Manchester City could put one hand on the title with victory over Liverpool at Anfield.
It has been 18 years since Manchester City won a match at Anfield. The Blues have lost a staggering 13 times and drawn the remaining six of the 19 encounters between the two sides since. The closest City has come to beating the Reds in recent times was in 2018 when Riyad Mahrez fired a last-minute penalty over the bar in a 0-0 draw.
But could this be the best time to beat Liverpool at their home turf?
The Reds were expected to retain the Premier League title after storming to the trophy in phenomenal style last season. Jurgen Klopp and his team took the league by surprise, ending a 30-year wait for the league crown in grand style. Starting from goalkeeper Alisson Becker, the team’s solidity was built from the back with the likes of Virgil Van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson playing their best football.
In midfield, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum were in inspired form while the front trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah supplied the goals in abundance. The result was a comfortable run to the title that left Man City scampering for second place.
Pep Guardiola’s side was undone by injury and a lack of sufficient backup to withstand the pressure put on the defence. The collapse was epic in terms of fighting for the title, although the team still finished as the best of the rest.
But in what seems like a reversal of fortunes this term, Liverpool have been laid bare as a result of injury to key players. Van Dijk who has been a rock at the back suffered a long-term injury early in the campaign and that was only the beginning of Klopp’s problems.
Since then, the Netherlands international has been joined by centre-back partners Joel Matip and Joe Gomez. Midfielder Naby Keita and forward Diogo Jota have also been missing from the squad.
For those who have not been injured, several other players have been out of form. And that has resulted in some surprising results involving the team. The side has lost back-to-back at Anfield in the last two Premier League fixtures. What has been even more surprising is the calibre of opponents - Burnley and Brighton. That sounds hard to believe, really.
It is under these conditions that Man City come visiting.
A City team brimming with confidence and enjoying a 13-game unbeaten run and nine straight wins in the league. Sitting top of the pile, seven points ahead of the Reds with a game in hand, there has not been a better time to trounce Liverpool.
Plus there is the added benefit and possibly eliminating Klopp’s side from the title race with a win. All the stars seem to have lined up in City’s favour. Will the players make use of this opportunity? We will wait and see.