Anfield is the stage for an early season title race six-pointer as Premier League giants Liverpool and Manchester City square off on Saturday evening. Liverpool are favourites to take all three points given they did the double over the Sky Blues last season and have been flawless in their own backyard this campaign.
The Reds also have an outstanding record against the top-four in 2016/17 and have a playing style that could see them capitalising on City’s shortcomings at the back. The winner at Anfield could narrow the deficit to leaders Chelsea and will be ahead of the other in the table regardless.
Liverpool are currently second in the Premier League with 40 points from 18 games, coming off the back of three consecutive wins ahead of this weekend’s clash with Manchester City.
The Merseysider’s are just six adrift of Chelsea at the top and will fancy their chances against the Sky Blues given their outstanding form on home soil this season.
Jurgen Klopp’s men boast six wins and two draws from eight games at Anfield, scoring 25 goals for their troubles, and have the bragging rights from home and away wins against City in 2015/16.
As for their opposition, Manchester City are one place and one point worse off than Liverpool in the table this season but have also won their last three in the Premier League.
Pep Guardiola’s side have the second-best form on the road, boasting four wins from their previous five, and have earned wins against elite opposition – Manchester United and Arsenal. However, City have fallen to the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea as they remain vulnerable to sides who have the pace to hit them on the counter.
Liverpool are full of pace to turn defence into attack in a speedy fashion and it could see them beating the Sky Blues once again. Last season, Klopp’s side took six points off Manchester City in the Premier League.
They have a better chance this time round given how open the visitors have been so far under Guardiola. Playing a high defensive line and having players press the ball high up the pitch can be a recipe for disaster against an accomplished opponent who can move the ball quickly from front to back, and that might be a factor in the outcome on Saturday.
Home advantage will see Liverpool start fast to try and take the game to their third-placed opponents, but City will also have their period in the game where the home side are chasing shadows.
Guardiola’s men retain high levels of possession and will work an opening to capitalise on Liverpool’s poor defensive record which could result in goals coming from both ends.
Liverpool and Manchester City both put attack over defence so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a high-scoring affair at Anfield. The Reds have scored and conceded in 12 of 18 games, while City have scored and conceded in 725 of theirs.
There’s a lot at stake at Anfield but with Liverpool having already taken eight points off sides in the top-five, Klopp’s men might best City this weekend.