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At Long Last
The match Manchester City fans had circled on their calendar will take place on Sunday when the Blues host last season’s league champions Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side ended the Citizens run of two straight EPL titles last season besting them by 18 points.
It was Liverpool’s first domestic title since the 1989/90 season.
Model of consistency
In past seasons these two teams have been consistently near the top of the table.
In the past two seasons, they’ve finished 1-2 in the final standings.
Liverpool won convincingly last season while City finished one point ahead of them in 2018/19.
These sides have finished in the top four in four consecutive seasons
Gabriel Jesus returned to the lineup with a goal in mid-week after being out most of the year through injury.
The defending champions won’t have Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, or Virgil Van Dijk available.
Waking the Sleeping Giants
These elite squads have come to life after each suffering a humiliating defeat early in the season.
Liverpool was beaten 7-2 by Aston Villa in their fourth match this season.
Since then the Reds are unbeaten in their last six games across all competitions scoring 14 times while conceding just four times.
Man City was beaten comprehensively 5-1 by Leicester City in their second league game this season.
Following that loss, Pep Guardiola’s side has gone unbeaten in eight straight matches across all competitions.
In those games, they’ve scored 16 times and conceded only three times.
What to Watch for
Liverpool’s “Heavy Metal Football” has taken the Premier League by storm over the past few seasons.
Manager Jurgen Klopp coined that term for the Merseyside squad’s new brand of football when he took over in October 2015.
The Reds are an up-tempo, quick passing team that is extremely aggressive, in your face, and constantly put their opponents under pressure.
City’s back four has really clamped down since conceding five against Leicester City but they’ve not been tested with an attack as potent as Liverpool’s.
The Reds lead the Premier League in goals so far this season with a total of 17.
Egyptian Mohamed Salah is the danger man up front with 7 goals already in the domestic season.
Brazilian Roberto Firmio is quick, with lovely dribbling skills, and a great playmaker and workhorse in the middle of the pitch.
He’ll be counted upon to win balls for the Reds against one of the best in City’s Kevin De Bruyne.
As critical as we’ve been towards the City backline Liverpool’s defense so far is much worse.
Liverpool’s conceded the second most goal in the EPL this season with 15.
City’s only conceded twice in their last four EPL encounters.
Liverpool’s backline is very attack-minded with Andy Robertson having a goal and two assists already this season.
Defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has one assist as well.
Their attacking prowess does expose a lot of space at the back and it’s something Guardiola’s men will hope to expose.
The last time these teams met was in July of last season where City trounced Liverpool 4-0 with goals from Foden, De Bruyne, and Raheem Sterling to go along with an own goal by Oxlade-Chamberlain.
All-time Liverpool has a decided edge with 105 wins to City’s 57.
City has won three of the last four meetings between the teams across all competitions.
Where they currently sit
Liverpool is back on top of the EPL standings with 16 points from seven matches.
The Blues are in 10th will 11 points and a game in hand.
Both teams are coming off impressive wins in the Champions League in midweek.
City crushed Olympiakos 3-0 while Liverpool beat Atalanta 5-0 on Tuesday.
Kickoff from Etihad Stadium is on Sunday at 4:30 pm. (JSL)