This weekend, EPL table toppers, Liverpool, will square off against the reigning English Premier League Champions, Man City in a head-spinning clash that may decide who will win the title come May 2020, so it is only right that LIBers are informed on what to expect.
Liverpool, fresh from a 2-1 win over Genk in the UEFA Champions League will face Pep Guardiola’s hungry side who battled to a 1-1 draw with Atalanta in the UEFA Champions league without a goalkeeper in the second half after defender Kylie Walker was brought in to man the posts following an injury to their first choice goalkeeper and a red card issued to the second choice goalkeeper.
Liverpool are unbeaten this season, with only a draw against the Old Trafford team while Manchester city have lost to Norwich city, and will be 9 points behind Liverpool if they lose this weekend.
Liverpool Captain Jordan Henderson missed Tuesday night’s Champions League win over Genk due to illness, but he is expected to have recovered in time for Sunday. Nathaniel Clyne, Shaquiri and Joel Matip are also expected to miss the match through injuries.
Meanwhile Man City will be without David Silva, Rodri, Laporte and Zinchenko. Goalkeeper Ederson has a 50-50 chance of being fit for the match. Sane is a long term absentee and is ruled out for the year.
Klopp might start Gomez in place of Alexander Arnold in right back so as to properly defend against Man City’s attacks from the left while he might stick to a midfield pairing of Henderson and Milner.
Guardiola devoid of David Silva will turn to Bernardo and Kevin De Bruyne to pull the creative strings and might pull a surprise by starting Mahrez.
Both teams have an impressive forward line with the Reds boasting Salah, Firmino and Mane while Guardiola has Aguero and man of the moment, Raheem Sterling.
Both teams will likely use their favored 4-3-3 formation. A key battle willl be between the fast and furious Sterling and the slow but composed UEFA player of the year Virgil Van Dijk. Another important battle will be in the center of the park between De Bruyne and Henderson.
Guardiola vs Klopp Rivalry
Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola who have normally treated each other’s rivalry with a degree of respect ever since their Dortmund/ Bayern Munich days, in the past one week have thrown shots at each other after Guardiola accused Klopp’s player Saido Mane of being a ‘diver’ on the pitch.
Klopp was annoyed by Guardiola’s comments, which led Guardiola to apologize and backtrack on the ‘diver’ comment. When asked about Guardiola’s backtrack, Klopp said; “I am in exactly the same situation as him (Pep),”
“We constantly get asked questions and sometimes we say what is in that second in our mind without thinking about anything else, that we are in public, that there is a camera.
“Then he explains it about speaking with his kids and whether it was really a penalty or not. It’s a discussion they had at home and I’m completely fine with that.
“I couldn’t have more respect for Pep Guardiola, that’s how it is. I’ve known him for so long, it’s a big thing for me to be his contender. It’s great.
“For me he is the best manager in the world and we have the chance to win against his team which is very difficult but possible. That is enough for me.
“We’ve had a good few results against them, from my side it is nothing else but respect.”
Star men to watch out for
Score prediction/ Betting prediction
Liverpool have not kept a single clean sheet at home all season, which will be a concern heading into a match against the division’s top scorers so a bet on Liverpool conceding over 1.5 goals will surely be a watery one for betting fans.
Man City might also without goalkeeper Ederson and have been conceding lately so a bet on goal-goal (both sides to score a goal) should come in pricey.
Liverpool 1- 1 Man City
Liverpool 2-2 Man City