Liverpool vs. Man City
Sunday, February 7, 2021 – 4.30pm (GMT)
Premier League (23)
Referee: Michael Oliver
It’s just one of those seasons, isn’t it?
Liverpool once again gave to the poor when they fell to defeat to then 16th-placed Brighton – but now it is time to take from the rich.
After two back-to-back victories in the top-flight, there was growing optimism the third would place the Reds in the best possible situation once Pep Guardiola’s side arrived at Anfield.
However, it was not to be and the clash has taken on greater importance with City already having amassed a seven-point buffer at the top in addition to having a game in hand.
It means a victory here is vital if Liverpool have any desires of successfully retaining their crown, with City having put their foot on the accelerator after a sluggish start.
Liverpool are not only able to look up, however, with teams breathing down their neck aiming to break into the top four – meaning a swift Anfield turnaround is in order.
The loss to the Seagulls made it back-to-back home losses in the Premier League for the first time since 2012 after an exceptional 68-game unbeaten run.
But it is time to restart the streak and what better time to start than against City?
The Reds are sweating over a number of key faces for this one, with the days leading up to the clash no doubt imperative to the final decision.
The duo had sustained minor muscle injuries over the last week, with the Brazilian missing the last three games and the No. 10 the last two.
Thankfully, Klopp’s options have been boosted at the back with the arrival of Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak – the latter of whom is now available for selection after receiving international clearance.
Klopp did not commit to saying that the 20-year-old would be in the XI for his debut as in “an ideal world” there would be time to settle and absorb the demands of the role with the Reds.
No new concerns arose from the defeat to Brighton and while Diogo Jota posted a positive update on his recovery from a knee injury he is still expected to be a number of weeks away, while Naby Keita remains sidelined.
For Man City, they will continue to be without Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Nathan Ake.
Possible City XI: Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko; Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Gundogan; Mahrez. Jesus, Sterling
Last 5 at Home to Man City (All Competitions)
Won 3-1 – November 2019 (Fabinho, Salah, Mane; B. Silva)
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)
Did You Know?
That Man City have not won at Anfield since May 2003, in all competitions, when a Nicolas Anelka double cancelled out Milan Baros’ opener.
It is a run which stretches 19 games, with Liverpool winning 13 and the other six ending in a draw – with the aggregate score reading 37-17.
Here’s hoping the run extends to the 20-game mark come Sunday evening.
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Man City – Last five results (all competitions)
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp spoke of his desire not to see the recent results at Anfield blown out of proportion ahead of City’s visit:
“It’s not that I can say, ‘don’t forget now boys’. Everyone knows it’s Anfield, we love playing there still.
“It’s a great place, the best place we can imagine so it’s all good. But we didn’t win the last two games – I know that.
“But we were not interested in winning 68 in a row so why should we now make the two we didn’t win bigger than it is. I don’t think I could sit here if we lost 68 in a row or something like that, that would be really sensational.
“So it’s all about trying again, being positive, enjoying football – all these kind of things – and make it a fortress again.”
TV & Liveblog Info
Henry Jackson will be keeping you entertained and up to date with all the action on our matchday blow, starting from 3.45pm.