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PL Best Bets: Can Liverpool cool off Man City?

by Brad Thomas
Updated On: February 10, 2021, 4:37 pm ET

Manchester United avenged their embarrassing home loss to Sheffield United by taking out their scoring frustrations on Southampton this week, defeating them 9-0. Now they must focus in on another pivotal match against Everton if they hope to keep pace with Manchester City at the top of the table.

Each week I'll break down the Premier League action from a betting perspective, digging through information pertinent to bettors and offering my take on particular matchups. This weekend's slate features a must-watch fixture between Manchester City and Liverpool, while Brighton take on struggling Burnley (all odds via PointsBet Sportsbook):

Burnley vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET)

Line: Burnley (+260), Brighton & Hove Albion (+115), Draw (+210)

Prior to Burnley's recent back-to-back defeats, Sean Dyche's club was performing well. Burnley had won three consecutive games, with big wins against Liverpool and Aston Villa.

But now Burnley find themselves in a tough spot to get a result this weekend. Dyche's club must play this contest with some tired legs after playing two matches in the past week. This third contest comes against a Brighton team that are in good form.

Brighton shocked many this week as they defeated Liverpool, 1-0. The Seagulls lost the possession battle but kepy a clean sheet, extending their run to four straight games without allowing a single goal.

Thanks in large part to that defensive showing, this matchups should easily go under the total of 2.5 goals. That total has hit in 71 percent of Burnley's matches and 55 percent of Brighton's contest, and the most recent match between the two clubs ended in a 0-0 draw. But given the juice (-185) on the under, I'll be looking elsewhere for value in this match.

Instead I've got my eye on Brighton, who at the moment have been on the hottest run in the EPL. With winners in three of their last five, backing their moneyline has value. If Brighton can keep a team who already struggles to score out of the back of the net, they should come out victorious. It might only take a single goal to decide this one, and I'll be betting Brighton (+115) to win.

Liverpool vs. Manchester City (Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET)

Line: Liverpool (+230), Manchester City (+108), Draw (+255)

Total: Over 2.5 goals (-150), Under 2.5 goals (+112)

Jurgen Klopp brings his side into this weekend's fixture with a sense of urgency. Despite being struck by the injury bug, Liverpool know they need to secure points at home if they wish to make a serious charge toward the top of the table. Currently sitting in fourth place and seven points behind table leaders and this weekend's opponent, Manchester City, Liverpool will be more than satisfied with a draw.

The injury list for Klopps' team is long, with five regular starters sidelined for this contest. The loss of Sadio Mané was evident in Liverpool's last match against Brighton. The Reds were unable to find the back of the net and conceded a goal late, dropping all three points.

If Liverpool were to lose this contest, they would be 10 points back and facing a nearly impossible deficit to overcome. Klopp and company will do everything in their power to stay level with their counterparts.

Manchester City have been on a historic streak, having won 13 straight across all competitions, and they haven't allowed a single goal across their last six EPL fixtures. Despite Kevin De Bruyne being sidelined due to injury, they have done well to control the pace and threaten the goal when in the opponent's final third.

Manchester City have outscored their opponents 14-0 in their last five games and are gaining momentum with every contest. With Liverpool dealing with a multitude of injuries, it seems like a given to back Manchester City. But the two sides are much closer statistically than you would assume: Liverpool have a 39.9 xG (expected goals) rating and Manchester City is at 37.5. Liverpool have scored 43 goals this season, where Manchester City have scored 39. Both teams are in the bottom third of the table in goals conceded.

Since both clubs want to survive this match without dropping points, I see two bets that carry tremendous value here. I'll be placing a small amount on the Draw (+255) and another wager on Under 2.5 goals (+112).

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Brad Thomas

Brad is a sports handicapper who is lucky enough to write about his true love; sports. "We may all root for different teams, but our objective remains the same… Beat the books! Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint." Follow Brad on Twitter @MrBradThomas.