The Premier League is all set to return this weekend with Manchester City set to host Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in what will be a crunch top-of-the-table encounter on Saturday.
The Cityzens are leading the table by a point over Jurgen Klopp’s Reds and this heated clash will set the tone of both team’s campaigns ahead of the busy winter schedule. Pep Guardiola’s men are enjoying a record run at home with 15 wins in as many games in this calendar year and will look to cement their position at the top of the Premier League.
Man City dropped two points on their trip to Chelsea in their last game before the international break which helped Liverpool gain ground in the title chase. The Reds are second in the table and will want to blow open the title race with a win at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City Team News
Pep Guardiola revealed in the pre-match presser that Erling Haaland had trained with the team ahead of Liverpool’s visit to Man City. Haaland picked up a knock on international duty with Norway, but Guardiola expects the striker to be fit for the weekend’s big game.
Ederson, Nathan Ake and Matheus Nunes also picked up knocks on international duty and will be assessed before picking his squad.
Predicted Manchester City lineup vs Liverpool (3-2-4-1)
Ederson is expected to shake off a knock and start in goal for Man City. The Brazilian must produce a top display to keep a clean sheet against Liverpool.
Man City are expected to line up in a 3-2-4-1 formation with Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias and Josko Gvardiol starting ahead of Ederson. Walker, Dias and Gvardiol will form City’s backline and look to keep the Liverpool forwards at bay.
As there are question marks over Nathan Ake’s fitness, Guardiola is likely to start Gvardiol on the left of a back three. Meanwhile, Walker and Dias should take the right and central roles in defence, respectively.
As John Stones is out on the sidelines, Manuel Akanji will act as the anchor in midfield. This will allow Rodri to push a few yards up the pitch and dictate the tempo of the game. The duo must keep things tidy in the middle of the park of look to take control of the match as quickly as possible.
Julian Alvarez and Bernardo Silva will operate as the advanced No.10s, trying to find gaps in between the Liverpool defence to exploit. Their creativity, movement and link up with the forwards will be crucial in carving open a rock-solid Liverpool backline.
Jeremy Doku could again get the nod over Jack Grealish on the left flank, while Phil Foden hopes to cause problems for the visitors from the other wing. Doku’s explosive pace and directness could be a great weapon to keep Trent Alexander-Arnold on his toes and stop him from inverting into central midfield.
Erling Haaland is expected to be fit for Saturday’s game, and the Norwegian goal machine will be keen to get on the scoresheet against Klopp’s side.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.