Five talking points ahead of Manchester City's title showdown with Liverpool

Jo Caldwell
January 3, 2019

The champions would fall 10 points behind Jurgen Klopp's leaders if the Reds win Thursday's eagerly-anticipated encounter at the Etihad Stadium. "They broke a record with the points and it's so tough in the Premier League to win nearly every game and to stay unbeaten". We are seven points down.

Klopp's trophy cabinet - highlighted by two Bundesliga titles with Borussia Dortmund does not compare at the moment - but with his Liverpool side in pole position in the Premier League right now, he has an excellent opportunity to start catching up.

While City have stuttered in recent weeks, Liverpool have been in fine form, winning their last nine games.

Without the ball, he expects them to use just as much energy in chasing down their opponents in order to win it back.

"It's a very good team", Silva said. The midfielders they work a lot, they press a lot.

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"Over the past 30 years, we've had some great teams but none of them have played consistently at the level we're seeing from Juergen Klopp's side this season". If we can do that better [contain Salah, Firmino & Mane] then we'll win the game.

When Manchester City and Liverpool last met in the Premier League, a fixture usually bulging with goals failed to live up to its billing as the most entertaining in English soccer.

As for Guardiola's praise for Liverpool, Klopp said: "I heard it". But we will get through it - and hey, there is still plenty of time for them to let it "slip" again.

I'm sure Tottenham fans will unashamedly applaud the valour of Liverpool's board in backing its manager; while, Arsenal will feel it may have had some hope of competing if they had also shopped in the aisles of Harrods rather than Poundland.

The importance of Fernandinho was highlighted by City suffering defeats in back-to-back matches which he missed, but he returned last time out and beats the likes of Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita and Fabinho to a place in midfield. Everybody is asking what will happen if we lose, but what will happen if we win?

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Said the 24-year-old: "If we can play the way we know we can play, we can beat anyone". That is the challenge.

'There's no denying it is a huge game for both clubs.

But Pep Guardiola had a boost to his plans on Wednesday when Belgian playmaker De Bruyne trained with the squad.

Liverpool can take a major step towards a first title since the foundation of the Premier League by defeating the reigning champions, who will give a late fitness test to Kevin De Bruyne.

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