Liverpool FC travel to Manchester to face off against Premier League title rivals Manchester City at Etihad Stadium this evening. With just one point separating the two sides and three points putting the winner in the driver’s seat for the title, it will be the biggest, highest-stakes matchup of the season.
Crucially, both managers will have nearly their full complement of players to choose from when it comes time to fill in the team sheets. City will be without center-back Rúben Dias, but the rest of their regulars are all available for selection. Jürgen Klopp will have his entire squad fit and ready.
There were some questions about Fabinho’s fitness following his removal from Tuesday’s Champions League victory over Benfica due to a nasty-looking blow to the head. There were also concerns when Roberto Firmino was missing from LFC’s most recent training session. However, Klopp put those questions and concerns to bed in his press conference on Friday, saying “When I looked last time on my smartphone, it looked like everyone is available again.”
Ahead of such a huge match between arguably the two best teams in football, it’s what everyone hopes to see. It’s never fun to have a bout between two heavyweights like LFC and City marred by questions about what would have happened if so-and-so had been able to play. Being able to watch these two giants go toe-to-toe knowing they have virtually nothing holding them back is the most you can hope for with matches like this.
In just a few hours we get to watch two powerhouses of the sport, both on form, both with (nearly) full strength squads, led by perhaps the two best managers in the world, go head to head with everything to play for. This is the kind of match that players, managers, and fans dream of.
If past meetings between these two sides are any indication, this is sure to a be tense, dramatic, tightly fought, entertaining affair. There are another seven matches for both teams after today, so the title race is technically still open regardless of the result... but this is the kind of match where champions are made.
Buckle up and enjoy the ride.