By Craig Kemp
4th March 2019
Five straight wins for Manchester City have resulted in them not only establishing a one-point cushion at the top of the Premier League standings, but also a much stronger grip on the title betting.
Pep Guardiola’s men are now 1/3 to successfully defend their Premier League crown, with Liverpool out to 12/5 after dropping points for the second time in three games when securing a goalless draw in the Merseyside derby with Everton.
However, despite this slight dip in form, now looks the perfect time to invest in Liverpool winning the title. Here’s why:
The run in
Liverpool’s recent pair of draws have hardly arrived in fixtures they were bankers to win – 0-0 draws at Manchester United and Everton could be looked upon favourably as points gained, rather than lost.
Their remaining four road trips this campaign appear much more winnable on paper – with Fulham, Southampton and Cardiff all in the bottom four and Newcastle only 14th.
Meanwhile, City still have an away Manchester derby to contend with.
Man City’s troublesome April
That league showdown with neighbours Manchester United also concludes a probable brutal run of six tough fixtures in 19 days during April.
It’s FA Cup semi-final day on April 6th and then the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals on either the 9th or 10th. Crystal Palace away is next on April 14th and the Eagles have already beaten City once memorably this term.
It’s then Champions League second legs on April 16th or 17th, with the Citizens hosting fellow top-four challengers Tottenham on April 20th. Finally, it’s the big derby on April 24th.
Man City are currently favourites to win the Champions League – see the full market
Man City’s injuries
Not only will Guardiola’s squad have to pretty much cope with a game every three days spread across the both UK and potentially overseas in Europe, but they may well have to do so without some key players.
Aymeric Laporte went off injured at half time in the League Cup final, while Fernandinho limped off in the same game.
Their importance is backed up by the fact that defender Laporte has played the most Premier League minutes of any Man City outfield player this term, with Fernandinho third in this regard.
What’s more, Kevin De Bruyne injured a hamstring in their latest success at Bournemouth, while Guardiola has suggested in the last week that star striker Sergio Aguero is “exhausted”.
Liverpool have no such significant injury concerns.