mobile app bar

Match Preview and Predictions for Manchester City vs Liverpool

Shiv Vidhyut

The Premier League title hopefuls face off at the Etihad on Saturday.

City are looking for their first home win, after having drawn their first home match against Everton 1-1. Liverpool on the other hand, have secured thumping victories at the Anfield, beating Arsenal 4-0, but they were held up away by Watford (3-3) on the opening day of the season.

Both the Reds and the Cityzens have gathered 7 points off the first three games of the season, sitting second and fourth respectively.

ALSO READ : DETAILED ANALYSIS – Who should win the Golden Boot this year?

A win for either Guardiola or Klopp in Saturday’s early kick-off would send the victors top – at least before Manchester United play later in the day – though neither manager will want to lose further ground on Jose Mourinho’s leaders.

Defeat for either side would be their first of the season.

Fatigue could play a large part on Saturday. Liverpool had 18 squad members away on international duty, four more than Man City’s 14. Between them they travelled more than 185,000 miles.

Team Selection:

Managers Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp will also be mindful of their midweek fixtures when making their team selection.

The two sides begin their Champions League campaigns on Wednesday, with Liverpool hosting Sevilla and Man City away at Feyenoord.

Raheem Sterling will sit out the game against his former club due to suspension, but Kyle Walker returns having served a ban. Ilkay Gundogan is nearing a return to full fitness and could come into contention.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could make his debut for Liverpool after his transfer from Arsenal. Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana are both injured and will not play a part.

Philippe Coutinho featured for Brazil during the international break so should be fit to play, but whether he will be selected or not remains a point of debate.

Key Battle : Sadio Mane vs Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker will have his work cut out trying to stop Sadio Mane, but it is that battle that could ultimately decide the match.

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have been unstoppable this season.

They completely destroyed Arsenal’s defence, and while City may also be known for their attack, Liverpool have been more prolific this season, with eight goals in three games. Pep Guardiola’s side have managed five.

There have always been question marks about City’s defence under the former Barcelona boss and the game on Saturday will be a huge test.

Mane will play on the left, and it’s no coincidence most of Liverpool’s attacks (41 per cent) come down that side.

If Kyle Walker lets Mane past him too much, there’s a risk of him being let loose on Vincent Kompany. But if the England international manages to keep him quiet, it could be crucial to keeping Liverpool out of the game.

Facts to Ponder on:

Manchester City have lost only one of their last eight home Premier League meetings against Liverpool (W4 D3), a defeat in November 2015.

Under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have lost just one of their 22 Premier League matches against a team that finished in the top seven of the competition last season

Sergio Aguero has scored in all five of his Premier League appearances against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium, netting once in each game.

Aguero’s five consecutive home scoring games against Liverpool is bettered only by three players against an opponent in the Premier League – Alan Shearer against Everton, Thierry Henry against Aston Villa and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink against West Ham

Philippe Coutinho has scored in four of his six Premier League matches against Manchester City – in fact, the Brazilian has netted more league goals against City than any other opponent (4).

The sheer wealth of attacking riches on show at the Etihad suggests that the game will be full of goals, but with so much potentially riding on the outcome, it would be no surprise to see both teams adopt a more cautious approach than usual.

Predicted Lineups:

About the author

Share this article