A big test of the Reds’ title credentials – Man City vs. Liverpool Preview

8 September 2017
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Liverpool and Man City meet at the Etihad on Saturday lunchtime, in a match that sees two attacking forces go head to head.


Man City vs. Liverpool

Saturday, September 9, 2017 — 12:30pm (BST)
Etihad Stadium
Premier League

Occasionally, a match comes along that has ‘thriller’ written all over it, and this weekend’s clash in Manchester certainly feels that way.

Liverpool’s meeting with City is the perfect way to start the Premier League weekend, in a game that pits two of the country’s most entertaining sides against one another.

The Reds and the Blues have started the season with seven points from a possible nine, and both will be keen to stay in touch with leaders Man United.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side produced a superb performance last time around, with the 4-0 mauling of Arsenal an enjoyable one for the Reds, while City earned a dramatic late win at Bournemouth.

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Everywhere you look, there are key battles to keep an eye on during Saturday’s clash, and the attacking talent on display is frightening.

Three points for Liverpool would be an enormous statement of intent and the perfect start to the weekend, but a draw must be seen as a positive result against the title favourites.

It will be a relentless 90 minutes of action, full of twists and turns.

Last meeting: Man City 1-1 Liverpool

Team News

BERLIN, GERMANY - Saturday, July 29, 2017: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia during a preseason friendly match celebrating 125 years of football for Liverpool and Hertha BSC Berlin at the Olympic Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Philippe Coutinho is back available but he will not be considered for the game.

Liverpool have been thriving without him, and with his match sharpness not at its best, it makes sense to leave him out.

New signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is expected to start on the substitutes’ bench, with the former Arsenal man hopefully making his Reds debut at some point during the afternoon.

Alberto Moreno should again start at left-back, following some impressive recent form, but Klopp must have to decide between Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez at right-back.

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The midfield and attack pick itself, with the solidity of Jordan Henderson, Emre Can and Gini Wijnaldum the perfect foil for Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino‘s flamboyance in the final third.

Raheem Sterling is missing for the hosts, after his controversial red card at Bournemouth, and captain Vincent Kompany is out injured. Kyle Walker is available after missing the win at Dean Court through suspension.

Long-term injury casualty Ilkay Gundogan may return to the squad, but Guardiola has no other notable absentees. Sergio Aguero may have to settle for a squad role with Gabriel Jesus preferred up front, summing up City’s current squad depth.

 

Etihad Stadium

A general view ahead of kick off during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final 1st leg at the Etihad Stadium. Photo credit should read: Philip Oldham/Sportimage via PA Images

Capacity: 55,097

Away fans’ pubs: Around the ground is all City and not really advisable. Piccadilly has loads of ace pubs and only a decent walk/hop-in-taxi away.

One piece of advice for visiting fan: Singing ‘Where were you when you were shit’ only prompts rolled eyes and vicarious embarrassment. It’s pure Norwich.

 

Last 5 At City

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 19, 2017: Liverpool's James Milner scores the first goal against Manchester City from the penalty spot during the FA Premier League match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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Man City 1-1 Liverpool – March 19, 2017 (Aguero; Milner pen)
Man City 1-4 Liverpool – November 21, 2015 (Aguero; Mangala OG, Coutinho, Firmino, Skrtel)
Man City 3-1 Liverpool – August 25, 2014 (Jovetic x2, Aguero; Zabaleta OG)
Man City 2-1 Liverpool – December 26, 2013 (Kompany, Negredo; Coutinho)
Man City 2-2 Liverpool – February 3, 2013 (Dzeko, Aguero; Sturridge, Gerrard)

 

Did You Know?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 19, 2017: Manchester City's Sergio Aguero scores his teams equalising goal during the FA Premier League match against Liverpool at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by Gavin Trafford/Propaganda)

Aguero has scored in all five appearances at home to Liverpool in the Premier League, but has never found the net at Anfield.

 

Form

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 27, 2017: Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring the second goal as the supporters on the Spion Kop sing his name during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

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Won 4-0 vs. Arsenal
Won 4-2 vs. Hoffenheim
Won 1-0 vs. Crystal Palace
Won 2-1 vs. Hoffenheim
Drew 3-3 vs. Watford

Man City – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 2-1 vs. Bournemouth
Drew 1-1 vs. Everton
Won 2-0 vs. Brighton
Won 3-0 vs. West Ham
Won 3-0 vs. Tottenham

 

Klopp’s View

In his pre-City press conference, Klopp’s discussed the versatility of Oxlade-Chamberlain:

“[He can play] a few positions. He’s a very good football player, good in small spaces, good in big spaces,” he said.

“You want to have him on the pitch as often as possible, and he fits really well in different lineups.

“In the system we play in this moment he can play four positions, both No. 8s and both wingers.”

 

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TV & Live Blog Info

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 8, 2015: A television camera blocks the view of the goal during the FA Cup 6th Round Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The match is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 11:30am (BST), with kick-off at 12:30pm.

Out matchday live blog will be in full swing from 11:45am – Henry Jackson is tasked with talking you through the action throughout the afternoon.


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