There has been seemingly nothing to separate Manchester City and Liverpool on the field this season.
The two clubs are a single point apart atop the Premier League table. Both are still alive in the Champions League semifinals. They have played to two 2-2 draws this season.
That will change Saturday as the two teams must find a winner in the FA Cup semifinals.
This heavyweight FA Cup semifinal clash takes place at Wembley Stadium as Man City and Liverpool play for the second time in under a week. The highly-anticipated Premier League matchup on April 10 ended even as Diogo Jota’s 46th minute goal ensured the spoils were shared after an eventful first half.
It’s the first FA Cup meeting between these two sides since 2003, when Danny Murphy netted the only goal of the game in a Liverpool victory. It’s also the first FA Cup meeting between the two top teams in the Premier League standings since the 2016-17 semifinal when first-place Chelsea defeated second-place Tottenham 4-2.
Man City vs. Liverpool betting odds
Odds via DraftKings (USA) & Sports Interaction (Canada)
With so little to separate the clubs this season, it’s little surprise that the only sure thing — according to the bookmakers — is that both teams will find the back of the net.
Since the first leg of their 2016-17 Champions League meeting, which saw Liverpool win 3-0, only three clean sheets have been kept across 10 matches between the sides, with two of those coming on either end of a 0-0 draw back in October of 2018.
Man City is a slight favorite given the team’s overall dominance across league play this season, but it’s only just so, with Liverpool given a real chance to come away with a regulation result.
|Man City Win
to score Y / N
|-195 / +150||-200 / +125|
|Over / Under
|-135 / +115||-152 / +114|
|Man City pick’em||-120||-123|
Man City vs. Liverpool prediction
Of the last nine matches between these two teams across all competitions since their Champions League meeting in 2017, five of them have ended in regulation draws.
In Premier League play this season, Man City’s expected goals (xG) differential is +51.29, and Liverpool’s is +50.73. In the league meeting last weekend at the Etihad, Man City came out of the xG scoreline just ahead at 1.32-1.08. Man City takes 18.2 shots per game, while Liverpool takes 18.7. Of the top 10 rated Premier League players this season via SofaScore, three play for Liverpool and three play for Man City.
There is — quite simply — nothing to separate the two sides. The margins are incredibly thin, and instead of taking a winner, the draw with better odds is the best play here. It’ll be decided in extra time or penalties.
- Moneyline lean: Draw (+235 on DraftKings)
- Scoreline prediction: Man City 2-2 Liverpool
Man City vs. Liverpool best bets & expert analysis
Man City vs. Liverpool best bet
Picking a winner here, or any team performance metric for that matter, is a fool’s errand.
Yet there is one glaring opening in the odds that stands out among the rest. While both teams to score is a ghastly -195 or even -200, the odds on the over are still very palatable.
While the xG from the game last weekend doesn’t exactly indicate another high-scoring affair, everything else does. The match finished 2-2 and each team still missed one “big chance” each. The six shots for Liverpool were equal to its haul from the reverse fixture against Man City back in October, but the chances generated were excellent ones in both.
There are goals in this match, and while it’s no problem to take the under 2.5 goals at reasonable -135 odds, taking the bump to 3 goals at +125 is also extremely appetizing, with the possibility of a push vs. a loss in a game of thin margins such as this.
Pick: Over 3 goals (+125 on DraftKings)
Man City vs. Liverpool prop: Joao Cancelo shots on target
While there are many players on both sides who may or may not, one of the first players on the Man City teamsheet is Joao Cancelo.
As a full-back, Cancelo is not thought of as a typical attacking threat. And yet, he almost always goes for goal at least once every match. In fact, Cancelo has gone for goal at least once in two Premier League matches this season, averaging 2.1 shots per game.
While he doesn’t put all of those on frame — averaging 0.7 shots on target per game — that’s a good enough conversion rate to expect Cancelo will have an opening. All it takes is one effort on frame.
Prop kicker: Joao Cancelo to have 1+ shots on target (+175)
Previously chosen was Kevin de Bruyne anytime scorer, but Kevin de Bruyne is injured and very likely to miss the match, so the pick was changed.