Liverpool are now just 2 points behind fourth placed Manchester United and are fancied to maintain their push for Champions League status by beating Manchester City, whilst Southampton can also keep their Champions League hopes alive by beating West Brom.
Liverpool vs Manchester City
The bookies odds for this match are quite hard to fathom from a statistical angle as Manchester City haven’t won this fixture since 2003, yet are priced-up at a best-priced 17/11. Meanwhile, Liverpool have won 6 of the last 11 renewals since that City victory with the other 5 all being draws. Liverpool also won last year’s renewal 3-2 even though City pipped them to the Premier League title.
Meanwhile, Manchester City will have to bounce back from their mid-week mauling by ex-Liverpool player Luis Suarez, and have also put in a couple too many below par performances of late for my liking – and 2/1 a Liverpool victory looks the way to go.
Liverpool @ 2/1 (Various)
The bet for the stats brigade this weekend has to be for there to be more than 3.5 goals as 4 of the last 5 renewals have produced four goals or more, 5 out of 6 if you count their 2012 League Cup match. This season’s encounter at the Etihad also had four goals in it just to add a bit more weight to the argument. More than 3.5 goals is available at 21/10 – and looks a no-brainer!
More than 3.5 goals @ 21/10 (Bet Victor)
West Brom vs Southampton
Southampton’s defeat to Liverpool last week saw them drop out of the Champions League spots and it will be interesting to see how they respond to new found pressure – though even a UEFA Cup spot was probably more than they dared hope for at the beginning of the season.
Southampton have been struggling for goals of late, scoring just once in four games in February. However, they hit a similar poor patch of form earlier in the season before bouncing back with a string of victories – and can start another bounce back by winning here.
Southampton still possess the meanest defence in the Premier League and, though West Brom are playing as well as at any time this season, Southampton may well be able to frustrate them and pinch a goal at the other end. For that reason, I’m going to plump for Southampton to win to nil – and also for them to 1-0.
Southampton to win to nil @ 13/5 (Bet Victor)
Southampton to win 1-0 @ 11/2 (Bet Victor)