Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola rekindle their rivalry at Anfield this weekend in the headline fixture for matchweek 7. Liverpool sits top of the table having scored 15 goals this season and remaining the only unbeaten side after six rounds of games. Manchester City are close behind having conceded just one goal all season. The two sides come into this week with mixed fortunes after their midweek exertions. Liverpool hit five against Porto in a dominant display, while Ma City fell to a brilliant PSG side in Paris.
When & Where?
Date: Sunday, October 3, 2021.
Time: 4:30pm BST.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has been ruled out of Sunday’s game with a muscle injury and is expected back after the international break. Thiago remains out and is also expected to return after the international break.
Ilkay Gündogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko remain sidelined for this game, with Pep Guardiola indicating that there are no fresh injury concerns for this game.
What to Expect
Liverpool are seeking to preserve the unbeaten run heading into the October international break. Impressive performances from Salah, Mane, and Jota have seen them directly involved in 12 goals in the league this season. Their performances upfront have been complemented by strong midfield performances with Curtis Jones particularly being impressive. Tactically, it is a very difficult game for both sides at Anfield. Klopp’s front men have remained clinical all season scoring in every game they’ve featured in this season. Winning that midfield battle and beating City’s strong press can create gaps for Salah and Mane to enjoy the chance to run at the defence. Last season’s reverse fixture ended 4-1 in City’s favor with Liverpool collapsing defensively.
A win against Chelsea marked the start of Manchester City’s away run. In midweek they failed to repeat the same performance against PSG who were superior on the night. Turning attention to Sunday’s game gives City a chance to end this run on a high. A win on Sunday will be the club’s first back-to-back win at Anfield since 1953. That would be no easy feat, however, considering the Kop’s impressive performances since the start of the season. After Tuesday’s exertions, many expect the Pep Roulette to return this weekend with a number of players expected to fall out of the starting XI. Gabriel Jesus was left out on Tuesday but could return considering he scored last week’s winner against Chelsea. Kevin De Bruyne is still not in top form but will start as he looks to pick up a form. At Anfield with a capacity crowd, keeping Liverpool at bay is no easy feat. The attacking trident of Mane, Jota, and Salah have not only being clinical but creative making the backline’s job a difficult one. A win puts City top of the league while a defeat could see them drop all the way down to 7th for the international break.
Predicted Starting XIs
Liverpool: Alisson; Van Dijk, Matip, Robertson, Milner; Fabinho, Henderson, Jones; Mane, Jota, Salah.
Manchester City: Ederson; Laporte, Días, Cancelo, Walker; Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo; Grealish, Jesus, Foden.