Premier League betting: Tired legs could be key in Liverpool and Man City’s Anfield reunionPublished February 28, 2016
Just three days after meeting in the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley, Liverpool and Manchester City face each other again in Premier League action at Anfield on Wednesday night.
Manchester City were victorious on Sunday, although they eventually required extra-time and penalties to see off a resilient Liverpool. In some respects that might not be particularly helpful to City here, as Capital One Cup success secures a place in Europe next term and had it gone Liverpool’s way, it could have seen them a little less focused on the Premier League over the remainder of the season.
As it is, Liverpool now need to either win this season’s Europa League (qualifying for the Champions League should they do so) or, probably more realistically, to finish high enough in the Premier League to have another crack at Europe’s second competition.
Although they have a game in hand, Manchester City go to Anfield nine points adrift of table-topping Leicester City following the Foxes late winner at home to Norwich City at the weekend. As a result, a game in which they might have been content with a point is now one in which they now really need all three to ensure that they don’t lose further ground, particularly with Tottenham Hotspur also having a handy looking seven-point lead over them.
Liverpool’s record at Anfield since Jurgen Klopp’s appointment is a concern, with just two wins in nine Premier League matches to date. It’s not just results either, with performances at Anfield not reaching the heights sometimes seen on their travels.
Both teams have had a number of players return from injury very recently and it was clear that several were feeling the strain after two hours of football at Wembley, in addition to their midweek European assertions. Changes to both starting XI’s from Sunday would appear likely.
Manchester City seem to have recovered from their recent lapse in form, but they know that failure to win at Anfield could effectively see them wave goodbye to their title hopes, particularly if results elsewhere go against them. City have to go for this and with both teams sure to be feeling the effects of a long season and particularly heavy fixture congestion of late, this game could well get stretched later on as legs begin to tire.