Sunday, 10 November 2019
The Premier League’s top two make battle as Manchester City take the nervy trip to Merseyside to face the leaders Liverpool.
It’s been billed as a potential title-decider – in November – such is the quality of the two sides in opposition. The stakes could not be higher for such a match.
Man City have been the conquerors of England since Pep Guardiola stepped in Manchester and are chasing for a third consecutive league title. Liverpool on the other hand are the champions of Europe and are on the verge of winning over the world. They however have the one domestic blight; they have not won the championship since 1990.
And while whatever happens at Anfield won’t mathematically decide anything, psychologically it could massively damage one team’s prospects.
Liverpool will take solace in the fact that the Citizens have a poor record at Anfield, having not won there since 2003 and defeat on Sunday would see them fall nine points behind the leaders. The Reds go into the game against champions City with a six-point advantage.
They have only dropped two points this term, when drawing away to Manchester United, and keep finding a way to win, whatever the circumstances.
Jurgen Klopp still has a number of key issues to decide on before he picks his starting XI to face the champions. Captain Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum will be sweating on their positions, but Klopp may go with his tried and trusted and potentially look for the impact in the last 20 minutes with Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Joel Matip has not recovered from a knee injury but Virgil Van Dijk is fully fit. Xherdan Shaqiri remains sidelined with a calf problem.
Guardiola will be already down on their reliant stopper as they will be without goalkeeper Ederson for the key game. The Brazil international suffered a muscular problem in the 1-1 draw with Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday.
With Aymeric Laporte and Rodrigo already struggling, City look more than a little vulnerable at the back. The Blues also have one day less to recover from the tough trip to Atalanta, whereas their opponents were at home to Genk in Europe.
The Spaniard has confirmed Claudio Bravo will start in his place. Bravo, who was sent off in Italy in midweek, last started a league game for the club in May 2018.
Another grave concern for them is a muscular injury suffered by key midfielder David Silva, who would be sorely missed on Merseyside.
On the attack front, Sergio Aguero is the man to watch. He loves a goal against Liverpool and has been in red-hot form this season.
Rodri (hamstring) remains a doubt, while Oleksandr Zinchenko, Leroy Sane and Laporte are sidelined.
Head to head:
Liverpool have emerged tops twice in the last 5 meetings between the sides with Man City winning one and the other two ending in stalemates.
Liverpool to narrowly win and Both Teams To Score