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Game-raising Liverpool put Man City’s unbeaten run in danger

| 23.11.2011

When Liverpool sprung a surprise last Sunday with a 2-1 victory away to Chelsea, the general consensus was that the reason behind the win was that they are far stronger on their travels than at their iconic home.

Recent form backs up that theory, with the Reds triumphing in each of their last three away games while being held three times in succession at Anfield. No need for Manchester City to fear their unbeaten start ending on unlucky week 13 then.

However, could it be that Liverpool’s inconsistency isn’t a matter of venue but is instead dictated by the glamour of a tie? After all, those frustrating them as hosts include Norwich and Swansea, whereas they have defeated Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea on the road.

There is definitely a case for saying that they have disappointed far too frequently against the Premier League’s lesser lights under Kenny Dalglish, though on the flip side, they boast a terrific record when fired up for the big occasions.

Liverpool have faced the Champions League quartet seven times in the league since his return, winning five, drawing two and not losing once, and one of the finest results in that sequence came when they welcomed Manchester City in April.

Their 3-0 Anfield success was so remarkable that even Andy Carroll scored twice – as many goals as he has managed in 17 other top-flight outings for the club – with the damage all done in 35 first-half minutes.

Roberto Mancini may therefore consider this his team’s second toughest domestic test to date, and there is the added worry of having to pick his players up from the Napoli defeat that leaves them on the brink of Champions League elimination.

Given Liverpool’s tendency to thrive when the focus of everyone’s attention, they are sure to relish the challenge of wrecking Manchester City’s 15-match run without a Premier League loss, and are handsomely priced at 15/8 to deliver.



Richard Anderson