Man City have experienced a mixed week having beaten Chelsea domestically and then lost to PSG in Europe, but with the Parisians only one point ahead of them in their group, a good result here would round up a positive set of results from a demanding fixture list overall.
However, Liverpool are in fine form ahead of this crunch fixture and are unbeaten in any competition in 18 matches since early April. They’ve won 12 of the past 14, putting a disappointing stalemate with Brentford last weekend behind them to dish out yet another bruising defeat to Porto in Europe.
Five of six head-to-heads in all competitions since 2019 have seen both sides register on the scoreboard, with the exception a one-sided 4-0 victory for Man City with the Reds in a poor run of form at the time, having already secured their first Premier League title in 30 years the previous week.
With both managers favouring a pressing approach this fixture has rarely failed to entertain in recent seasons, with eight of 11 encounters since 2017/18 featuring at least three goals, while three of the last four clashes have produced at least four strikes.
As such, this tussle could be settled by what happens off the ball as much as on it. Chelsea were denied the opportunity to play out from the back last weekend, but Liverpool won’t be afraid to go long, especially with the ability Virgil van Dijk possesses to ping the ball accurately over considerable distances.
Both Teams To Score
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago and Harvey Elliott are injured for the hosts, so James Milner is likely to retain his place at right-back, while in midfield Curtis Jones’ recent performances should guarantee him a start alongside regulars Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.
Elsewhere, the only big questions facing Jurgen Klopp is whether Joel Matip retains his place alongside Virgil van Dijk, with Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez providing the competition, and whether Diogo Jota or Roberto Firmino gets the nod in attack.
City’s defence should pick itself with John Stones yet to make his first appearance of the season and Oleksandr Zinchenko still sidelined, so Joao Cancelo will continue at left-back with Aymeric Laporte partnering Ruben Dias in the middle.
Ilkay Gundogan is the visitors only other absentee, though with Jack Grealish looking a little fatigued midweek against PSG, he may find himself benched for this one given the array of talent Guardiola can call upon to freshen up the side.
Guardiola’s team selection will keep his opposite number guessing, with the option of using the pace of Raheem Sterling or Ferran Torres down the middle, or alternatively utilizing Kevin De Bruyne as a false nine.
Either way, he may seek to overload the left side of attack and take advantage of James Milner’s advancing years, but whatever formation or personnel he chooses to go with, goals in this fixture appears an inevitable outcome and both sides will fancy their attacks to shine.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE