It will surely not be the same 10-man Liverpool side that wilted 0-5 under a massive Manchester City barrage way back in September at the Etihad stadium. Sadio Mane whose red-card in the 38th minute led to the Reds’ capitulation is very much back to his old creative best. Mohamed Saleh is another who has more than made up for any kind of shock-wave that would have ensued at Anfield after Phillipe Coutinho’s departure to Barcelona. Saleh has emerged as one of the most fearsome scorers in the Premier League and has already found an astonishing 23 goals from 29 games in all forms of competition. Along with the likes of Firminio, Sadio Mane and Oxlade-Chamberlain, Saleh has combined to form the most scary attacking quartet in the Premier League. The September-October phase which saw the Reds go through a trough of 5 winless games that included humiliating defeats to Manchester City and Tottenham is a thing of the past. Jurgen Klopp’s boys have clocked in 9 wins and 3 draws and no losses post that dismal phase. A big shot in the arm for a usually suspect Liverpool defence and midfield has been the advent of £75 million acquisition from Southampton, Virgil van Dijk. The Dutch playmaker has already made his presence felt with a debut goal in Liverpool’s last week’s 2-1 win over Everton. Klopp rested Saleh in the Everton game with an eye on the big weekend clash against Manchester City and will be a vital component in the German coach’s favourite “attack-n-attack” 4-3-3 formation.
City on the other hand have recovered quickly from the 0-0 Crystal Palace hiccup and metted Burnley a sound 4-1 thrashing in a FA Cup clash last weekend. Main striker, Argentine Sergio Aguero is back to full fitness and his old goal-scoring ways getting a couple of goals against Burnley. The absence of the immensely talented duo of Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruynehasn’t affected City’s form one bit, such are the attacking riches available to Pep Guardiola. Even if Jesus and De Bruyne look doubtful for the Anfield game, the presence of the scintillating Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Leroy Sane could prove more than a handful for the Liverpool defense. With Aguero back in action, Guardiola will probably adopt a 4-1-4-1 formation with the Argentine acting as the lone striker.
For Liverpool, a win is a must to vault themselves to a 3rd spot from the present 4th. For City, it could be a matter of keeping the winning momentum on, their 15 point gap with the next best team, Manchester United, virtually ensuring them the Premier League title this season. Despite Liverpool’s resurgence to great goal-scoring form aided by the “Messi-anic” Mohamed Saleh, bookmakers are wagering on a City win at Anfield on Sunday evening. A scintillating duel is on the cards and there will always lurk the possibility of Manchester City facing their first Premier league defeat of the season.
Recommended Tip: Man City to Win, Best Odds 5/4 @ Betfair Sportsbook
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