Manchester City and their unbeaten streak will be put to the test as they travel to Anfield to face Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday in what should be a greatly entertaining affair.
Group EPL Teams Anfield, Liverpool, England 14 Jan 2018 4:00 pm (GMT)
Key Stat: One of Liverpool's three losses came to City in their 5-0 loss at the Etihad.
Expert Verdict: Despite the absolute demolition job that City gave to Liverpool back in September and the departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, Liverpool might just represent the biggest threat to City's unbeaten Prem record to date. The Reds have the kind of attack to give any team fits, and their current run has been great. This should be quite a close affair.
Jurgen Klopp will be without right back Nathaniel Clyne, goalkeeper Adam Bogdan, and left back Alberto Moreno due to injuries. Winger Mo Salah looks set to play a role, which is a big boost after the departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.
Striker Roberto Firmino has claimed that the side will never be the same again with Coutinho, but they still have quite the ability to go on and do great things with this Brazilian up front for them. He has been in great form of late and has shined against City before, and he looks like he could be the one to help engineer a first loss for the Citizens in domestic football this season.
Liverpool have four wins and a draw in their last five matches:
2-1 home win vs Everton (FA Cup)
1-2 win at Burnley
2-1 home win vs Leicester City
5-0 home win vs Swansea
3-3 draw at Arsenal
Defenders:Gomez, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson
Defensive Midfielders:Can, Milner
Attacking Midfielders:Salah, Lallana, Mane
Pep Guardiola won't be able to call upon left back Benjamin Mendy and forward Gabriel Jesus due to their injuries.
For yet another match, Sergio Aguero came to the rescue for City. No one will ever forget his title winning goal late on against QPR to give City its first title, but his goals recently to give them wins over both Burnley (FA Cup) and against Bristol as well. He helped them win both matches, and came off the bench for just a few minutes to win it for them against Bristol. He will once again be their biggest threat among many.
City have four wins and a draw in their last five matches:
2-1 home win vs Bristol City (EFL Cup)
4-1 home win vs Burnley (FA Cup)
3-1 home win vs Watford
0-0 draw at Crystal Palace
0-1 win at Newcastle
Defenders:Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph
Midfielders:De Bruyne, David Silva, Fernandinho
Forwards:Sterling, Sane, Aguero
Liverpool and Manchester City have faced one another 159 times down the years. Liverpool have dominated historically with 75 wins, 41 draws, and 43 losses to date. Here's a look at the last five results:
Sep 9, 2017: City 5-0 Liverpool
Mar 19, 2017: City 1-1 Liverpool
Dec 31, 2016: Liverpool 1-0 City
Mar 2, 2016: Liverpool 3-0 City
Feb 28, 2016: Liverpool 1-1 (P) City (EFL Cup)
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Liverpool are at 2/1 to win, a draw is at 13/5, and a Manchester City win is at 6/5.
Liverpool come into this weekend in fourth place in the Prem. They have a three point lead over Spurs for that final Champions League place, but they are now just two back of Chelsea and only three back of Manchester United. They haven't lost in some time now, and they have a great opportunity to lay down a real marker with a win here. They have won three in a row and four of their last five in the league and also won the derby with Everton in the cup recently. Manchester City are on top of the table with a total of 62 points so far, putting them well above the chasing pack. They are unbeaten, but they have shown some deficiencies of late.
Liverpool come into this match with an unbeaten record at Anfield this season. They have won six times and drawn five times for a total of 23 points, and while it may be frustrating, it has shown that they are tough to beat in front of the Kop. They have won their last two there, but they haven't play a team of the caliber of City to be fair. As for City, they have been astounding away from the Etihad. They have ten wins and a draw so far, and the draw came in their last match (against Palace during the festive period). They have only allowed five goals away from home, making them a tough beat.
Roberto Firmino to score, via Ladbrokes, is set at 19/10.
Liverpool's counterattacking ability can be the perfect foil for Manchester City, and it should present us with one of the finest Prem matches all season. In the end, the Reds could just eek out a narrow win.