A compelling Premier League title race is about to reach its conclusion and its penultimate weekend sees two former Liverpool managers play a deciding role in the destination of the trophy.
It is perhaps fitting that both Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers were the last two managers to guide Liverpool on a serious title bid.
Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle were moments away from completely scuppering Liverpool’s title bid on Saturday, but a late Divock Origi header means that if Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester can engineer an unlikely result, Liverpool’s long wait for a league title might just come to an end.
So, without further ado, here is how we see Monday’s crucial game going.
Man City (-1) – 4/9
City have been flawless since their defeat to Newcastle in January. 12 wins from 12 have thus far made Liverpool’s terrific run of form irrelevant.
There has been no sign of a hiccup. There have been no late winners, very few close shaves and very little hope offered to fans of the Reds. City have found the back of the net by the 15th minute in six of those 12 games and their refusal to bow to the immense pressure Liverpool are putting them under is admirable.
It all makes rather grim reading for Leicester fans, and Liverpool fans by extension. That defeat to Newcastle was City’s only blemish in 2019; otherwise, they have been perfect, taking 45 points from a possible 48 since the turn of the year.
Leicester did shock City on Boxing Day last year, but any hopes of a repeat must be met with a dose of realism.
Aside from a colossal shock against Crystal Palace three days prior to that defeat by Leicester, City have won every single Premier League game at the Etihad this season.
A run of eight successive home league victories makes it extremely implausible that Leicester will get some sort of result. They are the only team in the Premier League that City have failed to beat, but that record should come to an end on Monday night.
Both teams to score? No – 9/10
What has been somewhat overlooked in City’s barnstorming run is their immaculate defensive record. The concession of three goals in 12 games, coupled with nine clean sheets, is genuinely staggering and it has propelled Ederson into the reckoning for the golden glove.
City’s netminder is just one clean sheet behind Liverpool’s Allison even after a less than convincing first half of the season from City’s rearguard.
Leicester will always have a go, especially under Brendan Rodgers, and they have been a team that have caused City more problems than most in recent years. However, such has been the impressive nature of City’s defensive record that it is hard to see the Foxes finding the back of the net on Monday night.
Raheem Sterling to score anytime – 5/6
The Football Writers’ Player of the Year has averaged a goal every other game this season, in what has been his best campaign by some distance.
However, he has failed to find the net in any of City’s last three league games and is enduring something of a mini-drought in front of goal.
Against a Leicester team that will not attempt to change their style purely because they are playing City on their patch, Sterling should find plenty of space in behind the opposition defence.
The England forward has largely enjoyed the home comforts of the Etihad, scoring 12 of his 17 league goals at home and he will be looking to improve that record on Monday.
*All odds correct at time of posting.