MANCHESTER CITY VS. LIVERPOOL
| Saturday, April 1st |
Premier League | Etihad
12:30PM GMT/7:30AM EST
These matches are usually deeply tense meetings between two powerhouses, with excellent football on show. Given both side’s relative and actual underperformance this season, it’s unclear how this meeting will compare to those in previous seasons.
Liverpool have tended to perform better against the top six teams than against those further down on the table, but the challenge inherent in coming back from an international break and playing away at the Etihad (in front of a rather limited away allocation) are factors.
City comes into this match in a near full-fitness: Phil Foden is unavailable due to appendix surgery, and Erling Haaland is a doubt after withdrawing from international duty with illness (though we all assume he’s starting, don’t we?).
City come into this match after pummeling Burnley in the FA Cup 6-0 before the break, having beaten RB Leipzig 7-0 in the midweek second leg just prior. They last dropped points in the League on February 18th, drawing 1-1 with Nottingham Forest.
They have rarely dropped points at home this season, but the Reds have bested them twice: winning in the Community Shield and at Anfield in October, though City were victorious in December’s League Cup tie, winning 3-2. The Reds will hope to make their record better on Saturday.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Elliott; Salah, Núñez, Gakpo
Darwin Núñez, who had to miss a few days due to a cut he picked up against Real Madrid, is back and in contention to start on Saturday. Luis Díaz is back in training, but not fit enough for tomorrow’s match; head coach Jürgen Klopp has said that next weeks’ match with Arsenal is the earliest we can expect to see the Colombian.
Thiago remains sidelined with a hip issue, and Naby Keïta is also unavailable for the Reds. Thiago has shown a lot of improvement, but is not yet in team training.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jürgen Klopp: “ It’s clear, against City you have to be on top of your game. You have to defend on a super-high level and you have to play football as well. That’s normal, completely normal; with the kind of dominance they can show, it’s really difficult not to forget that in your spells you have to play football as well and that’s what we in the good games always did. That’s it..”
Pep Guardiola: “They can beat everyone, like we can beat everyone. One game is one game.”
Referee: Simon Hooper Assistants: Adrian Holmes, Simon Long Fourth Official: Graham Scott VAR: John Brooks Assistant VAR: Matthew Wilkes
Kickoff is set for 12:30PM GMT/7:30AM EST tomorrow. Stick with The Liverpool Offside team to keep yourself up to date with team news and match buildup, live updates, and post-match reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.