Manchester City welcome Liverpool in a titanic Premier League clash on Sunday evening. Both clubs are gunning for the title again, and there is more at stake than just the three points. Football Express brings you the match preview for arguably the biggest match in modern English football.
Manchester City vs Liverpool Match Preview:
Manchester City comes into the match against Liverpool in flying form. The Citizens are unbeaten in their last 8 matches in all competitions, winning 6 of them. It may seem like City have had a rocky start to their campaign, but they have only lost one match the entire season.
After losing the 2019/20 Premier League title to Liverpool by a mammoth 18 points, manager Pep Guardiola has strengthened his squad in the summer transfer window. Dutch defender Nathaniel Ake, Portuguese centre-back Ruben Dias, and in-form Spanish youngster Ferran Torres arrived at Etihad Stadium.
Liverpool on the other hand, have carried the form they have shown in the last 2 years into this season. Apart from a freak 7-2 loss to Aston Villa, the Reds have won 5 league matches and drawn one. It is a testament to Jurgen Klopp that Liverpool are second in the league table despite facing injury issues, especially to key defensive personnel.
Klopp signed Diogo Jota and Thiago Alcantara for a combined £65 million to strengthen his team. While Thiago has been out to injuries, Jota has proved his worth by scoring 7 goals already this season. Liverpool are on a 5 match winning run, which includes their 5-0 rout of Italian side Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League.
The match has more at stake than just the 3 points. Apart from the bragging rights, the psychological advantage that a win would accord to the victor will be as valuable. The result of this fixture would set the tone for the rest of the season for both teams, as it has in the recent past.
Team Form, League Standings and Head to Head Record:
A win would take Liverpool above league leaders Southampton, who lead the Reds on goal difference but have played a game more. A win for Manchester City would leapfrog them into 5th position, above Everton.
The last time Manchester City hosted Liverpool at the Etihad, the Citizens gave them a guard of honor before the match. The game, however, ended in an embarrassing 4-0 loss for the Reds.
Manchester City’s record vs Liverpool Head-to-Head (last 6 matches in all competitions): L-D-W-W-L-W
Manchester City form (all competitions): W-W-D-W-W-W
Liverpool form (all competitions): D-W-W-W-W-W
Manchester City and Liverpool: Team News and Injury Update
Liverpool are without their superstar Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk, who is ruled out for the season after an ACL injury against Everton.
The Reds are also without their midfield trio of Englishman Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Brazilian defensive midfielder Fabinho Tavares, and new signing Thiago Alcantara. All of them except van Dijk are expected to return to the squad before the end of this month,
The Reds will have Naby Keita and centre-back Joel Matip return to the side, although the duo may not be match fit. In front, Klopp has emphasized that centre-forward Roberto Firmino will retain his spot in the team despite new signing Diogo Jota’s goal scoring form.
Manchester have injury troubles of their own, with Argentine marksman, Sergio Aguero ruled out with a muscle injury. Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, who has been vital in City’s title-winning campaigns since his arrival, also sits out. French left-back Benjamin Mendy also misses the game, with Joao Cancelo expected to start in his place.
City are boosted by the return of striker Gabriel Jesus, who made a goal-scoring return to action midweek in the UEFA Champions League. Out-of-form Riyad Mahrez is expected to sit out for in-form youngster Ferran Torres. The new signing has 3 goals in 3 Champions League matches already this season.
Predicted Lineup and Match Prediction
Manchester City predicted lineup (4-1-2-3): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; Rodri’ Gundogan, De Bruyne; Sterling, Jesus, F. Torres
Liverpool predicted lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Matip, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita; Mane, Firmino, Salah
Football Express Prediction: With Liverpool missing key men in defence and Manchester City without striker Sergio Aguero, the game could be a cagey affair. Both teams would recognize the magnitude of the match and what exactly is at stake. A draw would be an ideal result for both teams, more so for away side Liverpool, who lead the Citizens by 5 points having played a game more.
Revisit this page for Post-match report and player ratings.
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