BTTS In Premier League Pre-Season Tester
Man City v Liverpool
Last season’s top two in the Premier League come face to face in New York with both hoping to build momentum for the campaign ahead.
Manchester City were rampant in their opening International Champions Cup game against AC Milan on Sunday, running out 5-1 winners in Pittsburgh.
The Premier League champions were 4-0 up inside half an hour thanks to goals from Stevan Jovetic, Scott Sinclair, Jesus Navas and 17-year-old Nigerian Kelechi Iheanacho. Former Portsmouth midfielder Sulley Muntari pulled one back for Milan just before half-time but a second for Jovetic sealed the rout before an hour was even on the clock.
That made it nine goals in two games for Manuel Pellegrini’s side on their tour of America following a 4-1 victory over Sporting Kansas on July 23rd while the Citizens had a win and a loss against Hearts and Dundee respectively in Scotland before making the trip across the Atlantic.
A goal from Raheem Sterling also got Liverpool off to a winning start in the first of their International Champions Cup games in the USA against Olympiakos on Sunday night as they held out for a 1-0 win after the England winger gave them an early lead in Chicago.
Brendan Rodgers’ charges were defeated in their first game across the water when they went down 1-0 to Roma four days previously as Marco Boreillo claimed the only goal of the game.
Despite scoring over 100 Premier League goals last season the Reds have scored just four in their opening four pre-season games now as they have also had a 2-1 win over Preston and a defeat to Brondby in Denmark by the same scoreline over the past fortnight, with Kristoffer Peterson grabbing two of those three, although
their lack of firepower will be of little concern to the boss at this point.
Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo has been ruled out ‘for a few months’ by Pellegrini after breaking his metatarsal but is City’s only major injury loss of the pre-season to date.
None of the champions’ sizeable contingent to feature at the World Cup have yet to take part in a warm-up game as Joe Hart, James Milner, David Silva, Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure were all late comers to the squad while Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero are expected to play no part in the tour of America as their involvement extended to the latter parts of the tournament in Brazil.
New signing Adam Lallana has been ruled out of the opening part of the Premier League season with a knee problem while Sunderland target Fabio Borini injured a shoulder against former club Roma and is also likely to miss out.
Liverpool’s England stars Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson, Jordan Henderson and Sterling all started the last game with Rickie Lambert appearing off the bench and all should feature again here too.
Head to Head
The pair swapped home wins last season with City’s 2-1 victory at the Etihad in December matched by Liverpool on Merseyside in April, when they won a fantastic game 3-2.
That win at Anfield put the Reds in pole position to lift the title for the first time since 1990 but dropped points against Chelsea and Crystal Palace allowed City the opportunity to claim the crown for the second time in three years.
There’s been nothing to separate the sides in recent meetings though, with three wins apiece and seven draws from their past 13 encounters.
City’s free-scoring form over their pre-season schedule is largely accountable for their price at Evens compared to 12/5 on offer for a Reds win.
As ever with these games wholesale changes are inevitable and results unpredictable so 1/2 on both sides scoring looks the best bet though the double chance on a Liverpool-Draw combination at 4/5 could also prove fruitful.