It's the leaders against the champions at Anfield this Sunday in the most hotly-anticipated match of the Premier League season so far, says Max Liu in his early look at the betting.
Liverpool lead the Premier League by six points and have dropped just two points all season. And yet, in the early Exchange betting, Manchester City 2.56 are marginal favourites to beat them when the teams meet at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
The home side are 2.82 to win the fixture, which ended 0-0 last season, and another draw can be backed at 3.80.
Goals expected at both ends
Last year's Anfield shutout was an anomaly in recent matches between what are by some distance the best two teams in the Premier League. The corresponding fixture ended 2-1 to City, and was a vital result in the title race, while the four matches between the sides in 2017/18 produced 18 goals. The mutual respect and healthy rivalry that exists between the managers Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola was forged across those contests.
With the likes of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane in the Liverpool attack, and Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling lining up for City, it's no surprise to see both teams to score trading at 1.60 and over 2.5 goals at [1.68].
Liverpool's scoring has, however, slowed down in recent weeks and, with 25, they have hit nine fewer than City (and two fewer than Leicester City). They showed against Aston Villa on Saturday, though, that they have the useful knack of being able to produce goals when they need to grab a result.
Is there more at stake for City?
A point a piece would suit Liverpool more than City, due to the six that separate them at the top of the table, which could explain why Guardiola's men are the early favourites to win the match.
City arguably need to win the game, and reduce the deficit to three points, to keep their title hopes alive. If they do that then the race truly is on and City will take a psychological boost from having cut Liverpool's lead at the top from eight points a month ago.
The Blues would fancy their chances of taking three points when the sides meet at the Etihad Stadium later in the season and homing in on a third consecutive title. As it stands, Liverpool are1.91 to win the Premier League while City are 2.32, although that perhaps owes as much to Liverpool's blistering start to the sense that City's priority this season is the Champions League.
Klopp's club are by far the more successful club historically, with 18 league titles compared to City's six, but the Reds' last came in 1990 and it's their visitors on Sunday who have truly acquired the winning habit in recent years.