Liverpool aim to stop their Anfield collapse as Manchester City come to town on Sunday afternoon
The most eye-catching clash of the weekend comes at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, as title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City meet in the latest instalment of the hottest rivalry around.
In all honesty, a few weeks ago, this game looked like one that would carry massive title implications for both sides, as they were separated by a single point. Since then though, Liverpool have done what some would have considered unthinkable, and lost twice at home to Burnley and Brighton, leaving the gap between the sides at seven points.
City have been perfect in the league since drawing with West Brom in December, winning nine straight games that has seen them go top of the table, and ten clear of Liverpool if they take the points at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp still has defensive issues ahead of the game, although not the same headache he’s had in recent weeks. he now actually has options at the back after signing Ozan Kabak from Schalke and Ben Davies from Preston, but has to decide whether he wants to throw them in against City for their Premier League debuts. Jordan Henderson is another option at centre-back, but you’d guess Klopp would want his captain patrolling the midfield in such an important game.
Alisson missed the defeat to Brighton due to illness, but is expected to be back after training fully on Friday, meaning he should return between the sticks. Sadio Mane and Fabinho were also missing for that game, but should recover in time to play some part.
Joel Matip, Naby Keita, Virgil Van Dijk, Diogo Jota and Joe Gomez are all still missing for the Premier League champions.
Pep Guardiola has no fresh injury worries ahead of the game, with Kevin De Bruyne and Nathan Ake still out with injury. Sergio Aguero has only just started training on the grass again, and needs more time to build up match fitness.
John Stones and Ruben Dias haven’t conceded a goal in 990 minutes of playing together, which is bad news for a Liverpool side that haven’t scored at home in their last three fixtures, a run that was unfathomable from a team that put seven past Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park earlier this season.
If City can take the points, it will almost certainly be seen as the final nail in Liverpool’s title challenge, but a win for Klopp will reignite a title race that has lurched from one extreme to the other all season.
Liverpool take on Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday, February 7th. Kick-off is at 4.30pm.