Liverpool v Manchester City Betting Preview: An Expected Goals view on Salah, Sterling and other markets

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Both Premier League forwards have seen plenty of success in front of goal but can they continue that potency when they go head-to-head at Anfield?
It will be of little surprise that Harry Kane is at the top of the Premier League scoring charts with over half the season gone, but Sunday's clash between Liverpool and Manchester City sees several of his nearest contenders take to the pitch at Anfield.

Salah scoring for fun

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has 17 goals to his name thus far, but is the Egypt international overachieving in the final third? Opta's Expected Goals (xG) statistic suggests that given the quality of chance he’s had on average he would have scored 13.34 goals. You can find out more about Expected Goals and what they mean for bettors here.

Sadio Mane Mohamed Salah Liverpool

While that's still a fantastic return for Liverpool's summer signing - who is 5/4 (2.25) to score anytime and 5/1 (6.0) to net first with dabblebet - he could be due to slow down on the scoring front to some degree based on the data around the quality of his chances.

Raheem enjoying a dream run

Another forward performing above expectations is Raheem Sterling. The 23-year-old has certainly flourished under Pep Guardiola's tutelage this term, hitting 13 top flight goals, albeit his xG figure has him slated for 8.3, quite a significant difference.

Those who believe former Reds winger Sterling will get on the scoresheet against his former club can get 11/2 (6.50) on him to be first goalscorer back on Merseyside - albeit only three of his strikes so far were the first of their respective games - or 11/8 (2.38) anytime.

Going against a high-scoring game

Backing goals generally will certainly be a popular play at Anfield. The over 3.5 line at dabblebet is just 11/10 (2.10). That's hardly surprising given these are the two highest scoring teams in the division, but the xG stats for both sides suggest they've converted more chances than might be expected.

Manchester City's tally of 64 goals scored puts them on pace to break Chelsea's Premier League record of 103 in a single campaign, but their xG figure as a team is actually 50.54. Likewise, Liverpool's 50 goals scored is a little higher than their expected tally of 45.21.

GFX FACT LIVERPOOL V MAN CITY XG

Not only that, but Liverpool's 25 goals conceded is almost three more than their 22.16 xG against based on Opta's data.

The Reds' much maligned backline is actually the fourth best in the league on this particular metric so it appears Sunday's hosts have been a little unlucky to concede quite so many times so far. Furthermore, they have kept nine clean sheets in their previous 13 Premier League home games and are undefeated during this run (W7 D6 L0).

Tips and predictions

With Virgil van Dijk arriving from Southampton, the Reds may prove a tough nut to crack for a City attack who, based on the Expected Goals data, are scoring significantly more goals than you might expect relative to the quality of the chances they’ve created.

Considering Liverpool have taken more Premier League points from the "top six" than anyone else since Jurgen Klopp took over (39) and boast fewer defeats (3) than anyone else during that time, under 2.5 goals at 6/4 (2.50) could be an interesting option. This bet has also paid out in six of Liverpool's home league games this season including the clashes with Manchester United and Chelsea.

Betting Banner - Best Bet Under 2.5 goals at 6/4 (2.50) for a 1pt stake with dabblebet

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