That’s Odd: Liverpool host Manchester City in a do-or-die PL affair
Premier League 2020-21 matches continue to come thick and fast at this time of the year with matchweek 23 scheduled to kick-off at the weekend. On the other hand, the ongoing edition of the Indian Super League has almost reached its business end.
Both the leagues have witnessed some unexpected results and nail-biting matches, making it difficult for the punters, but the following statistics might help you in one way or the other.
Liverpool vs Manchester City
Premier League title-holders Liverpool host table-toppers Manchester City in a mouth-watering clash at Anfield on Sunday.
The Reds and the Cityzens head into matchweek 23 in contrasting forms. While Pep Guardiola’s men registered their 13th consecutive win in all competitions on Wednesday at the expense of Burnley, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool succumbed to their second successive home league defeat on the same day. Fourth-placed Liverpool have managed just seven points in their last five Premier League matches.
Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat to Brighton means that the defending champions have a mountain to climb if they are to retain the title this season.
With seven points behind leaders Manchester City, who also have a game in hand, Liverpool’s home encounter with Pep’s side at the weekend, is now a do-or-die affair.
While the two teams had played a 1-1 draw at the Etihad in a Premier League game in November, City will start as favourites against Liverpool on current form.
Player to watch: Ruben Dias
Signed from Liga Nos giants Benfica, Ruben Dias has proved to be the perfect solution to Manchester City’ defensive issues. The 23-year-old defender has cemented his place as one of Guardiola's key players, helping City register their record-equalling run of six consecutive clean sheets and subsequent march to the top of the Premier League points table. Meanwhile, Guardiola has confessed that Dias’ performances and his mentality have made it impossible for the manager to drop him.
Bengaluru FC vs Chennaiyin FC
Bengaluru FC will lock horns with two-time ISL champions Chennaiyin FC in a must-win encounter for both the sides at the Fatorda Stadium on Friday.
The Blues halted their eight-game winless streak by defeating new entrants SC East Bengal 2-0 on Tuesday. The win also marked Naushad Moosa's first victory as BFC's interim head coach and Moosa’s men will look to continue their winning momentum.
On the other hand, Chennai also have had a difficult season this time around as the Marina Machans have registered only three wins in 15 ISL matches. Chennaiyin FC head into the match on the back of a four-game winless streak with their play-offs hopes dwindling.
In the Bengaluru FC vs Chennaiyin head-to-head, BFC have managed four wins in eight encounters while CFC have secured three victories. One of those matches ended in a stalemate.
On current form, Bengaluru FC are tipped to bag three important points on Friday.
Player to watch: Sunil Chhetri
Bengaluru FC talisman Sunil Chhetri inspired his side to end their eight-match winless streak against SC East Bengal on Tuesday. In the absence of the likes of Paartalu and Juanan, the Indian football team captain led from the front to give a match-winning performance.
The 36-year-old has been the highest Indian goalscorer in ISL 7, scoring five goals in 15 matches. Earlier in the season, Chhetri became the first Indian player in the history of ISL to register 50 goal contributions.
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Feature image courtesy: Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP