Etihad Stadium will witness another masterclass tonight when two premier league heavyweights go head-to-head. This game will probably be a title contention as two favourites will collide with each other. The defending champions Machester City will host Liverpool, who currently leads the premier league table. A highly anticipated game which will see two English football powerhouses clash against each other.
When both the sides met last year at Anfield, the contest ended in a draw. Pep and his team had a great chance to take home all the three points as Liverpool looked tired after the Champions League fixtures. But to everyone’s surprise, Manchester City came out with a defensive mentality and were happy with a point. They could have ended their Anfield curse but failed to grab the opportunity.
However, City will look to make amends this time around and dominate Klopp’s team in the early stages of the game. This may be a season-defining match for both the teams as we head into the second half of the league. Tonight’s game may be a virtual decider to see who will take the trophy home.
Currently, Manchester City are languishing at the third spot in the table, seven behind Liverpool. At the start of the campaign, many believed they would defend their title in style, but Liverpool had other plans. Pep’s loss against Crystal Palace and Leicester City further derailed their impressive run in the premier league. They won their last game at St. Mary’s by 3-1 and will look to continue their fine form.
Liverpool are currently sitting on top of the pile and are called as favourites to lift the trophy. If they manage to win against Pep & Co, then that would give them a 10 points lead at the top. There is still a long way to go, but Liverpool fans can smell blood and will be hoping that their team carries this consistent form.
Though previously, Liverpool has topped the chart twice during Christmas but failed to win the league. They are known for bottling their chances at the later stages of the season. Klopp would be hoping this season to be different and Liverpool could end their trophy drought.
Liverpool has a better chance this time around with the talented squad and in form players. The arrival of Shaqiri, Fabinho and Keita have consolidated the balance of the side. This could well be their season as they are not going to get a better chance in future.
The Reds thrashed Emery’s Gunners in their last match by 5-1, and their front three can tear apart any defence on their day.
Date: Thursday, 4th January 2019.
Time: 01:30 AM (IST)
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
League: Premier League 2018-19
Live Telecast: Star Sports Network.
Online Streaming: Hotstar App
Manchester City – W W L L W
Liverpool – W W W W W
Fabian Delph will be suspended in this match.
Kevin de Bruyne is doubtful to play this match due to his muscle problems.
James Milner and Henderson remain doubtful ahead of this match.
Shaqiri may be used in Klopp’s 3 men midfield setup.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still unavailable as he is recovering from his injury.
Gomez and Matip will also be sidelined, so that leaves Klopp with Lovren and Van Dijk.
Probable Playing 11
Manchester City– Ederson (GK), Danilo, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko; Silva, Fernandinho, Silva, Sane, Aguero, Sterling
Liverpool – Alisson(GK), Robertson, Van Dijk, Lovren, Alexander-Arnold, Shaqiri, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Mane, Salah, Firmino
Aguero, David Silva, Sterling.
Salah, Mane, Firmino.
Liverpool are surely going in this contest as favourites due to their series of stellar performances over the past few weeks. Pep’s team have won just once in the last 12 encounters against Liverpool.
This will be a mouth-watering tie with so much at stake for both the sides. It will be a battle of nerves and temperament of players. A Premier League Classic!