By Joe Wozniak
Manchester City v Liverpool FC – Premier League – 08/11/2020 16:30
The Etihad plays host to this top of the table clash between two of the biggest teams in Europe. We see Manchester City take on the champions Liverpool in what will be a game packed to the rafters with top-class talent.
This will be Jurgen Klopp’s first visit to The Etihad since his teams 4-0 loss to Pep Guardiola’s men last season. Klopp will be hoping that his players can keep on top of the Premier League table, even without the force of Fabinho and Virgil Van Dijk, who has had successful ACL surgery. Whereas, Guardiola has confirmed his side will be without talisman Sergio Aguero who is still recovering from his hamstring injury.
The Spaniard said during his press conference on Friday: “training is quite as usual, of course, there are ideas on the table’ which suggests he has a few tricks up his sleeve for Liverpool’s defence. During Klopp’s conference the German said: “it will be a very difficult game for both teams because both teams will perform at a high level.” Both quotes suggest the managers are prepared as much as they can for Sunday’s tie.
Liverpool haven’t beaten City away since April 2018 and since the start of the season have conceded 26 goals in all competitions, this suggests that without the likes of Van Dijk, Liverpool’s defence is vulnerable. City at this moment sit mid-table after disappointing results so far, whereas even with Liverpool’s defensive woes they sit on top of the Premier League, mostly thanks to the talent of their front three and the introduction of Diogo Jota.
With this newfound goalscoring machine in the figure of Jota, it has left Klopp with a headache, due to the Portuguese man’s form challenging the likes of Roberto Firmino for his starting spot. Jota has scored more goals for Liverpool since his arrival in September than Firmino has in 2020, but you can’t forget the off the ball work that Firmino does in Liverpool’s attacking play, with his counter-attacking prowess being there with the world’s best. However, could Jota’s form see Firmino fall to the bench on Sunday?