Bookies predict Liverpool, Man City match will decide title
Britain's biggest bookmaker believes that the winner of Sunday's crucial clash at Anfield is a certainty to win the Premier League title.
William Hill is quoting odds of 1/10 on the winning team - whoever it may be - to go on and be crowned champions. The odds on winning the double, of the match and the title, slightly favour Manchester City who are 2/1 with Liverpool at 3/1.
"This has been billed as a title decider and the odds suggest that that is the case," William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said. "Whoever wins this match will be the red hot favourite for the title." With so much at stake, there are odds of 5/2 on a red card and 7/1 that Liverpool are awarded a penalty and that Steven Gerrard scores.
Last Sunday's 2-1 win over West Ham, in which Steven Gerrard scored two penalties, was Liverpool's ninth in a row and moved them to 74 points from 33 games. Five wins from their last five games will see them land a first top-flight crown since 1990. They are two points ahead of second-place Chelsea who also have still to visit Anfield in the run-in.
City are third in the league two points behind Chelsea and four adrift of Liverpool, but have two games in hand on both their rivals. Liverpool's extraordinary run has been built on the Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge goal machine. Suarez has 29 Premier League goals while Sturridge has 20 and they are 2/1 to produce one goal between them and 33/1 to score four or more.
The match will be poignant for Liverpool fans as it comes two days before the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, when 96 of their fans died in a crush at an FA Cup semi-final in Sheffield against Nottingham Forest on April 15 1989. Matches in the top five divisions of English football will kick off seven minutes later than originally planned to commemorate the six minutes after which the original match was halted and an extra minute's silence as a mark of respect.
Liverpool will wear special commemorative shirts against City and for their last remaining matches. Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has sought to calm the atmosphere before the match. "It will be a very emotional day, but the team that has the cold mind will win the game," he said. "It is easy in these big games to have the motivation, but it is very important to manage the anxiety. That is very important for all the players.
"With an excess of anxiety, you can make more mistakes. The game will be decided by one or two goals. So it's very important to have control of your mind in these moments." – Reuters