Will 11th November be a day of reckoning in the Premier League for its crown? Data suggests it’s too early to predict, yet when Liverpool and Manchester City go hammer and tongs in a Premier League clash, all eyes will be looking at which way the title might go.
There’s enough talk to halo Jurgen Klopp’s team seemingly with the cape of ‘champions elect’, heading into this game. Their comeback win over Aston Villa in the previous match had fans crooning about their champion’s mentality, as well.
The league leaders go into the game with history on their side. They have only lost one of their last 28 top-flight home games against Man City (1-2 in May 2003), and are unbeaten in their last 16 against them at Anfield in the Premier League (W11 D5).
Whats more you ask? Well, Liverpool have won more Premier League games against reigning champions than any other side in the competition’s history (21). Indeed, they haven’t lost at home in such a match since December 2007 (0-1 vs Man Utd), winning six and drawing five since.
The German will however be wary of the inconsistency in form of his defence, after having kept just one clean sheet in their last seven games. Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip will be asked to regulate chances on Alisson’s goal, the goalkeeper still searching for his 2018/19 season form.
Giorgino Wjnaldum will be constructor-in-chief as Jordan Henderson will be left in deputizing Manchester City’s creative outlets are muffled, alongside Fabinho.
Up front, Mohammed Salah, the in-form Sadio Mane and Roberto Firminho will have the Reds faithful cheering them on against their not-so-illustrious opponents.
Pep Guardiola will have all sorts of head scratching to do ahead of this tie. Surprisingly, even under his tutelage, the Citizens maintain a poor record against their hosts. They’re winless in their last 16 Premier League away games against Liverpool, their longest such winless streak against an opponent in the competition’s history.
However, on the bright side, after losing four Premier League games in a row against Liverpool between 2015-2016, Man City have lost just one of their last five against the Reds in the competition (W2 D2).
Ederson will miss the tie against their challengers forcing Claudio Bravo to start in goal. The champions have maintained just one clean sheet in their last five competitive games, so the Spaniard knows if ever there was a time for one, now is it.
Kevin de Bruyne will be totem for the visitors, alongside Raheem Sterling, both of whom who’ve contributed to 17 goals this season, nearly half of City’s total output. Up top, Sergio Aguero is having the time of his life, participating in 13 games in 12 appearances.
This will be the 35th Premier League match between the reigning champions and league leaders – each side have won nine games each (16 draws), with the champions (Man City) beating the leaders (Liverpool) 2-1 in the last such match in January 2019.
With more than just bragging rights on the line, these two heavyweights will line up on Sunday to joust in what’s expected to a tremendous spectacle.
Kickoff is at 12:30 am on 11th November (Malaysia)