The Etihad Stadium has quickly become the toughest place in English football to travel to, with Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal conceding a collective of 16 goals in their recent hammerings by Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
Manchester City’s home record is still perfect after eight consecutive wins, in which they have scored 35 times and only conceded on five occasions. Any sports betting website will only put City as favourites to win at home this season, which means you’re better off trying to predict whether the visiting team will concede less than or more than 3 goals – or whether they will actually get to score a goal.
The next side into the lion’s den is Liverpool, who travel to the Etihad Stadium on Boxing Day in a top of the table clash.
The visitors have arguably the form player in European football spearheading their attack in Luis Suarez, who is brimming with confidence. The Uruguayan has already netted 19 Premier League goals in only 12 games, and is fresh from signing a new bumper contract with the Anfield outfit.
Cardiff were unable to shackle Liverpool or Suarez in their last outing, with Brendan Rodgers’ men prevailing 3-1, and the tempestuous South American hitting a spectacular brace. The Premier League’s top scorer is at 5/1 to open the scoring here.
Both sides have injury concerns ahead of the game, with City without their attacking talisman Sergio Aguero. The Argentine is their top scorer this term with 13 goals, but is expected to be on the sidelines for the next couple of weeks at least.
In the former Atletico Madrid man’s absence, Pellegrini played Edin Dzeko alongside Alvaro Negredo in the side’s last game – a 4-2 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage. Whether these two number nines continue to play alongside each other remains to be seen, with the option of utlising someone like David Silva in the number ten role also available.
Liverpool are without captain Steven Gerrard and striker Daniel Sturridge, and as such the likes of Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Raheem Sterling have had the chance to star of late.
Brendan Rodgers will know that his defence will need to be at its best to shut-out the free-scoring City attack, and his selection at centre-half will be interesting. Kolo Toure is in line to face his former club, while Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho started the last game.
With only one point separating the sides ahead of kick-off, the result will have a significant impact on both clubs’ momentum going into an action-packed couple of weeks.
City are favourites to continue their unbeaten home record at 4/5, while Liverpool can be backed at 7/2 to continue their strong recent form. A draw is worth 3/1.