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Why Do Oddsmakers Side With Manchester City at Liverpool?

John Dillon for Bookies.com

John Dillon  | 5 mins

Why Do Oddsmakers Side With Manchester City at Liverpool?

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They are calling it Kloppage Time. And it could be the most significant omen of all that Liverpool are going to win the title for the first time in 30 years.

Sure, you don’t really need telling that this rhymes with Stoppage Time but we’ll spell it out here just in case there is any confusion.

There shouldn’t be after the latest notable achievement of Klopp’s team in this field, which was to come from behind to win at Aston Villa in the Premier League last Saturday with goals in the 87th minute and then four minutes into added time.

Even a fight-back draw away from home in the circumstances would have been something special.

But Liverpool racked up seven of those last season and it cost them the big prize in a campaign in which they lost only once while the champions, Manchester City, were beaten four times.

So draws? Nein, Danke. Not this time around, though the oddsmakers reckon it’s a distinct possibility, with Betfair pricing an all-square outcome at just +163 this week.

Second-placed City head to leaders Liverpool on Sunday with a six-point gap separating the sides and the build-up gaining heat nicely following Pep Guardiola’s comment that Sadio Mane is a diver and Klopp hitting back at his rival boss by highlighting the prevalence of City’s “tactical fouls.”

Man City The Bookies' Favorites

In a very tight market, PointsBet surprisingly make City the narrow favorites at +155 with Liverpool at +160.

888Sport, FoxBet and Sugar House all favor City at various prices too, but William Hill remain indecisive at +160 apiece for either side to win. Those odds are sure to fluctuate in the build-up to kick-off.

Ironically, a draw – it was 0-0 on Merseyside last season – wouldn’t harm either club too much at this stage of the season. But if it is headed that way, don’t expect Liverpool to settle for it no matter how far the clock has run down.

‘Kloppage Time’ is their version of Manchester United’s famed ‘Fergie Time’ and it’s another X-Factor they have added to the armoury which made them 97-point runners up in 2018-19 and European champions.

Anfield is a place that runs on folklore and feeling as well as solid achievement.

This current team already has its outstanding and venerated example of the unquenchable spirit of the current side in the 4-0 comeback against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final last Spring following a 3-0 defeat in Spain.

Now the examples are piling up that their refusal to accept anything less than victory is consistently adding the final, incremental advantage they require to complete their title-winning package.

No fewer than five times since the start of last season they have won Premier League games with added time goals.

Liverpool's Late Shows

The critical strikes in this so-far undefeated league season have been Mane’s 94th minute header at Villa Park and James Milner’s 95th-minute goal against Leicester at home which claimed all three points last month.

Before the Villa match, there was also the extraordinary EFL Cup tie against Arsenal which ended 5-5 when Divock Origi equalised for Liverpool four minutes into added time – with the Reds winning the penalty shoot-out.

That heightened the sense of rapture among the fans about the team’s relentlessness when they repeated the act – and then some – at Villa Park three days later.

It felt to many fans like the dial had been turned through the final notch to put everything in place for an historic romp to glory next May.

Mane is something of a specialist at this. He became only the fourth player in Premier League history to score four winners after the 90th minute along with – you guessed it – Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard, Pappis Cisse and Ian Wright.

GiveMeSport has counted no fewer than 12 occasions on which Klopp’s Liverpool have won or equalised in this manner since his take-over in 2015 – including a 95th minute Adam Lallana goal which clinched a 5-4 win at Norwich City in his first season when the German coach celebrated so wildly he broke his glasses.

There was also a Roberto Firmino winner three minutes into added time in the opening match of last season’s triumphant Champions League campaign which clinched a 3-2 home win over Paris St Germain. Without those two late “extra” points, Liverpool wouldn’t have got beyond the group stage.

Mythologies build up around such matters and Fergie Time was always seen as a major symbol of United’s many years of success.

In fact, in the whole of the 27-year Premier League era, Liverpool have been the best exponents of this phenomenon – hitting 35 added time winners. Arsenal are next with 25 and United only third with 22.

It’s the impression that counts as much as the facts here, however. So Fergie’s United always believed they could pull rabbits out of the hat even while Liverpool were actually doing it more often – and failing to win the title.

Of course, it’s best not to have to rely on late winners. To have it all sewn up earlier.

It helps too if, like City, you have a striker of such unerring capability that you often don’t have any added time worries – someone like Sergio Aguero who, astonishingly, has scored nine times from 10 shots on target in the Premier League this season.

However, City were playing the late game last weekend to when they came from a goal down to beat Southampton 2-1 thanks to Kyle Walker’s 86th minute winner.

Liverpool vs Man City: Last Goalscorer Odds

If it comes down to added time goals at Anfield on Sunday, some sportsbooks can’t prise the teams apart.

In the odds for “last goalscorer,” Bet365 quote Aguero at +450 and Liverpool’s Mo Salah at the same price.

Gabriel Jesus of City is at +500 – the same as Liverpool’s Mane. William Hill, though, have Aguero at +350 with Salah at +500.

It’s close. It will be tight. And it could be settled very late. On this almighty occasion, it’s quite likely that you won’t be able to count on anything until the full-time whistle.

About the Author

John Dillon for Bookies.com
John Dillon
John Dillon is a freelance sports journalist covering, among other things, boxing and football. His work has appeared in The London Evening Standard and USA Today.