Manchester City will play host to Liverpool in their next Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. The Citizens are sitting atop the league standings with a tally of 26 points from their 12 games and are ahead of second-placed Arsenal only on goal difference.
Liverpool, on the other hand, are currently lying in 10th spot, having tallied 17 points from their 12 games thus far. They have appointed Jurgen Klopp at the helm after sacking Brendan Rodgers after a series of unsatisfying results under the Northern Irishman. The German, who was previously in charge of Borussia Dortmund, has overseen seven matches with the Reds and has suffered only one defeat thus far – in his last Premier League encounter against Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace at Anfield.
The Reds have shown considerable improvement under the guidance of the 48-year-old, although it is still too early for the Liverpool players to have completely adapted to the German’s football philosophy.
Klopp started his Premier League journey with a scoreless draw against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane and then his team were held to a 1-1 draw by Ronald Koeman’s Southampton at Anfield. Klopp had his first win the English top flight as his men won 3-1 against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge courtesy of two splendid strikes from the Brazilian Philippe Coutinho. The German’s only blemish thus far has been the 2-1 reverse against Crystal Palace, and he will be eager to get his side back on track at the Etihad Stadium this weekend.
Manchester City, on the other hand, have been unbeaten in their last five Premier League outings. They have beaten relegation strugglers Newcastle United 6-1, Bournemouth 5-1 and Norwich City 2-1 while playing out scoreless draws against Manchester United and Aston Villa. They were left frustrated by Remi Garde’s Villans in their last league fixture and Manuel Pellegrini will be looking for a strong comeback from his side as they look to build a gap between themselves and second-placed Arsenal, who remain tied on points with the Manchester outfit.
The Citizens have endured injury issues and are without the services of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Samir Nasri, Pablo Zabaleta and possibly Wilfried Bony. Aguero, who was in splendid form for the side prior to his injury on international duty, will be a significant loss, but his absence will give Pellegrini the opportunity to play Raheem Sterling, who signed for Manchester City from Liverpool in the summer transfer window, as a forward against his former employers.
Sterling is expected to be given a torrid time by the away supporters and will attempt to use it as a catalyst to prove that his move to the Etihad Stadium was justified despite the bad press it generated against him.
Manchester City will start as favourites in the game as the Reds have also been beset with a flurry of injuries to their players. Klopp will be without Danny Ings, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson and Mamadou Sakho in the encounter.