A 2-2 draw at the Emirates is hardly a bad result, yet Liverpool would have been kicking themselves with the manner they squandered a 2-0 lead in North London on Wednesday night. Brendan Rodgers must quickly dust himself down as the Reds have their second successive tough away game at the Etihad on Sunday.
Liverpool have a poor record at Man City that has seen them fail to score in their past three visits. Roberto Mancini’s side have won their past two home league games against Liverpool 3-0.
Sunday’s visitors also haven’t beaten any side currently in the top half of the table and City are in a great position to continue that run.
Manchester United’s 2-1 win at Anfield earlier in the season was shrouded with controversy as a late Robin van Persie strike ensured the visitors left with all three points. The major point of discussion was a coming together between Jonjo Shelvey and Jonny Evans in which the Reds midfielder was dismissed.
Van Persie’s winner arrived from the penalty spot in the 81st minute to continue the trend of late goals in this fixture. Last season’s two league meetings between these rivals arrived in the 80th and 81st minute respectively. Even United’s FA Cup clashes with Liverpool have involved late strikes and Dirk Kuyt’s winner last year came in the 88th minute. The one exception in recent seasons was in the 2010/11 FA Cup when Ryan Giggs scored the only goal of the game in the 2nd minute.
The final match goal in Man United’s previous five league games with the Reds has arrived after the 80th minute and the average time currently stands at 83 minutes ahead of Sunday’s clash at Old Trafford.
West Ham have their second consecutive Super Sunday 4pm kick-off this weekend as they look to put the disappointment of the Liverpool result behind them. Sam Allardyce was fuming with the manner of the 3-2 defeat and will be hoping for better resilience at the Hawthorns.
Allardyce is a ‘marmite’ type of manager and his sides have earned a reputation for tough tackling with a direct football approach. The Hammers may well be a tough tackling side, but they are not a dirty side in recent weeks. Any punters looking at the bookings index for Sunday’s clash with West Brom might like to know that West Ham have picked up just two yellow cards in their previous two outings. Their average bookings index total over the past six matches currently stands at 13 points.
Wednesday evening will see Brendan Rodgers face up against his former employers for the first time since his move to Merseyside in the summer. Life at Liverpool hasn’t started brilliantly for Rodgers and you can bet he’ll want to make a statement against Swansea.
However, that may be easier said than done given the Reds’ struggles at home this season. They have still only won once at Anfield in the league and cannot find any consistency up front. Reading ran them close last time out and given it’s the Capital One Cup, Liverpool likely will send out an inferior side to that one.
Luis Suarez looks set for the bench after his excellent shift in the Merseyside derby and that leaves Liverpool with very few attacking options. The Reds have scored only four times in their five home league games, which will offer encouragement to punters looking at total goals.
Further support for a low scoring affair is that there was just one goal scored in the two league meetings between the clubs last year, including a goalless tie at Anfield.
Newcastle v Liverpool has long had a reputation as one of the highlights of the football calendar and the first fixture this campaign certainly lived up to the billing. With the game heading for a 1-1 draw, Steven Gerrard entered the affray with 31 minutes remaining to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 victory at Anfield. The Kop idol created one and scored one during his cameo as this fixture enhanced its standing as one of the best of the year.
One key factor is the amount of goals scored between the sides over the years. Spread bettors with an interest in the total goals market won’t mind being reminded that the 3-1 result between the clubs in December was the eighth consecutive match that there have been over 2.5 goals. In that run there have been an average of 3.62 goals per game.
Papiss Demba Cisse has taken to life in the Premier League with ease and has bagged five goals since arriving on Tyneside – including three in his last two outings for the Magpies.