Not since Arsenal and Manchester United continually duked it out for Premier League supremacy in the early 2000's have we seen a title-battling, two-way rivalry like that between Liverpool and Manchester City.
This season, Liverpool already find themselves six points clear of City, and while Jurgen Klopp’s men have had to grind out a number of last-gasp, occasionally fortuitous victories, I still see Pep Guardiola’s side as the more likely to drop points consistently going forward.
We are only 11 matches in, so absolutely nothing will be decided on Sunday—just look at how Liverpool blew their supposedly-insurmountable lead last season—but with the (admittedly fleeting) vulnerabilities City have shown this season, nine points is still some margin, and you’d think the Reds will have learned lessons from last season.
Liverpool’s supremacy at Anfield is well-documented, and their 43-match unbeaten run on home soil—aided by Riyad Mahrez’s late penalty miss in this fixture last season—has ensured teams travel to Merseyside full of dread, and even the staunchest of City fans will, deep down, be questioning just how they beat Liverpool at their fortress.
As of Friday morning, the bookies couldn’t separate these two sides, but the news of Ederson’s absence has seen all firms take evasive action and cut the price of Liverpool to win – and I’m certainly with them.
Not only does the Brazilian bring excellent shot-stopping, distribution and calmness to the table, but most importantly of all: he’s not Claudio Bravo.
The Chilean’s appearances have been few and far between since Ederson’s arrival, but when given a chance to showcase his talents against Atalanta in the Champions League, he went and got himself sent off in true, erratic Bravo style.
Bravo has been a disaster since his arrival in 2016, and his expected appearance in this fixture could go a long way in deciding where the Premier League trophy ends up.
Liverpool are formidable at Anfield and Klopp has won eight times against Guardiola (the most of any manager), which is why my money is on the hosts.
2u - Liverpool to Win (3-way moneyline) @ +160