Manchester City’s home game against Liverpool would have had a lot more significance attached to it had Pep Guardiola’s side not lost at Chelsea. Instead, last season’s champions will welcome this season’s champions to the Etihad with a guard of honour. Liverpool can play with freedom now that they have completed their 30-year ascent back to the top of English football.
DraftKings is offering multiple ways for soccer fans to cash in on the game, including a Showdown contest with a $100,000 prize pool that pays out $25K to the winner. Set your lineups here: EPL Showdown $100K Counter Attack [$25K to 1st] (MCI vs LIV).
In this article, I will highlight the players that I think are worth picking in the DraftKings Showdown contest, as well as looking at some of the bets offered on DraftKings Sportsbook. For the full list of available bets, download the DraftKings Sportsbook app or check out the DraftKings Sportsbook website.
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Manchester City and Liverpool defenses to dominate in a low-scoring game
The fixtures computer has a wicked sense of humor. Just days after Liverpool sealed their 19th domestic title, their first match is a trip to Manchester City - the team they dethroned. So what can we expect from this battle of England’s top two teams? Liverpool has a number of Premier League records within their grasp, which is why I think they will field a strong team for today’s game.
This fixture usually produces goals, with just one goalless draw in their last 25 meetings. Earlier this season, Liverpool blew their opponents away with two goals in the opening 13 minutes before winning 3-1. Both sides are strong defensively in the first half of games with very few goals conceded. In each side’s last 18 league matches, City has conceded seven times before halftime while Liverpool has given up just four goals. That’s a goal every 202 minutes of first half action for the Reds. Liverpool has not trailed at halftime in their last 20 league encounters, while City have been ahead at the interval in their last three at the Etihad.
There is a better chance of this game having over 2.5 total match goals scored (-180) than there is of both teams to score (-205), which has not happened in City’s last three home games nor has it landed in Liverpool’s last four road games. City’s last two home games have seen three or more total goals scored, including their 5-0 win over Burnley, while Liverpool’s 4-0 win at home to Crystal Palace was the fourth time in five league games that over 2.5 total goals had paid out.
Prediction: Tie at halftime (+140)
Manchester City players to consider for DraftKings DFS
While the league has gone, Manchester City can still win the FA Cup and Champions League to go with the League Cup they won before the lockdown. For many clubs, that would be a very good season, but Guardiola wanted the league title. I expect him to rotate his players once again to keep them fresh for the crucial cup ties that lie ahead.
Kevin De Bruyne ($11,000) has scored in his last two starts. One was a penalty and one was from a free-kick to highlight his dead-ball skills. Oh, and De Bruyne, who has scored over 21 DFS points in two of his last three league games, also leads the EPL with 16 assists.
Phil Foden ($7,200) has resumed the season in great form with three goals in the two matches he has been involved in. Foden, who has scored a total of 43 DFS points in his last two league outings, was rested for the defeat at Chelsea and played the final 26 minutes of City’s FA Cup win at Newcastle on Sunday. He should be fresh for this game and will be keen to add to the recent goals he has scored.
Riyad Mahrez ($9,000), who scored twice in City’s 5-0 win over Burnley, has never scored against Liverpool. Could this be his opportunity? Aymeric Laporte ($3,600) saw his run of six successive shutouts in the league come to an end against Chelsea and he will want to make amends.
Prediction: Kevin De Bruyne to be anytime scorer (+270)
Liverpool players to consider for DraftKings DFS
Jurgen Klopp has a dilemma on his hands in terms of which players to choose for this game. With the club’s first ever Premier League title secured, the temptation might be for the German to give his young players some much needed experience to see if they deserve to be part of the manager’s plans next season. We saw Neco Williams ($4,600) and Harvey Elliott ($3,600) end Liverpool’s 4-0 win at home to Crystal Palace last week and the pair could again see some action, perhaps as second half substitutes.
In addition to team records, there are a number of personal accolades on the minds of Liverpool players. Mohamed Salah ($10,400) took his season’s tally to 17 league goals and a third Golden Boot award is within his grasp. Two goals in this game and the Egypt star, who averages 23.2 DFS points in his last two games, will move level with Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Salah had a goal and an assist against Palace.
Strike partner Sadio Mane ($9,600) now has four goals and an assist in his last six games. Salah and Mane, who has a total of 78 DFS points in his last three encounters, both scored in the reverse fixture on November 10.
Goalkeeper Alisson ($5,400) won the Golden Glove award last season with 21 shutouts, and while he won’t reach that total this season, he can well finish top of the list of keepers with the most clean sheets. He currently has 12, which is one behind Burnley’s Nick Pope with seven games to play. Alisson has shutouts in his last two matches, but none in his last three meetings with City.
Prediction: Salah to be anytime scorer (+185)
Set your lineups here: EPL Showdown $100K Counter Attack [$25K to 1st] (MCI vs LIV).
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is CharliePMullan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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