After tonight’s games against Brighton and Burnley respectively, Liverpool and Manchester City will go head-to-head at Anfield on Sunday in one of the biggest games of the Premier League season. With City having a four-point lead over Liverpool, plus a game in hand, ahead of Wednesday night’s games, regardless of those results, it is a must-win game for the Reds.

However, they will line up against Manchester City without any of their recognised centre backs available as Gomez, van Dijk and now Matip are all ruled out for the season. City themselves will be without Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero for this game, but they do come into it on the back of a 12-game winning run in all competitions.

Over the last few years, these two teams have been the dominant forces in the Premier League and games between them have often indicated where the league title will end up at the end of the season. They have also produced a fair number of spectacular, goal-laden matches too.

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Let’s now take a closer look at the game taking place on Sunday by previewing the form and situation of the two teams taking part.

Liverpool V Manchester City Preview

Liverpool Form Guide

A few weeks back, Liverpool were clear at the top of the Premier League table but after a run which saw them pick up just three points from five games, they dropped down to fourth and looked in danger of falling off the pace being set by the two Manchester clubs and Leicester City.

However fine wins away from home against Tottenham and West Ham have brought the Reds back on track and after they face another crucial home game against Brighton in midweek, which they must win, they will know that this game on Sunday is even more important.

It is going to be interesting to see how the Reds line up defensively. Fabinho will be the key for them here as he has deputised for Van Dijk superbly this season. He has been injured the last few games but should be fit enough to face Manchester City. It then looks likely to be a choice between Nat Phillips (who played well at West Ham), skipper Jordan Henderson, or one of the two new signings Ozkan Kabak or Ben Davies to slot in alongside him.

The positive news for the Reds is that all three of their much-vaunted strike force have found the net in their last few games and they really need Salah, Mane and Firmino to start firing again to bring them back into contention over the remainder of the season.

Manchester City Form Guide

Manchester City are in superb form heading into this game. Ahead of their game at Burnley on Wednesday night, City had won all of their last 12 in all competitions and that form has taken them to the top of the Premier League, even with a game in hand on most of their rivals.

City’s good form has been built on a rock solid defence which has conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League this season. Dias and Stones have formed a good partnership in central defence and with Gundogan, Foden and Sterling their main attacking force, they are doing enough to win most games by a goal or two.

The worry for City will be their record at Anfield where they have not won since 2003. Their best result in recent times was a 0-0 draw a few years ago but most of the time they have finished up on the wrong end of a defeat, despite some hugely entertaining games.

Team News & Selections

Liverpool signed two central defenders in the week after it was announced Joel Matip would miss the rest of the season alongside Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. Fabinho should be fit after a slight injury forced him to miss the last few games and he will likely start in central defence alongside Nat Phillips who impressed against West Ham in particular. That may free Jordan Henderson to play a role in midfield with the usual front three set to line up against City once again.

  • Potential Liverpool Team – (4-3-3) – Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Fabinho, Phillips, Wijnaldum, Thiago, Henderson, Mane, Firmino, Salah

Manchester City’s main absentees are midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and attacker Sergio Aguero. Pe Guardiola has tried to rotate his players across this busy season and has done a great job of that but I expect him to revert to what is probably his strongest team for this game.

  • Potential Man City Team – (4-3-3) – Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko, Gundogan, Rodrigo, Silva, Foden, Sterling, Jesus.

Liverpool v Manchester City Betting Tips

There’s no doubt that Anfield is probably Manchester City’s least favourite place to go to try and pick up a result and with Liverpool coming back into form against a City side that have won their last 12, the game looks perfectly set up.

A City win could well be enough for them to clinch the title, or certainly stop Liverpool from winning it, and Jurgen Klopp will know this.

However, the timely return to form of the front three for Liverpool, as well as their full backs starting to be more influential, is promising and with City not scoring too many goals and De Bruyne absent, the Reds makeshift defense, which has already held City at the Etihad with De Bruyne, should be ok.

I am backing Liverpool to win the game and the bets I would look to back are outlined below:

  • Liverpool to win – 2/1
  • Liverpool to win 2-1 – 11/1
  • Mo Salah Anytime Goalscorer – 10/11.

*All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of Wednesday 3rd February 2021.