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PL’s elite collide

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Every decade of the Premier League is marked by intense rivalry between two teams that separated themselves from the rest and fought at the top of the table for the honours in that era. Arsenal vs Manchester United is the defining rivalry for the early 2000s, with City and Chelsea jostling with United in the late 2000s. Post 2015, it’s Manchester City vs Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola will go in the annals of Premier League history as the managers who forced each other, and other managers, to level up to win the league.

They will go head to head again on November 25, 12.30 PM BST to write the next chapter in their iconic tussle. After a nervy last season for Liverpool, they are the top two teams in the league again, familiar territory for both sides. Therefore, the game promises to be a cracker.

Man City vs Liverpool preview

As said before, the usual order of the Premier League has been restored. Manchester City vs Liverpool is a top-of-the-table clash once again.

Although the quality of both teams and managers is such that no extra stakes are needed, their league position does add another wrinkle to this rivalry.

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last five league games, drawing two and winning three, while the Cityzens have also won three of their last five, but lost one.

Guardiola’s men are coming off a certified Premier League classic when they drew 4-4 against Chelsea in the last fixture before the international break. Liverpool had a no-fuss 3-0 win over Brentford in a fixture that would have proved tricky for them last season. The game showed the ruthless and clinical Liverpool are back.

Can they upset Manchester City’s juggernaut in their own backyard? That’s the story here-

Man City vs Liverpool predicted lineups

Man City team news

Fans will be eagerly awaiting the City team news because the spectrum of what it should be, and what it might be, is a long one.

That’s because there’s a lot of uncertainty over the status of many of their key players like Erling Haaland, Nathan Ake, Ederson, John Stones, and Matheus Nunes.

Haaland, in particular, will be hoping to be fit for this one after stepping back from international duties due to a knock. Their long-term absentees include Mateo Kovacic and Kevin de Bruyne.

It is more likely than not that most of City’s “touch-and-go” absentees are deemed fit for this game due to the magnitude of this fixture. In that case, City’s team could look something like this-

Predicted Man City XI: Ederson, Dias, Walker, Ake, Stones, Rodri, Foden, Alvarez, Silva, Grealish, Haaland

Liverpool team news

The picture is a bit clearer for Jurgen Klopp, who is set to be boosted by the returns of multiple first-teamers.

Chief among them are Alexis Mac Allister and Ibrahima Konate, who are returning from a suspension and thigh injury respectively. Joining them will be Joe Gomez, Curtis Jones, and Ryan Gravenberch.

Cody Gakpo had to play in an unfamiliar midfield role against Brentford last game but he did well. However, the return of two natural midfielders in Jones and Gravenberch could mean he goes back to strengthen the bench options.

Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Matip, Tsimikas, Endo, Szoboszlai, Jones, Jota, Salah, Nunez

Man City vs Liverpool prediction

This game would have been pretty much a write-off for Liverpool if they were in last season’s form. They struggled at the Etihad last season, losing 4-1 against a City side primed for a Treble.

Klopp’s men are better equipped for the challenge this time around and if City end up missing the key men who are questionable right now, might even edge it.

However, it is never wise to bet against City, especially at home against rivals Guardiola will be fully motivated to inflict hurt in the title race. Look for Liverpool to start fast which will be negotiated by City. The game will then set in the pattern of City’s domination of possession against Liverpool’s success in pressing.

Ultimately, the team with better individuals should win by leveraging their home support.

FootTheBall predicts Man City 3-1 Liverpool.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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