Liverpool vs Manchester City Preview - Reds do battle to keep failing title hopes alive

Liverpool vs Manchester City Preview - Reds do battle to keep failing title hopes alive

THE DETAILS

Venue – Anfield, Liverpool

Referee – Michael Oliver

Date & Time – Sunday, February 7th @ 16:30

Current Odds – Liverpool 12/5, Draw 11/4, Manchester City 21/20

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This game has grown in stature in recent years as Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City established themselves as the two main powerhouses in the Premier League. The last few weeks have seen Liverpool’s topsy-turvy form cost them dearly in their pursuit of a second consecutive league title. A win on Sunday would keep some slim hopes of success in May alive for The Reds.

FORM

Liverpool Form

The Reds have lost their last two home games after going almost four years without an Anfield league defeat prior to that. In between those Anfield defeats, Liverpool took an impressive six points from their fixtures at Spurs and West Ham, winning both matches 3-1.

Liverpool are currently fourth in the Premier League, seven points behind Manchester City but Pep Guardiola’s men also have a game in hand.

Manchester City Form

Manchester City have been in incredible form. They are on a 13-game winning streak in all competitions. They have not lost a game since their 2-0 defeat at Spurs back in November.

They have kept clean sheets in their last six Premier League matches and only conceded four goals in their last 20 fixtures in all competitions. That’s a fantastic defensive record for this season and shows just why they are now top of the league.

TEAM NEWS

Liverpool Team News

Jürgen Klopp is without Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joël Matip, Naby Keïta, and Diogo Jota for this match. Fabinho and Sadio Mané have also missed the last couple of games but it’s hoped both of them will return against City. Alisson Becker was out with an ‘illness’ for the defeat to Brighton on Wednesday night and should be back for Sunday.

It’s unlikely that Klopp will throw either Ben Davies or Ozan Kabak into the starting lineup for such a difficult fixture. It’s possible, of course, but I doubt he will do that. Therefore, if Fabinho does recover in time, I think it will be him alongside Nat Phillips in central defence.

That will allow Jordan Henderson to move back into midfield, in a trio with Thiago and Gini Wijnaldum.

Up front, it might be Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané.

Manchester City Team News

Kevin De Bruyne and Nathan Aké are both out for Manchester City. Sergio Aguero is still dealing with the after-effects of his COVID-19 illness so it’s unlikely the Argentine striker will feature on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola has watched his team enjoy great success in recent months with his 3-4-3 formation. City will deploy the same shape at Anfield.

Manchester City are not missing any players due to suspension.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Mané

Manchester City XI (3-4-3) – Ederson; Stones, Dias, Laporte; Cancelo, Rodri, Gündogan, Zinchenko; Silva, Jesus, Sterling

WHEN THEY LAST MET

The sides drew 1-1 at the Etihad back in November. Mohamed Salah put Liverpool in front but Gabriel Jesus equalised for City. Kevin De Bruyne then missed a penalty opportunity to put the hosts ahead just before half time.

Liverpool won 3-1 at Anfield last season. Fabinho’s piledriver opened the scoring after just six minutes. Salah made it 2-0 for The Reds shortly afterwards. Sadio Mané put Liverpool three ahead early in the second half. Bernardo Silva scored a late consolation goal for City.

PREDICTION

LIVERPOOL 2 – 2 MANCHESTER CITY

Liverpool have found their shooting boots again in recent games with Mohamed Salah, in particular, in red-hot form. City have been unstoppable in recent months as they surged to the top of the table. Sunday’s game should see two teams high on confidence and going for the win. Expect goals and plenty of action.