Table-topping Reds face biggest test of credentials – Liverpool vs. Man City Preview

9 November 2019

Liverpool host Man City in a decisive fixture atop of the Premier League table, where a win could take the Reds nine points clear at the summit.


Liverpool vs. Man City

Sunday, November 10, 2019 – 4.30pm (GMT)
Anfield
Premier League
Referee: Michael Oliver


Following a thrilling late win over Aston Villa last weekend, the Reds rolled into Tuesday’s Champions League meeting with Genk in high spirits and full of confidence.

But Jurgen Klopp‘s side were made to work for their third successive victory in Europe as a tempered performance allowed the Belgium outfit to gain a foothold in proceedings before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain proved decisive once more with the winning strike after the interval.

The manner of the 2-1 victory, however, left the feeling that it was ultimately the calm before the storm as eyes started to linger on the next challenge on the horizon.

One which comes in the form of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

The reigning Premier League champions arrive at Anfield six points adrift of Liverpool having dropped eights points in their opening 11 fixtures.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 7, 2018: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum (C) separates Sadio Mane (R) and Manchester City's Fernando Luiz Roza 'Fernandinho' (L) during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Guardiola’s side fell to a surprise defeat to Norwich early in the campaign before Wolves too snatched all three points, the latter of which City have bounced back from with three league wins on the bounce.

City stumbled in midweek, however, in an eventful 1-1 draw with Atalanta which saw Kyle Walker take his place in between the sticks after Ederson left the field with a suspected injury before Claudio Bravo then saw red.

The visitors have not been at the peak of their powers to date having exposed a number of vulnerabilities, which are in part due to a string of injuries to key players.

But they remain an undeniable threat with talent who can turn a game their way in an instant and the Reds will need to be up to the task for the full 90 minutes.

It will be an occasion to cherish for players and fans alike at Anfield, where the objective is to extend City’s miserable record in the red half of Merseyside and move nine points clear of Guardiola’s side.

 

Team News

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 27, 2019: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates at the final whistle during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp once again heads into another week of action with few injury concerns, having emerged from the meeting with both Aston Villa and Genk unscathed.

Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri remain the only players definitively ruled out of the occasion with knee and calf injuries respectively.

Elsewhere, Jordan Henderson is to return to the fold after an illness forced his omission from the action in midweek with the boss saying he is “completely fine.”

It leaves the manager with a plethora of choices in midfield, with effectively seven players at his disposal.

Having been omitted from the side against Villa with this game in mind, Fabinho will be one of the first names on the team sheet.

Who will partner the Brazilian is the greatest source of debate once more, with Gini Wijnaldum and Henderson a trusted combination for occasions such as these.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, November 5, 2019: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates scoring the second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Liverpool FC and KRC Genk at Anfield. (Pic by Laura Malkin/Propaganda)

But Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has no lingering effects of the ankle knock against Genk, has put a convincing case forward in recent weeks with four goals in as many appearances, while Naby Keita, James Milner and Adam Lallana remain as further options.

The defence and front three are all available for selection, with Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren the sole conundrum at the back – but the latter is expected to get the nod.

City, on the other hand, have a number of injuries to contend with as both Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte remain sidelined with long-term injuries while Rodri, Oleksandr Zinchenko and David Silva are also on the sidelines.

Ederson, meanwhile, was withdrawn at the interval during City’s meeting with Atalanta as a precaution after sustaining a thigh strain, where Guardiola has since claimed he will not take to the field on Sunday.

 

Last 5 at Home to Man City (All Competitions)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 4, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Drew 0-0 – October 2018
Won 4-0 – April 2018 (Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane)
Won 4-3 – January 2018 (Oxlade-Chamberlain, Firmino, Mane, Salah; Sane, Silva, Gundogan)
Won 1-0 – December 2016 (Wijnaldum)
Won 3-0 – March 2016 (Lallana, Milner, Firmino)

 

Did You Know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 30, 2019: Liverpool's manager J¸rgen Klopp reacts during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds have won more league games against reigning champions than any other side in the Premier League era, having completed the feat on 21 occasions.

At Anfield specifically, Liverpool have not fallen to defeat to titleholders since December 2007, in a 1-0 loss to Man United, with a record of six wins and five draws in the years since.

Furthermore, in a boost to maintaining this record City have failed to pick up a victory at Liverpool in their last 16 league outings – their longest winless streak against a single opponent in the competition – while the Reds themselves are unbeaten in their last 45 games at Anfield.

 

Form

Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum (left) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team-mate Virgil van Dijk during the UEFA Champions League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 2-1 vs. Genk
Won 2-1 vs. Aston Villa
Won 5-4 on pens vs. Arsenal
Won 2-1 vs. Tottenham
Won 4-1 vs. Genk

Man City – Last five results (all competitions)

Drew 1-1 vs. Atalanta
Won 2-1 vs. Southampton
Won 3-1 vs. Southampton
Won 3-0 vs. Aston Villa
Won 5-1 vs. Atalanta

 

Klopp’s View

Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, the boss cited the need to not “only be offensive” be also “brave” against City:

“It’s a big game. Two really good teams face each other. Best news it’s at Anfield which is really cool under the floodlights, so everything is prepared for a good football game.

“Everything is on the plate. Nobody hides anything. We both try to deny the strength of the other, which we have to do, you cannot only be offensive but if you are not brave against Man City you have no chance, not even for a point.

“We have to create. Positioning must be nearly perfect, protection must be perfect, movement, different ideas – there’s a lot in a game like this and it’s possible that it will be 0-0 like last year.”

 

TV & Liveblog 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)

Liverpool vs. Man City is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 4pm (GMT), with kick-off set for 4.30pm.

Chris Williams will keep you entertained and up to date in the build-up and throughout the all-important showdown on This Is Anfield’s matchday liveblog, starting from 3.45pm.

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