Trent Alexander-Arnold. The Liverpool right back is a match for Sane in terms of pace, though the youngster is still prone to momentary lapses in concentration.
Sane is adept at capitalising on those kinds of moments, and he will back himself to create more chances for his teammates this week. You can back Sane to pick up another assist at 3/1 with bet365.
Sadio Mane to have over 1.5 shots – 5/6
In a contest that’s oozing with goal-scoring potential, chances and attempts at goal at both ends of the pitch are expected to be plentiful.
At the sharp end of the away attack, Sadio Mane is certain to be deployed as the furthest left of Liverpool’s devastating attacking trident.
The Senegalese international’s ability to manufacture space though his explosive movement and close control makes him a nightmare to defend against.
Mane has averaged 2.3 shots per game in the Premier League this season, and with Man City likely to leave sizeable counter-attacking spaces for Liverpool to exploit on Thursday, that average should be maintained with ease.
Mane is available at 5/6 with bet365 to have over 1.5 shots against Manchester City this week.
Aymeric Laporte over 65.5 passes – 4/6
Manchester City have been the most possession hungry side in the Premier League this season, hogging the ball for 64.2% of their matches on average this term.
In a team known for their rhythmic passing football, City’s French defender Aymeric Laporte has been one of the main protagonists.
Laporte tops the charts for average passes per game for City this season, passing the ball 86.9 times per game on average in the 2018/19 Premier League.
Laporte is often the conduit that City’s moves from the back flow through and the 24-year old is likely to play a key role in the champion’s build-up play again this week.
Laporte is priced at 4/6 with bet365 to play over 65.5 passes against Liverpool on Thursday, which means that the Frenchman needs to hit just three quarters of his usual Premier League passing output for the bet to be successful.
Check out all of our Premier League match previews, predictions and betting tips for this week’s other fixtures here.
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