It wouldn’t be accurate to say that Liverpool and Manchester City renew hostilities tomorrow afternoon at Anfield. For the past several seasons, especially since Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola took the reins at their respective clubs, hostilities have remained at a low simmer between matches, and boiling over in the occasions when we’ve actually faced off.
Things really kicked into high gear in this non-traditional-but-very-much-a-rivalry-rivalry in the second half of 2017/18, when the Reds ensured that City would not go the league season undefeated, and then knocked them out of the Champions League quarterfinals. City, of course, struck back, winning a domestic treble and pipping Liverpool to the Premier League trophy by a solitary point. Liverpool, meanwhile, won the trophy that has thus far eluded City.
Ahead of tomorrow’s match, Roberto Firmino weighed in on things in an interview with Premier League Productions.
“It’s an important match, like all the others,” Bobby explained, “It ends up being more special because it is the two teams fighting for the top of the table.
“[It’s] a match where we have to be careful, playing against a big team that we know really well, and they know us well too. We have to be careful and focused on the game to perform well and try to win.
“It is a big game between two big teams that are fighting for the top. We have to be careful not to give the opponents many chances. Of course it is a match worth six points, and we have to do our best: defend well and play good football.”
“And, of course, with the years the rivalry has grown more, and in this match it will not be different. I hope it will be a great game and that we can do our best.”
This is all pretty standard footballer-speak ahead of a big showdown, but Bobby had one last request for the fans.
“I hope our fans can be that extra player and that they can support us during the whole match. On the pitch, we will try to do our best and of course perform really well and win the match.”
There’s little doubt that Anfield will be rocking tomorrow afternoon. We’ve all seen the power of Anfield—especially in the biggest games—to give the lads in Red a boost. And it seems likely that we’ll hear quite a few renditions of “Si, Señor!” before the night is out.