Premier League 2018-19, Liverpool vs Manchester City: 3 things to watch out for
By the end of the weekend, the world might find have a clear insight into which team will be lifting the Premier League at the end of the season. Liverpool and Manchester City will go head-to-head in one of the league's most anticipated fixtures, with both teams well known for their high-energy, attacking style of play. The Reds' 4-3 win in this identical fixture last year ended their opponent's unbeaten run during the 2017/18 campaign and lifted the spirits of the players and the Anfield faithful. Manchester City, however, remained largely undeterred for the rest of the campaign, as they strolled to a third Premier League title win in six years.
This weekend's showdown could prove just as thrilling but even more pivotal with regards to the title race, with Liverpool's performances and transfer business leaving them well placed to end the 29-year wait for a league win. Jurgen Klopp's side has proved to be a bogey side for Pep Guardiola's men, with the intensity from Klopp's team proving too much for City to handle in the last three meetings between the two sides. The vivacious and raucous atmosphere generated by the Liverpool crowd overwhelmed Pep's eleven, with the Spaniard's men looking frail and nervous throughout the ninety minutes.
With so much excitement, here are three things you should look out for when watching Liverpool vs Manchester City.
#3 Will the managers rotate their teams after Champions League games?
One important factor to consider is the potential changes to the starting XI after the European games in midweek, with both managers fielding full-strength teams against their continental opponents. Pep and Jurgen could, therefore, tinker with their sides in order to bring re-energise the starting line-ups after their Champions League excursions.
The high tempo and vigorous way in which Liverpool press requires great stamina and physical exertion, with Klopp potentially looking to the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Daniel Sturridge in search of alternatives. Guardiola too has quality on the sidelines, with Bernardo Silva and Riyadh Mahrez only making substitute appearances, as City won 2-1 against Hoffenheim thanks to a late winner from David Silva.
The two sides are limited by injuries, with new signing Naby Keita going off for Liverpool after only 19 minutes against Napoli. The Reds would normally miss the his creativity but have not experienced any problems breaking down the Manchester City defence during their recent fixtures. The trio of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Gini Wijnaldium may lack the footwork and technical ability that Keita possesses but provide the physical presence and eagerness that has caused problems for Pep's eleven.
Every team in the world would feel the effects of de Bruyne's absence, given his influence on Manchester City's record-breaking title victory. The list of names Pep Guardiola still has at his disposal shows the level of depth available to the Spaniard, with B.Silva and Mahrez performing impressively during de Bruyne's absence.