We’re not supposed to call it a title decider—but it’s hard not to see Sunday’s clash of titans between Liverpool and Manchester City as anything other than just that.
Arguably the two best club sides in world football, the rivals currently occupy first and second in the table, with the rest of the pack trailing far behind.
There will be no room for error, with the imperious form displayed by both squads suggesting that the winner on the day will be favorites to lift the Premier League trophy come May.
A healthy respect exists between the two teams. City’s Ilkay Gundogan has warned his side that the battle at the Etihad will be against the worthiest of opponents:
“Liverpool are among the best teams in the world right now,” he told Turkish TV Channel Tivibu Spor.
“They have achieved incredible form. The league game will be tough. We want to win against them at home. It will be a match between two teams of the same level. “
The match ended in a thrilling draw the last time these two met in October, with Kevin De Bruyne scoring late to rescue a point after Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah struck either side of a Phil Foden goal.
While another draw this time around ought not to spell the end to Liverpool’s title hopes, City’s favorable run of league fixtures through the end of the campaign mean that the second-placed Reds will most likely come out the aggressor at the Etihad.
“We must not make mistakes,” Gundogan, who did not play in the reverse fixture, continued.
“They are a very effective team on the counterattack. We are a team that loves to play with the ball. If we allow them to make a turnover, they can punish us. We have to be careful.”