Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool welcome Manchester City to … [+] Anfield on Sunday November 10, 2019.
It’s only November and already Liverpool and Manchester City are playing a six-pointer for the championship.
It is hard seeing Liverpool and City dropping many points against the rest, although Pep Guardiola’s team are the one who are currently displaying faint signs of fallability. Liverpool are mostly just being magnificent, although, frequently leaving it very late and, oddly, perhaps not quite as fabulous as they were in the ultimately unsuccessful chase for the title last season. City got the job done and Liverpool could never quite catch up. Will it be like that again this season except the other way around?
Sunday’s title bout provides City with an opportunity to seize back the initiative, if not the top spot, given that Liverpool have a six-point cushion.
Of course there is a long way still to go and Leicester and a resurgent Chelsea are but two points further back. Leicester City actually have more points at this stage of the season than they did the year they won their game-changing Premiership title.
There is also the small matter of European challenges too, but, still, Liverpool and City will finish as the Premier League’s top two. It is just who will emerge triumphant from another season of superlatives. This is fabulous time to be watching Premiership football: Salah, Firmino and Mané are scoring the sort of goals of which dreams are made. Sterling, Agüero and Jesus are no slouches in front of goal either, and are supported by some wonderful midfield attacking options in de Bruyne and the Silvas.
Given the beautiful football displayed by both sides it is in defence that Liverpool appear to have gathered the smallest of edges. City have yet to replace Vincent Kompany’s leadership nor his defensive nouse. John Stones is not the answer, while Kyle Walker has portrayed signs of frailty, European goalkeeping duties not withstanding.
Do Liverpool also have the edge in sheer desire and never-say-die bloody-mindedness? Jurgen Klopp’s team have recently claimed the sort of late wins for which Liverpool’s nemesis, Sir Alex Ferguson, used to be so famous. You won’t hear anyone on Merseyside calling it Fergie Time though.
Liverpool haven’t played City since losing 2-1 at the Etihad in January – the last time they were defeated in 28 league games. They have not lost at Anfield in 45 matches since losing to Crystal Palace in April 2017. That unbeaten run includes a 0-0 draw with City last season.
Last season the top of the Premier League ended 98 points to 97 in City’s favour. If Liverpool had won either of the games against their rivals they would have been champions for the first time in the Premier League era.
This Sunday’s game promises much, we can but hope it delivers.