11 weeks into the season and the reigning Premier League champions once again face the team that made them graft for their successive title last year.
Such a thrilling encounter seems as if it’s come too soon. Last year’s game at the Etihad that unfolded in the final chapter of proceedings held much more resonance where the Reds only defeat of the 2018/19 campaign saw them miss out on their first domestic title since 1990.
And yet defeat here for either side may not be so catalytic.
But it goes without saying that considering both teams hardly dropped a point last season, the side that wins this tie holds the key to Premier League glory, and our Liverpool vs Manchester City predictions sway in the favour of the Merseysiders, in line with our 2019/20 Premier League season preview.
As Jürgen Klopp’s men have found out in the last few weeks, it won’t be an easy contest. But under the lights at Anfield, when is it ever?
Liverpool vs Manchester City Predictions
The Reds have been skating on thin ice in the last few weekends. But more so as a testament to their winning mentality that has seen them clinch victory in the dying moments of three successive games.
Against the high-flying Leicester City, it was James Milner’s composure from the 12-yard spot that earned them the three points in the 94th minute of the game. Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah was the man that pulled the hosts through against a Tottenham side desperate to avoid a mauling.
But if any performance this season epitomised Liverpool’s never-say-die attitude, it was against last weekends opponents: Aston Villa.
Never one to underestimate a lower-league team, it was clear that travelling to Villa Park and facing Dean Smith’s organised side would be a difficult contest.
But the Merseysiders were up against the wall from as early as the 21st minute thanks to Trezeguet’s low volley that was fired past Allison Becker’s reach.
And it wasn’t any easier to instigate counters through their attacking trio, such was the intensity and rigidity of Villa’s defensive habits.
But Klopp’s men emerged from the break with renewed endeavour and dug deep with two late goals – including an injury-time winner from Sadio Mane – to preserve their six-point lead atop the table.
It was a nervy contest for the league leaders who were made to work for their points last Saturday. Were it not for their Senegalese talisman, their six-point lead would have been cut again after last weekend’s draw to Manchester United.
Yet, given the struggles that the Citizens defence has faced, our Liverpool vs Manchester City predictions foresee a more free-flowing attack from the hosts.
Of course, Pep Guardiola won’t want to admit that the absence of preferred centre-backs Nicolas Otamendi and Aymeric Laporte have made it that way.
The only available man who slots in naturally in central defence is the returning and somewhat rusty John Stones. And with no partner to bolster the back four, the trusted midfielder Fernandinho has been given the task to play in defence alongside the Englishman and it showed against Southampton last weekend.
Bear in mind, the Saints were fresh from a 9-0 larruping at the hands of the Foxes. Following up with the reigning champions would’ve made even the most steeliest of Saints fans sweat.
And yet Ralph Hassenhutl’s men posed the Citizens defensive problems with a fast start that saw James Ward-Prowse give his side the lead in the early moments of the game.
From their on, the visitors were compact in defence and able to utilise width to create their own chances.
But as the pressure built, a goal for the hosts came through the ever-present Sergio Aguero, followed up with Kyle Walker’s late winner.
It was a performance that saw City’s back four uncomfortable as they’ve been this season. If Liverpool are clinical enough and are able to remain as compact as the Saints, our forecast is that victory will be theirs.
Liverpool vs Manchester City Head To Head
This fixture, nor Anfield, has been kind to the Citizens down the years.
Ever since that seven-goal thriller that unfolded in the early months of 2018, the Reds have had the rub of the green in domestic affairs, further fuelling our Liverpool vs Manchester City predictions.
From back-to-back wins in the Champions League, to nervy draws in the Premier League, it’s a tie that will have haunted Riyad Mahrez and his fans in recent seasons.
But every single one of these clashes have been fiery displays of skill, verve and passion – all the signs suggest that this Sunday’s game will be following the same theme.
Liverpool Team News
With Salah back in business after recovering from a knock to the ankle, the latest injury concern surrounds Joel Matip.
The centre-back has been absolutely mammoth for the Reds alongside Virgil van Dijk, and his absence has been felt in recent games.
Sure, in his place the experienced Dejan Lovren is a very capable understudy. And yet, subject to bouts of defensive disarray, Matip is still the preferred man in place of the Croatian.
Meanwhile, the only other news regards Xherdan Shaqiri, who is still out of the action, and will be until after the November international break, according to assistant manager Pep Lijnders.
Without the stocky Swiss in the side, our Liverpool vs Manchester City predictions wagers that the likes of Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will have to curate that attacking prowess produced by the little magician.
Manchester City Team News
From one Pep to another, the news coming out of the Etihad Campus isn’t sterling.
From Laporte to Otamendi, Rodri, Leroy Sane and Oleksandr Zinchenko, the latest man on the Catalan’s growing injury list is David Silva.
The Spaniard complained of a muscle problem in the dying moments of the first half against Southampton. And all evidence suggests that he won’t be able to feature at Anfield against the Reds this Sunday.
Which poses Guardiola a problem regarding his attacking midfield setup. And while there are a few formations he could revert to, none of them are orthodox.
One such tactic could see Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden step in without affecting the rest of the team. But there is little to suggest that the former Barcelona boss would field Foden in such a high-profile game.
The alternative though, isn’t all that appealing either. It involves either bringing Raheem Sterling forward and giving Gabriel Jesus the task of filling the Silva-shaped void or playing Fernandinho in a more attacking position.
All in all, the odds are very much against Guardiola and co.
Liverpool vs Manchester City Betting Tips
Sure, the odds may seem particularly even, but there’s plenty worth investigating that supports out Liverpool vs Manchester City predictions.
For starters, while both the Reds and the visitors are wagering as 8/5 picks, the chances of a draw unfolding in favour of Pep’s men are trading as a 1⅗ tip in our Liverpool vs Manchester City match bets.
And as evenly contested as the game and indeed the betting markets are faring to be, the league leaders are in a promising position to come away with all three points.