The month of March isn’t even half-way through and it’s been a busy one already for Manchester City. Two Premier League ties and another two FA Cup clashes have seen the Citizens come through unscathed with three wins and one draw against Stoke City. While city did not break a sweat in overcoming less than distinguished opposition like Sunderland, Huddersfield Town and Middlesbrough, it would be interesting to see how they cope with the pressures of having to play it out in a decisive UEFA Champions away game in Monaca this Wednesday and later in a defining English Premier League clash with Liverpool on Sunday.
The breaking news for Man City could be the re-introduction of Vincent Kompany into the ranks after months of injury. The 30-year old central defender is expected to bring some stability to a City back line vulnerable to “hit-back-on- breaks attacks” attacks by opponents. The veteran Belgian back could come in to possibly replace a faltering Otamendi. Although the back line four of Zabaleta, Stones, Otamendi and Clichy have held out well of late, conceding just once from their 4 outings in March, against a Liverpool attack that has the likes of Coutinho, Firmino, Sadio Mane and Lallana, it surely will be tested big time. For the Reds, there have been injury scares with Firminio and Daniel Sturridge probably out of action for some time. Consequently, the nifty 21-year Belgian, Divock Origi, has been entrusted with the striker’s role. But with the young forward not being able to make much impact in recent outings, it’s imminent that a fully recovered Firminio could return for Sunday’s Etihad clash.
Liverpool have recovered from the shock 1-3 loss against Leicester in February, registering impressive wins over Arsenal and Burnley. But their away form has been of some concern of late, having lost to teams like 15th ranked Leicester City, 18th placed Hull and a draw with 20th placed Sunderland. If this disturbing trend were to continue, then Jurgen Klopp’s men have a mountain to climb at the Etihad on the 19th. Just one point separates Manchester City and Liverpool who are in the 2nd and 3rd place of the EPL table currently. The pressure to win will be more on the visiting Reds as City have played one game less. The only consolation for Liverpool will be that they can now focus totally on their Premier League outings having exited from all other competitions and apparently will look much more rested than the tired hosts, going into Sunday night’s clash.
Manchester City’s record against Liverpool in their last six encounters has been dismal having lost as many as 4 of them and won just one. The Reds’ last visit to the Etihad in November 2015 had resulted in an emphatic 4-1 win. But the contrasting forms of both teams running up to March 19’s game have prompted bookmakers to wager on a Man City win.
Recommended Tip: Man City to WIN, Best Odds 19/20 @ Bet365
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