The marquee game of the Premier League this weekend is Liverpool’s visit to Manchester City.
With Chelsea seemingly out of reach for both clubs this game will be crucial in the fight for Champions League places. To miss out on the top four would be a huge blow to Liverpool’s progress and unthinkable for Guardiola in first season at free spending City.
Liverpool claimed the points in the reverse fixture on New Year’s Eve. Gini Wijnaldum powering a first half header to give Liverpool the lead which they ended up holding on to comfortably in a dominate performance. Klopp’s record against the top teams is excellent. He has only lost one game against Manchester United early in his Liverpool tenure.
Manchester City suffered a disappointing exit from the Champions League on Wednesday, being tipped out from the tournament by free scoring Monaco. The mentality of this side is questionable and this will be a strong test for them. Will they respond like the wounded animal and bare their claws, proving their attacking power? Or will the letdown of defeat in the south of France rob them of the vital spirit needed to overcome Klopp’s energetic system.
Both managers are diligent planners and respected as two of the best tactical minds in the game. They are old adversaries from their time in Germany – Klopp at Borussia Dortmund and Guardiola at Bayern Munich. As they face again in the Premier League we have highlighted 5 key matchups across the pitch that will decide the result of this crucial game.