Defensive frailties means there should be plenty of goals on Sunday, writes Sam May.
Manchester City take on Liverpool, as the Sky Blues look to put their Champions League disappointment behind them, and secure all three points at the Ethiad Stadium on Sunday.
City have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last 12 games against Liverpool in all competitions, meaning if history repeats itself, City will have to score at least two to win. However, Liverpool’s 4-1 win in this fixture last season is their only victory in the last seven Premier League meetings at the Etihad Stadium.
The home side could include Yaya Touré and Nicolas Otamendi, both who dropped to the bench in Wednesday’s defeat by Monaco. The Sky Blues remain without long-term absentees Gabriel Jesus and İlkay Gündoğan. The Liverpool attacking line up is still uncertain with Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi both doubts. Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge are still sidelined due to injuries.
Pep Guardiola will be hoping his side can take revenge having been defeated by the Reds 1-0 earlier in the season. A victory for the Reds would ensure they become the first team to record a top-flight double against a side managed by Pep Guardiola.
Liverpool are unbeaten in nine league games this season against the top six sides prior to the latest round of matches, winning five of them. Philippe Coutinho has scored four Premier League goals in five games against Manchester City – more than against any other team. He also netted against City in last season’s League Cup final. Sadio Mané has had a hand in four goals in his last three Premier League appearances against City (three goals, one assist).
City defender John Stones, who had a night to forget in the South of France last Wednesday, will hope to put in a solid performance against Jürgen Klopp’s side. The former Everton defender could make his 100th Premier League appearance, if selected. Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero has scored in all four of his Premier League games versus Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium (four goals) – despite never having netted at Anfield.
Liverpool would leapfrog City in the league standings if they win. The Sky Blues will want a win to put the nightmare of Monaco behind them. Goals rather than great defending will determine who wins the spoils this Sunday.