In-form Liverpool host League leaders Manchester City this weekend. The reds may provide the sternest test yet to City’s long unbeaten run. The chasing pack will be watching events at Anfield closely in the hope City finally lose. It may well be a decisive day whichever team wins.
Despite being unbeaten themselves since October, Liverpool find themselves 18 points behind the runaway leaders. There is evidence to suggest the home side will take the three points on Sunday. Anfield has proved to be a particularly unhappy hunting-ground for City in the past.
It’s almost fifteen years since City’s last league victory at Anfield. Nicolas Anelka scored twice against his old club to secure a 2-1 victory that day. Pep Guardiola’s side will have to break a pretty dismal run of results on the red side of Stanley Park since that game in May of 2003. That run, of course, included what looked like a title-decider in 2014 which Liverpool won 3-2. It was City however, who went on to lift the title that season.
A win for the Manchester side at the weekend will see them overcome another huge hurdle in their pursuit of Premier League glory. With the other title-challengers looking to Jurgen Klopp’s side to clip City’s wings it would send a real message if the blues were to win. I think it may just finish any hopes of anyone catching the Citizens. To win at their bogey ground against a team in form may just have a psychological effect on the rest of the league. It may kill any hope they have of catching, or beating, City between now and the season end.
Conversely, a Liverpool win might just spark enough belief in City’s competitors that Guardiola’s side can be caught. We’re yet to know how the league leaders would cope with the taste of domestic defeat. Perhaps a loss at Anfield may sow the seed of doubt for future matches.
The fact this may well be a pivotal game, one way or another, in the destiny of the title means it should be a great watch. Both sides are attacking and although a draw probably wouldn’t be a bad result for either, neither side will be playing for a point. The strength of both sides lies in their attack, which is always going to improve the chance of an entertaining afternoon.
Manchester City have been impressive in all their games against last seasons top six, beating them all. It says a lot for the belief and mental strength of the men from the Etihad that they have reserved some of their best performances for the biggest games. Liverpool have been impressive themselves at times this season. They have been a lot more erratic than their North-West counterparts however.
Liverpool’s impressive front-men need to take their chances on Sunday. If they do and the defence can put in what would have to be their best performance of the season, they could well end City’s unbeaten run.
If the Manchester side get anywhere near the form they showed at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea then I don’t think the home team can stop them.
The league will not be decided on Sunday. A defeat for City will still leave them with a healthy lead. The effect a loss would have on the side remains to be seen. A victory for Guardiola’s men at the weekend may just put them out of reach. Maintaining, at least, their 15 point gap whilst striking a psychological blow to the other contenders.
If I was to make one prediction for the game it’s that it wont end 0-0 and if it does, it won’t be for the lack of either team trying to win.
What are your predictions? Do you agree with these comments? Let us know in the comments below!