Two of the Premier League title favourites go head to head for the first time this season as Manchester City play hosts to Liverpool at Etihad on Sunday. The Sky Blues have endured a disappointing start to the campaign, dropping multiple points. But, they have won their last three matches in all competitions and could bridge the gap to Liverpool to just two points with a win this weekend.
As for the Reds, they too have enjoyed a good run of form, of late, having notably won all of their last five matches in all competitions. Their most recent victory came in the 5-0 riot over Atalanta in midweek, though things could be much trickier against a City side, who are determined to seal all three points.
Manchester City Vs Liverpool Tactical Preview
It is going to be quite a contest between two of the most tactically adept teams in the league. Pep Guardiola will undoubtedly stick to his 4-3-3 formation that turns into a 4-2-3-1 during possession phases with Kevin de Bruyne operating as the number ten. Kyle Walker, as usual, will work alongside the centre-backs and provide an additional passing option in the build-up play, forcing the Liverpool trio to work hard in winning the ball back.
Liverpool like to press narrowly, especially when facing a team like Manchester City. However, they need to take full use of their chances – something they failed to do when these two sides last met. Jurgen Klopp could also adopt a more cautious approach with at least one midfielder staying deep to aid the depleted Liverpool defence.
Guardiola will continue to miss out on the services of Sergio Aguero while the likes of Benjamin Mendy and Fernandinho have also been ruled out. Man City did rest quite a few key players, so we can expect Guardiola to shuffle his pack heading into this game, with Gabriel Jesus, in particular, tipped to spearhead the attack.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan; Silva, de Bruyne, Sterling; Jesus.
Jurgen Klopp is likely to be boosted by the return of Joel Matip this weekend, meaning he won’t have to rely on the services of the young Nat Phillips. Naby Keita is also in contention to feature while Thiago Alcantara, who did not travel with the team to Bergamo in midweek, is also out of contention.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
While Gabriel Jesus is expected to lead the Manchester City attack, the onus will be on Raheem Sterling as the hosts look to break the shackles of a depleted Liverpool defence this weekend. Sterling already has a good record against his former side, and it will be interesting to see how he fares on Saturday.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are banking on the services of star man Mohamed Salah to provide the goods in the offensive unit. The in-form Diogo Jota could also be one to keep an eye one, but the Portuguese international is unlikely to start.