It could be a pivotal day in the Premier League title race on Sunday when Liverpool play host to Manchester City at Anfield looking to add to a six-point lead.
Group EPL Anfield, Liverpool, England
Key Stat: Liverpool have lost just once in the last 28 top-flight matches against City at Anfield. In their last 16 against them in the PL, they have 11 wins and five draws.
Expert Verdict: Regardless of who you support, you're going to have heard that this is the day for Liverpool to clinch the Premier League. Plenty of people are claiming they will win the division if they win here, but even if they do there is a long way to go. The gap will be nine points, should they win, and that's no guarantee when the season isn't even half way finished. This will be a tight one, with all of that said, and Liverpool's main priority has to be not to lose.
Jurgen Klopp has only a couple of injury woes ahead of this match, with Nathaniel Clyne and Joel Matip out of action. His ‘recipe’ in the center of the park will be of particular interest here.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has had a long, long road back from injury, but he looks poised to step up and play a big part here. He’s scored a ton of goals from outside the box of late- with some dubbing him ‘Ox from outside the box’ as a result- and has experience gunning down City in the past in some big outings. Another man to watch will be Sadio Mane, who has been the subject of talk from Guardiola and co. this week. The Senegalese man has scored six goals already in the PL, showcasing some scary form.
Liverpool have four wins and a draw in their last five matches:
2-1 home win vs Genk (UCL)
1-2 win at Aston Villa
5-5 home draw, penalty win vs Arsenal (EFL Cup)
2-1 home win vs Tottenham
1-4 win at Genk (UCL)
Defenders:Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson
Midfielders:Fabinho, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Forwards:Salah, Firmino, Mane
Pep Guardiola already had a few injuries to deal with, including those to Rodri, Leroy Sane, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Aymeric Laporte, but it looks like goalkeeper Ederson is now a doubt to play. Luckily for the, the red card that Claudio Bravo got in the Champions League does not carry over, meaning Kyle Walker won’t have to slot in goal here again.
Sergio Aguero was rested for a portion of the match in midweek, so he will be fresh here as he attempts to break a record. He could become just the second player in PL history to 50 Sunday goals with a finish here. It’d be hard to back against him, too, seeing as how he’s already got nine in the league thus far. Raheem Sterling will also be one to watch, even if the Anfield faithful hate seeing him grace the pitch against them. He’s got seven goals in the PL thus far and comes off a goal in midweek as well to have some momentum.
Manchester City have a draw and four wins in their last five matches:
1-1 draw at Atalanta (UCL)
2-1 home win vs Southampton
3-1 home win vs Southampton (EFL Cup)
3-0 home win vs Aston Villa
5-1 home win vs Atalanta (UCL)
Defenders:Walker, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Mendy
Midfielders:De Bruyne, Gundogan, David Silva
Forwards:Bernardo Silva, Sterling, Aguero
These sides have played each other 166 times in total, and so far it’s Liverpool with the edge at 79 wins, 42 draws, and 45 losses. In the Premier League only, the Reds also have a lead with 19 wins, nine losses, and 16 draws played out. Here's a look at the last five results:
Aug 4, 2019: Liverpool 1-1(P) City (Community Shield)
Jan 3, 2019: City 2-1 Liverpool
Oct 7, 2018: Liverpool 0-0 City
Apr 10, 2018: City 1-2 Liverpool (UCL)
Apr 4, 2019: Liverpool 3-0 City (UCL)
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Liverpool are at 13/8, a draw is at 5/2, and Manchester City are at 8/5.
Liverpool come into this crucial clash in first place in the Premier League. They have began incredibly well thus far, posting a remarkable 31 points from their first 11 fixtures. They have ten wins and just one draw, away to Manchester United, leaving them six points ahead of the Citizens. While a win would get them much closer to the title, you still have to think there will be much work left even with a win given their brutally busy list of fixtures. A win would be great, but keeping the lead at six would also be welcome, you’d have to think.
Manchester City come into this match having been spectacular this term as well. They have lost, however, twice, once to Norwich and once to Wolves, which has kept them six points off the pace of Liverpool. They were back even further until recently, though, and they have closed in by two. With a win here, they would only be three back, right in the thick of it, especially seeing as how they host Liverpool as well later on in the season. While it looks like they need to win here, they still are defending champions and will not be easy to push over should they fail to get three points.
Liverpool come into this match having been brilliant at home this term. They have seven victories and a draw, which turned out to be a win on penalties. Even that match, against Arsenal, was played with a rotated squad, so it makes the record seem even more ridiculous. One might conclude, though, that they are due for a slip up. City, meanwhile, have six wins, a draw, and a loss away from home so far. The draw came at Atalanta on Wednesday, while the loss was to Norwich in that absolute shocker.
Betfair have no for both teams scoring at 2.55.
Ladbrokes have Liverpool’s double chance at ½.
If you had to pick a winner here, you would want to pick Liverpool. They have not played great defensively, but City are in shambles the back and without their starting ‘keeper, plus have a day less. With that said, it would be no shock to see a repeat of last year’s ‘bore’ draw.