The Premier League’s top two sides meet on Sunday afternoon, as leaders, Liverpool, host current title holders, Manchester City. The atmosphere at Anfield is set to be electric, as the rivalry between these two clubs has really intensified over the past few seasons.
In recent days, City boss, Pep Guardiola has made comments referring to Liverpool forward, Sadio Mane “sometimes” diving, which has simply added fuel to the fire. But this rivalry also has the added edge that it is between two managers and teams who want to play exciting, attacking and free-scoring football, which is driving them both to greater heights.
A significant result so early in the season
The result of this game will go a long way to decide where the title is heading this season. When was the last time a game so early in the campaign had so much riding on it?
Liverpool are currently six-points clear of City having won ten and drawn one of their 11 league games so far. They have scored 25 goals which means they are averaging almost 2.3 goals per game, whilst they have only conceded nine times, giving them the second-best defensive record in the Premier League to date.
The Reds boast the best home form of the campaign, winning five out of five at Anfield, but have only won their last two league games at home, both 2-1 against Leicester and Tottenham, thanks to late penalties.
Manchester City have won eight of their opening 11 games, drawing one against Tottenham, but they have lost twice in surprising fashion. They were first beaten 3-2 at newly promoted Norwich, before losing 2-0 at home against Wolves.
With 34 goals, City are the Premier League’s top scorers, averaging more than three goals per game, and they have only failed to score three or more away from once this season, that came in their last game on the road when winning 2-0 at Crystal Palace.
The clubs have already met once this season in the Charity Shield, with the game ending 1-1 thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling for City, and Joel Matip for Liverpool. However, City claimed the first silverware of the season, winning 5-4 on penalties at Wembley back in August.
When the sides met last season in the Premier League, it finished 0-0 at Anfield, before City won 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in January. The victory would prove to be a huge three points as the Blues won the Premier League by just one point from Liverpool. Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane were on target for City that day, whilst Roberto Firmino scored for the Reds. However, Pep Guardiola has never won at Anfield, and it is a ground that City have not won at since 2003.
There should be goals
This is the game everyone has been looking out for and should be a free flowing, attacking game of football. We see goals, and perhaps a high scoring draw. Sterling can get on the score sheet for the visitors against his old club, whilst Guardiola’s remarks about Sadio Mane might come back to haunt him if the Senegalese forward can score too.
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