The Premier League is continuing in its usual fascinating fashion and has furnished all the elements of excitement to the fans as it has always provided. We are down into another enticing weekend with a brand new set of exhilarating fixtures awaiting us. Out of all, the match which the whole soccer world will have its watchful eyes on will be the clash between the 2021 and 2020 Premier League champions. Liverpool welcome Manchester City at the Anfield on Sunday in a mouthwatering faceoff between the former champions. The two table-toppers will be playing against each other tomorrow in a bid to grab the top spot before the int’l-break. Can the 2019 UCL winners retain the top spot with a fiery sin over their rivals? Or will Pep eke out a win against his fiercest opponent? It’s all to play for on a magical night today at Anfield.
What makes this clash so special?
There is absolutely no reason in the world that can stop you from watching this vital clash. Two of the best teams in England are going to play against each other and no one will want to miss it. Both the teams play some exceptional football when it comes to the big matches. It’s more of a battle of quality tactics, strategies, and masterstrokes that will be pivotal in bagging this match. Let’s see who comes out on top tonight and takes these crucial three points in their kitty.
The Reds are coming onto this fixture after thrashing Portuguese side Porto in the second matchweek of the UCL. They bagged a convincing 5-1 win at Porto’s own backyard with a dominant display from them. Salah opened the scoring for the away side and Mane doubled it at the stroke of halftime. The second half was poised for something sensational as Liverpool bagged another three. Salah scored his second goal and Firmino registered a brace within four minutes to cap off Liverpool’s memorable night. The English side maintained 61% of the possession and took a whopping 21 shots towards the opposition goal.
Undoubtedly, Klopp needs such an inspiring display from his team in order to win against City tonight. In the last match in PL, Liverpool was a bit sloppy and drew against Brentford 3-3, courtesy of a brilliant performance by the newly-promoted side. Klopp needs to erase all the errors and put up a solid show against City on the weekend.
The Citizens are traveling to Merseyside after suffering an embarrassing loss at the hands of Paris Saint Germain on Tuesday. The Parisians won that high voltage game thanks to goals from Gueye and Messi on either side of halftime. The SkyBlues displayed a lively performance but were shut off by some quality defending by Kimpembe and Marquinhos. With the greater half of the possession being kept by them, the Manchester side is also superior in the attacking third. They took 18 shots towards the opposition goal but failed to find the back of the net. In the Last match in PL, Guardiola’s side won at Stamford Bridge by virtue of an eye-catching performance. Next up is a big match and they need to play some extraordinary piece of Football to register a win.
Liverpool has a worth mentionable style of play under Klopp which has enabled them to win the big games. Klopp’s main aim will be to disorganize Pep’s possession play by Gegen pressing which is some sort of excellence. Whenever City will have the ball, Liverpool’s players will close them down by zonal pressing and chasing the ball. Automatically, they will be able to win the ball and initiate a quick counterattack. Besides these, Klopp will deploy Henderson with the task of breaking City’s fast-paced passing football by good interception. Salah and Mane will also be instrumental as they will try to bring in attacks from both the flanks. It remains to be seen whether Klopp can change it at the right time and win the game.
City also displays some excellent quality of football under Pep Guardiola and makes it quite enjoyable for the watchers. He also has a quite similar instinct to Klopp and presses all out to snatch the ball from the opponent’s feet. The distinction in his style is that when his players pressed, they form a network between themselves. It doesn’t let the ball pass out so easily between them and pressurizes the opposition in turn to commit mistakes. There is flexibility in their formation too which allows them to transform easily to 2-3-5 or 4-1-4-1 while attacking.
Cancelo and Walker do have an influential role to play as they act as inverted fullbacks. They build the attacks from both the flanks and ballers such as Mahrez or Grealish use it to create dangerous chances. Pep also has a habit to play a false nine in big matches and Sunday’s match would be no exception likely. So, what to wait for, get ready to witness end-to-end entertaining and tactically conducive football.
1) Guardiola has lost a record eight games against Klopp, the most he has lost against any manager in the world.
2) This game is a clash between the highest goalscoring side in the PL and the least goal conceding side. Liverpool has scored the most goals(15) while City has only let the opposition penetrate their defense once.
3) Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 16 premier league and will be looking to maintain the Winning streak against City.
Liverpool does have a few injury headaches while going into this big game. Klopp confirmed a few days earlier that Trent Alexander-Arnold will not feature in this clash. Harvey Elliott continues to recover from his dangerous injury as also Thiago Alacantara is nursing his injury. Other than these three, there are no known injuries.
The Citizens will travel to Anfield with not much to ponder about injuries. Pep has ruled out the possibility of Ilkay Gundogan returning to action before the international break. Meanwhile, Oleksandr Zinchenko continues to recover and no one will rush for his recovery. John Stones Hasn’t yet featured in the starting XI and might not start against Liverpool as well. Apart from these, Pep has a full ft starting XI to choose from.
Head to Head
When it comes to head-to-head rivalry, Liverpool has a clear-cut edge over City. They have won 105 out of the 217 matches played while City has managed to win only 58. The rest 54 have ended in a stalemate. In the most recent meeting between the two sides in PL , Pep’s men tore apart the Reds with a stamping 4-1 win.
Players to watch out for
The Egyptian has been in sensational form since the start of the season for the Reds. He has been consistent year in and year out for them and has been doing this year in a similar fashion. He has already scored 8 goals and provided 2 assists in eight starts. Salah has taken most no. of shots(25) among all the PL players and also has kept 15 on target (highest). No wonder that he will be waiting eagerly to polish his scoring boots once again against City on the weekend.
Virgil Van Dijk
The Dutch superstar has been the wall of Liverpool’s defense since his inception and is still a rock-at-the-back. He has been instrumental to Liverpool’s so much compactness in the back four. He pairs well with Matip to keep the attackers at bay. Out of the six assignments, VVD has helped Liverpool to keep four clean sheets. VanDijk knows he has a big task cut out against the mighty city attack. Klopp will completely depend on him to thwart the deadly city attacks.
The £100 M English baller has been performing excellently in the Sky Blue jersey and has contributed well ever since. He has notched up two goals and two assists for the Citizens already. More than this, he has been a constant threat from the left flank and has provided 18 key passes too. He is also the third most fouled player(16 times) and created many chances for their attackers. He is a big-game player and Pep will be hoping that his star man remains on top tonight.
The Portuguese man is a vital cog in the Manchester City lineup and links up well during attacks. He maintains a smooth balance between attack and defense and performs his task well. His versatility is also a bright side as Pep can use him at different positions. Cancelo’a inch-perfect crosses and passes into the boxes are a delight for their strikers. He has the highest interceptions(13) among city players and also has made the third-highest passes(461) in the league.
From all fronts, the match is going to be quite enticing and enthralling for the watchers. It promises to be a high-scoring and eventful one as it has always been. In this battle of the two masterminds, it will be interesting to see who edges out the other. Both the teams will be desperate for a win and wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to go to the table-top. Can the Citizens of Manchester fuelled by Pep’s willy tactics outclass Liverpool for the second time this year or will Klopp’s Liverpool had other plans for it to spoil their party and maintain their position as table toppers? Much will be at stake when the match at Anfield gets kicked off tonight at a magical and enchanting Anfield in the PL.
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