Liverpool take on Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday in a 4:30pm kick-off at Anfield.
The Reds head into the meeting seven points behind City having played a game more, so this really is last chance saloon for Jurgen Klopp’s side in terms of their title hopes.
In truth, City already have one hand on the trophy having won nine straight games, especially after Manchester United’s dramatic dropped points against Everton on Saturday night.
Pep Guardiola’s side are even money favourites to win the match, with the draw and Liverpool win both 13/5.
Personally I think the draw represents value in terms of the match result, with Guardiola likely to set his team out in a fairly cautious manner.
Even a draw keeps City three points ahead of their Manchester rivals with a game in hand, and Liverpool are one of the few sides in the league who can blitz City on their day (as we have seen in the past).
Equally, while Liverpool need a win in terms of retaining the title, I honestly don’t think Klopp will be thinking about that anymore. Injuries have decimated their season, with making sure they finish in the top four so they can go again next season their main priority now.
Of course both teams will want to win, but if the game is still level with 20-30 minutes remaining, it would not be a surprise to see it fizzle out as big games often have this season.
One thing this rivalry does tend to guarantee is cards, with 40+ booking points landing in nine of the last ten meetings.
Michael Oliver officiates, with the 35-year-old proving pretty card happy of late by his standards. Each of his last nine PL games have seen 3+ cards shown, with eight of those nine seeing both sides receive at least one card each.
This has also occurred in 10 of the 11 meetings between Klopp’s Liverpool and Guardiola’s City, so Over 0 Cards for each team and Over 2 Cards for Both Teams Combined will be my starting point for a Bet Builder.
In order to reach double your money territory, I’m also going back City to score. The Citizens have blanked only twice in 10 away league games this season, with Liverpool only keeping three clean sheets in 11 home league games this season.
Put simply, Anfield is a much easier place for the opposition to play without fans, with Burnley and Brighton both beating them in recent weeks to end the Reds’ incredible four-year unbeaten record.
If you’re looking for a bigger price, 3+ corners each team, 2+ cards each team and City to win or draw is 4/1.
City have received 2+ cards in all 11 of their matches against Liverpool under Guardiola, with the hosts racking up the cards compared to their normal standards in recent weeks. City have had 3+ corners in every match this season bar the reverse fixture, meanwhile, with Liverpool hitting 3+ corners in all bar one home game this season.
In terms of player cards, I backed Raheem Sterling with success in the reverse fixture, so I’m amazed to see him at a big price again at 15/2 (bet365) considering he has been booked three times against his former club.
Kyle Walker may not start, but if he does then he also has to be backed at 5/1 (bet365) considering he has been booked in both of the last two meetings, especially if Sadio Mane is fit enough to start.
Liverpool’s right centre-back, meanwhile, has been booked in three of the last four meetings, so whoever starts there will be of interest. It could be Jordan Henderson (4/1, bet365), Ozan Kabak (15/4, Bet Victor) or Nathaniel Phillips (9/2, bet365).
Personally, I expect it to be Henderson alongside the returning Fabinho as Phillips lacks the pace to cope against City’s attack and it’s still too early for Kabak. If so, Sterling, Henderson and Walker would make a very tasty 250/1 treble! Bet365 are offering their free in-play bet on this game, so a longshot like this is certainly worth it in search of a big return.
Other players of interest are Bernardo Silva (11/2, bet365), who has been carded three times against Liverpool, and Thiago Alcantara (19/5, Bet Victor), who has racked up the fouls in his early days at Liverpool.
Indeed, Thiago has made 3+ fouls in seven of his eight league starts for Liverpool, while making 12 tackles combined in his last two games. 10/11 (Sky Bet) for him to make 3+ tackles once again looks a good price, with Rodri making 3+ at evens (Sky Bet) also fair considering he has made 4+ in four of his last seven league starts.
Sterling, meanwhile, has had at least one shot on target in 13 of his 17 league starts, with Mane doing likewise in 12 of his 18. Adding these to Thiago and Rodri to make 3+ tackles each should be around 8/1.
Alternatively, you could back Ilkay Gundogan or Joao Cancelo to test Alisson at least once at 11/8 and 9/4 respectively (Sky Bet). Gundogan has managed this in eight of his last 10 starts, with Cancelo doing so in six of his last eight.