After a two-week international break, the Premier League resumes with a tantalising match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.
As Man City continue their quest for success in the Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup, it will be eager to carry on its impressive form from before the international break.
With six consecutive wins under their belt, including five clean sheets, and impressive victories over RB Leipzig and Burnley with the help of Erling Braut Haaland’s eight goals, Guardiola’s team are on a roll.
Next on their schedule are two crucial Premier League fixtures against Liverpool and Southampton. As they sit in second place in the table, City will need to close the eight-point gap to league leaders Arsenal, who have played a game more, if they want to retain their top-flight title.
Man City PL Form: W D W W W
Liverpool’s hopes of winning any silverware this season have evaporated, in stark contrast to their attempts to secure an unprecedented quadruple just a year ago.
In their most recent matches, Jurgen Klopp’s side secured an emphatic 7-0 victory over Manchester United before suffering consecutive 1-0 defeats against Bournemouth and Real Madrid. The loss against Real Madrid confirmed their exit from the Champions League last 16.
The defeat against Bournemouth was Liverpool’s eighth in the Premier League this season, leaving them in sixth place and five points behind the top four. However, Liverpool still has two games in hand on fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
Liverpool Form: W D W W L
Manchester City’s star striker and Premier League top scorer, Haaland, is doubtful in the upcoming match against Liverpool due to a groin injury.
The player’s father has stated that his availability for the game is “touch and go” after he pulled out of the Norway squad during the international break.
In addition, City will also be without the services of Phil Foden, who recently underwent appendix surgery.
Liverpool could have Luis Diaz back in their matchday squad for the upcoming game against Manchester City after the winger returned to first-team training following a five-month absence due to a knee injury. Additionally, Darwin Nunez is expected to be fit to feature after receiving treatment for a cut to his ankle during the international break.
However, left-back Kostas Tsimikas is doubtful for the game due to a rib injury sustained during Greece’s goalless draw with Lithuania on Monday. Liverpool will also be without Thiago Alcantara (hip), Stefan Bajcetic (thigh), and Calvin Ramsay (knee) due to injury.
Manchester City’s expected starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Ake; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Bernardo, Haaland, Grealish
Liverpool’s expected starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Elliott; Salah, Gakpo, Nunez
Head to Head
Liverpool and Manchester City have a long history of facing each other, having played 222 games.
Liverpool has won 107 of these matches, while City has come out victorious in 59.
The two sides have also shared the spoils on 56 occasions, resulting in a fairly even record in terms of draws.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Saturday, April 1
Time: 12:30 pm, UK Time
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Liverpool will need to perform at their best on Saturday if they can secure a positive result and boost their top-four hopes. Despite their poor away form, Liverpool has repeatedly shown they can rise when it matters most.
However, Manchester City is currently in excellent form, having won their last six games across all competitions, and they will be looking to continue this run with a victory on home soil.