Manchester City will make a trip to Merseyside as they lock horns with current Premier League champions, Liverpool. Manchester City are on a fantastic unbeaten run. They have won 13 of their previous games in all competitions. The Citizens are at the summit of the table with 47 points. The home team, Liverpool, are facing a big slump in form. After not losing at Anfield for more than 3.5 years, they have lost twice in consecutive home games. Liverpool stands at the fourth spot with 40 points, just two points above the 5th placed West Ham.
With the position of two teams, it looks like a must-not-lose game for Liverpool. A defeat here would leave them 10 points behind the league leaders. Is that difference good enough to confirm that Liverpool is out of the title race?
The Reds are coming after a shocking 1-0 defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion. Anfield doesn’t look like a fortress anymore. Possibly this is the best chance for Pep Guardiola to win his first game at Anfield as a Manchester City manager. Manchester City are cruising past every other team in Premier League to stake their claim on the title. Currently, they are the most in-form team. Injuries and Covid-19, both have failed to halt Man City’s charge and Pep Guardiola looks to be determined as ever to put another League trophy in his cabinet. A victory over here will be an emphatic statement to not only Liverpool but to other teams like Manchester United and Leicester City who are thinking to put in a title challenge.
When and Where?
Liverpool will host Manchester City at Anfield Stadium in the Premier League fixture on 7th February (10:00 PM IST).
Team News and Expected Line-up
Jurgen Klopp’s title defence has been derailed due to injuries. Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Naby Keita, and Diogo Jota are out due to their long-term injuries. Alisson missed the game against Brighton in midweek due to illness. He should be back between the sticks against Man City. Sadio Mane and Fabinho took part in training after missing recent games. They will be assessed ahead of the game.
Expected Line-up: Alisson, Andy Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Georginio Wijnaldum, Curtis Jones, Thiago, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah
The two notable absentees for Pep Guardiola are Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero. You would imagine these two are the pillars for the team and without them, the team will struggle. Till now we haven’t seen them missing these two key players at all. Nathan Ake is another player who remains sidelined due to an injury.
Expected Line-up: Ederson Moraes, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, John Stones, Joao Cancelo, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling
Head to Head stats: Liverpool vs Manchester City
Manchester City last won at Anfield in May 2003. Since then, they have either lost or drawn every game played at Anfield against Liverpool. Three out of the last six meetings have ended up as a win for Manchester City. In the reverse fixture this season, Liverpool and Man City played a 1-1 draw at Etihad Stadium. Mo Salah and Gabriel Jesus scored the goals for their respective teams in that game.
Mo Salah – Liverpool
The Egypt international failed to score for a few games in between. Yet he is leading the charts of scoring the highest number goals (15) this season in the league. Jurgen Klopp will be expecting that his superstar player can help the team to get back the winning ways.
Ilkay Gundogan – Manchester City
The absence of Kevin De Bruyne has not hurt Pep Guardiola much and Gundogan is the reason behind it. The German international has scored 7 goals and provided one assist this season. He links up with forwards seamlessly and makes the game more fluent for the team.
The 12TH Man Prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City
Liverpool has failed to break the defence of the team who likes to sit back and defend. Here, Manchester City will take the initiative to attack and try to have more of the ball. This can aid Liverpool considering that they might find space behind City’s full-backs to run. We believe Liverpool will be a bit conservative stepping into this game as they are pretty low in confidence. Yet, a 1-1 draw seems to be the more practical result for this game. Let’s hope that it happens to be an exciting affair between the two top teams of the English top-flight.