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Liverpool v Manchester City

Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson

Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson was withdrawn at half-time against Atalanta on Wednesday because of a muscular problem.

TEAM NEWS

Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson will not face Liverpool, having failed to recover from the muscular problem that led to his substitution against Atalanta in midweek.

He will be replaced by Claudio Bravo, who was sent off in that game, while David Silva is not expected to be fit.

Liverpool pair Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk, who missed training earlier in the week, are available.

Joel Matip, Nathaniel Clyne and Xherdan Shaqiri remain out.

City manager Pep Guardiola has defended Bravo amid criticism of his display in midweek, saying: “He is an exceptional goalkeeper. He is an international goalkeeper. I have no doubts.

“Why shouldn’t I be confident about my players? I see him every day in training. We won’t lose because of Claudio.

“The red card the other day was because we lost the ball. Respect the guy. He is a top keeper.”

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MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@Guymowbray: All too often, these blockbuster games are talked about more BEFORE they’re played than after.

Every utterance from the managers is scrutinised for meaning; every tiny scrap of team ‘news’ eagerly devoured. By writing and reading this we’re doing it now!

There’s no getting away from it – this is the biggest game of the season so far, and probably by far.

With the gulf between these two teams and the rest of the Premier League reflected in a growing and ever more acrimonious rivalry, it SHOULD have everything, but….there might be a but.

Liverpool’s lead means they don’t have to win, whilst at this early stage it’s surely imperative for City that they don’t lose.

Remember, remember, nothing’s decided in November. However hard we try.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “From a sport’s point of view this rivalry is getting bigger and bigger. Thank god there is a rivalry because it means we are a pretty good team as well.

“If you are not brave against Man City you don’t have the chance of even a point.

“Everyone has to be in top shape in the stadium on Sunday, even the guy selling the hotdogs. Everyone has to be there from the warm-up and invest all our emotions.”

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola: “I just want my team to fight to the end. Liverpool are a team that lost one game last season, none this season, so you cannot believe that they will lose many, but the season is long.

“They do everything well. You see the team, what is the weak point? They are a real complete team and we need this kind of rival.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

The little things are going against Pep Guardiola’s side, and some very small cracks are starting to appear, while Liverpool just seem to get stronger and stronger.

Liverpool go nine points clear if they win, which is a lot. That is what I think will happen too.

Prediction: 2-0

Lawro’s full predictions v ‘The Irishman’ star Stephen Graham

Liverpool and Manchester City amassed 195 points out of a possible 228 between them last season.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Liverpool have gone 16 top-flight games unbeaten against City at Anfield, with their solitary home defeat in the past 28 meetings coming in May 2003.
  • Manchester City’s 16-match winless streak away to Liverpool is their longest in the Premier League against any opponent (D5, L11).
  • However, City have only lost one of the last five Premier League meetings (W2, D2).
  • They could win consecutive top-flight fixtures against Liverpool for the first time since a run of four from 1935 to 1937.

Liverpool

  • A Liverpool win would ensure they equal the English top-flight record of 11 wins and a draw after 12 matches of a season. Five sides have achieved the feat, including Liverpool in 1990 and Manchester City twice.
  • Jurgen Klopp’s side are unbeaten in 28 Premier League matches, winning 19 of the past 20. Their only defeat in 50 league fixtures came against Manchester City in January.
  • They have not lost against the reigning Premier League champions at Anfield since a 1-0 defeat by Manchester United 12 years ago (W6, D5).
  • The Reds have gone 45 home matches without defeat, the second longest unbeaten run in Premier League history.
  • However, they could concede in a sixth successive league game at Anfield, which would be their longest run without a clean sheet at home since October 2014.
  • They have only lost one of their 22 home league fixtures against established top-six teams under Klopp (W12, D9, L1).
  • Liverpool have recovered an unrivalled 10 points from losing positions this season.
  • They have trailed at half-time in three successive league games for the first time since 2012.
  • Sadio Mane has scored 17 goals in his last 17 league appearances at Anfield.
  • Jordan Henderson is one short of becoming the sixth player to make 250 Premier League appearances for Liverpool.

Manchester City

  • Manchester City have won 11 of their past 12 Premier League away games, scoring 30 goals during that period.
  • They are the division’s top scorers this season with 34 goals, and have only failed to score in one of their past 33 league fixtures.
  • City have lost two of their opening 11 league fixtures – no team managed by Pep Guardiola has suffered three top-flight defeats before the 15th match of a season.
  • Pep Guardiola has lost seven of his 17 games against Jurgen Klopp in all competitions, more than he has against any other manager.
  • Sergio Aguero has made seven Premier League appearances at Anfield without scoring, his longest wait for a goal at any stadium. He has only had two attempts on target in those seven games.
  • Aguero has nine goals from 10 shots on target in the Premier League this season. His next Premier League appearance will be his 250th in the division.
  • Raheem Sterling is one short of 200 Premier League starts. The first 77 of them were for Liverpool.

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