Liverpool vs Manchester City preview: Can Klopp's side stop Guardiola's runaway leaders?
Liverpool host the Premier League leaders Manchester City at Anfield this Sunday in what will be the highlight fixture this weekend. The Reds will turn out for the first time without Philippe Coutinho, who moved to Barcelona for £142 million. The Reds beat Everton in their most recent game in the FA Cup.
They have had nine days to prepare for the big game and will hope to end Manchester City's unbeaten domestic run. Liverpool are currently in the League table, three points clear of Tottenham, their nearest competitors. The gap at the top of the table seems insurmountable, though, as City are a whopping 18 points above Jurgen Klopp's side.
City rested quite a few of their key players during the 2-1 win against Bristol City in the League Cup on Tuesday, so they too will be fairly fresh when they travel to Merseyside.
Liverpool are undefeated in their last 16 home games against City in all competitions and will be confident of stopping the runaway league leaders.
Here’s how the two sides could line up:
Coutinho's loss will undoubtedly hurt Liverpool's creativity. Sadio Mane has been off-colour in recent weeks and he needs to step up.
Mohamed Salah has been outstanding for the Reds this season, scoring 17 goals in total. He'll need to continue his scoring run if the Reds are to challenge City tomorrow. New signing Virgil van Dijk is expected to make his Premier League debut after his big-money move. He got off to a good start and even managed to score a last-gasp winner in last week’s Merseyside derby in the FA Cup.
Liverpool are efficient on the counter and expect the game to be pretty open as they won't sit back. The focus, however, will be on how the Reds react to Coutinho’s loss.
Liverpool probable XI: Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Lallana, Can, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Liverpool away will be their biggest test so far this season. City have never beaten Liverpool in the Shiekh Mansour era and will want to change that in what has been a season to remember so far.
Pep Guardiola will be without Benjamin Mendy, Vincent Kompany and Gabriel Jesus. David Silva might also miss because of personal reasons. City have kept a clean sheet in their last three away league games, a run that could come to an end when they take on the league's second most prolific scorers.
Former Liverpool star, Raheem Sterling, will want to prove a point at Anfield. He has been in exceptional form, scoring 14 goals for City inthe league. His transformation has been exceptional under Pep Guardiola.
Manchester City probable XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph; de Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva; Sterling, Sane, Aguero
City won the reverse fixture 5-0 at the Etihad, back in September last year. With them looking unstoppable this season, expect them to overcome Liverpool. The Reds meanwhile, must overcome Coutinho's loss and play their natural game to stop City. But it is not going to be easy considering how ruthless CIty have been this season.
Liverpool 1-2 Manchester City