Two of the Premier Title contenders are going head to head for the first time. As Manchester City host Liverpool at Etihad. City had a disappointing start to the season as they dropped multiple points. Meanwhile, their opponents of Merseyside have had a decent start to their season. Both teams are coming back from terrific wins past mid-week in the Champions League.
City had a shaky start to the season but managed to get back on track after post last international break. They are unbeaten in 8 games throughout all competitions. Manchester City has won its last 3 games handsomely. their most recent win in the Premier League came back last week against Sheffield United. while their most recent win came in midweek in Champions League against Olympiacos.
Liverpool had a good start to their season. They have had 5 successive wins under their belt in all competitions. They are coming into this clash of the back to wins in the Premier League against Sheffield United and West Ham United. Their most recent win came in midweek against Italian side Atlanta n Champions League, where they thrashed Atlanta by 5-0 scoreline.
The champions are set to miss the services of their summer signing Thiago as he is out with a knee injury. VVD is out for the season with an ACL injury thus he too misses out. Fabinho will too miss out with a thigh muscle injury. But the Champions have got a boost as Joel Matip has returned to full fitness and s expected to start the game.
Pep side is set to miss their ace striker Aguero who is out with a hamstring injury. Also, Pep will miss left-back Mendy and Fernandinho as they both are out with injures. but at the same time, they got the boost of Jesus who is fit and has already made a mark in midweek when he came on as an impact substitute.
Liverpool has beaten Manchester City 105 times in 215 past clashes between these two teams. Manchester City has won 57 times, whereas 52 games have ended in draws. Manchester City has won three of the last four meetings between these two sides in all competition including the last game between these two sides ended 4-0 win to the City at the Etihad. Indeed, that triumph means that City has won their last three home league games against the Reds by an aggregate scoreline of 11-1.
Liverpool has only won one of their last 11 league visits to the Etihad Stadium. They have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 10 games. However, Klopp does boast an impressive record against Guardiola, having beaten the Man City boss eight times in his career – more than any other manager.
- Liverpool has only won one of their three away Premier League games so far this season.
- Liverpool has conceded 4 or more goals at Manchester City on two of their last three league visits at the Etihad.
- Manchester City has won 9 of their last 10 Premier League matches against Liverpool.
- Liverpool has conceded 15 goals in 7 Premier League games this season so far, the most in the same number of games in any league campaign.
It is going to be quite a contest between two of the most tactically adept teams in the league. Pep Guardiola will undoubtedly stick to his 4-3-3 formation.which turns into a 4-2-3-1 during possession phases with Kevin De Bruyne operating as the number 10just behind the center forward.
Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte are almost certainly going to be the central defenders, with the duo having not played during the midweek. Kyle Walker is an automatic choice for the right side, with Ederson in goal. At left-back normally Cancelo will start but if he decides to go defensive then he might start Ake as makeshift left-back on that left side. In midfield, Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne are certainties to start. For that third spot in midfield, there will be a toss-up between Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden. In attack, Ferran Torres can shift from playing a False Nine to the right-wing, with Raheem Sterling deployed on the left. Gabriel Jesus will likely start as the recognized no.9 striker up front to lead the attack.
Klopp has some issues with key players injured and missing this game but he will most likely the 4-2-3-1 setup has worked well so them so far. This allows Liverpool to have more defensive cover. In the heart of Liverpool defense, Matip who is fit will certainly return to partner Gomez as a center-back pairing. With Robertson and Trent Arnold completing the back 4. Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum will be sure starters in that double pivot. With Thiago not fully fit, the 4-2-3-1 setup will allow Klopp to retain Firmino, albeit in the number 10 role while also bringing in the in-form Diogo Jota as the forward. Along with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah on the wings completing terrific front 4.
Player to watch out
No other player has been as exciting to watch. His performances have driven fans to call for Roberto Firmino being dropped in favor of the summer arrival. The Portuguese international has been on fire for his country as well and Liverpool might have signed an actual finisher, which would elevate Liverpool’s attack.
Salah is likely to come up against one of Joao Cancelo or Nathan Ake as he makes his trademark runs forward. He certainly has the quality to run rings around Manchester City. Salah is in fine form in the Premier League this season, netting seven goals in as many games; so, one wouldn’t bet against the 28-year-old netting against Manchester City once again.
Manchester City’s defense has turned impregnable ever since Ruben Dias arrived at the club. The Portuguese defender has played six games for Manchester City so far, keeping three clean sheets and only conceding thrice during this period. With City’s attack misfiring this season their defense becomes all the more important as they seek to keep Liverpool who is Premier League’s second-most prolific scorers quite at the bay.
Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne is a remarkable player and incredibly deadly in an almost boring manner. Nothing about him shocks and thrills in a visceral manner. He is obviously a brilliantly talented player, someone who makes the rest of the side tick around him. The Belgium international has been an instrumental player for Manchester City. His positioning and playmaking skills are unmatched. Liverpool might have to man-mark him in order to stop City going on a rampage.
Given the recent rivalry between the two sides, who between them have won the last three league titles, and their current league positions, the contest is well poised. All in all, this match promises to be a fascinating encounter between the two heavyweights of the Premier League.