Champions League playoff already?


Champions League playoff already?

History and recent form suggests it will be cagey affair in Manchester…

By Patrick Reilly

23 Aug 2010 10:50:00

25249 news Champions League playoff already?

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EPL: Carlos Tevez , Liverpool – Manchester United (PA)

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  • Liverpool
  • Manchester City
Match Odds: Manchester City 2.49, Draw 3.20, Liverpool 3.05

Early days perhaps, but tonight’s clash at Eastlands is already a potential six pointer in the battle to play in next season’s Champions League.

Neither big spending Manchester City or Liverpool want to be plying their trade in the Europa League so earning their first league win and putting some distance between a rival for a top four spot makes for an engaging match up.

Manchester City Tip
Since taking over from Mark Hughes late last year Roberto Mancini has clocked up a notable 4-2 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. That aside the Citizens have failed to score against Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal and tonight’s opposition from Merseyside in the league since the Italian took the helm.

One man who can remedy that situation is Carlos Tevez. The Argentinian forward has bagged two goals in five games against the Reds. Fifteen of his 23 league goals last season came at home.

* Carlos Tevez to score first/anytime – 6.50/2.75

Liverpool Tip
Roy Hodgson has slotted in seamlessly at Anfield and remains unbeaten four games into his early Liverpool career. Having held onto Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres we can look towards both as potential goalscorers.

Torres boasts the better record with three in five games against City. More than 70 per cent of the Spaniard’s league goals have come at home, but he did score a brace at Eastlands in Liverpool’s 3-2 win in October 2008. After a disappointing World Cup Torres is likely to make his first start of the season in this match.

* Fernando Torres to score first/anytime – 4.75/2.20

89656hp2 Champions League playoff already?

Betting verdict
Man City have not set the world alight so far. Against Tottenham Hotspur they managed just four shots on target and could only muster two against lowly Timisoara in the Europa League before Mario Balotelli bailed them out. The Italian is 3.10 to score at any time during the 90 minutes.

Both sides were drawing 0-0 at half time in their first league matches. City are still taking time to gel and are struggling for goals while Liverpool are unlikely to go on the attack from the start.

* Half-time draw – 1.96

In the head-to-head at Eastlands four of the last five games have gone under 2.5 goals which include three 0-0 draws.

* Under 2.5 goals – 1.81

* Under 2 goals – 2.15

Odds on 0-0 draw: 8.16

Expert Eye
Jamie Dunn, UK

“It’s time for City to start winning in order to keep the wolves from the door. Their huge outlay means that their scrappy performance at White Hart Lane was seen as a negative. They should be good enough to get past a Liverpool side who travelled badly last season and who threw away two points to Arsenal last week.”

Prediction: Man City 2-1 Liverpool

Odds on Man City 2-1 win: 8.61

Over 2.5 goals – 2.23

At the time of writing readers voting on the outcome favour a 2-1 win in Liverpool’s favour.

Odds on Liverpool 2-1 win: 9.97

Match Odds: Manchester City 2.49, Draw 3.20, Liverpool 3.05