Sunday's match between Liverpool and Man City will be played at Anfield, where the Reds are currently 13 points back of Pep Guardiola's team. It won't be the "title match-up" that we wanted or anticipated.
Man City vs. Liverpool
When questioned about the possibility of this match no longer serving as a title decider, Jurgen Klopp responded somewhat sarcastically, "It might happen this year, but not with us.
In defence of Pep Guardiola, he stated that Liverpool is still City's major competitor for the championship, adding that "anything can happen."
Before what will still be a massive event at Anfield, the two managers are playing mind games to relieve pressure on their respective teams.
The 7-1 thrashing of Rangers has lifted spirits, but Klopp knows his team's domestic play - and consistency - must quickly improve if they are to stand any hope of challenging for the top.
A matchup with City isn't exactly the ideal game for them, as he suggested after last weekend's defeat at Arsenal a league squad that is having form problems For a game of this magnitude, though, the players shouldn't require any further inspiration.
1. We cross paths once more...
The Premier League's marquee match has long been this Sunday's game at Anfield, and despite Liverpool's lacklustre league performance, the entire football world will be there.
The Reds won the most recent match between these two sides in the Community Shield at the end of July, even though it seems like a very long time ago.
However, Liverpool's victory was somewhat of a false dawn. The two clubs' lineups couldn't have changed much since then.
Erling Haaland has proven early sceptics wrong by scoring 20 goals so far this season, leaving City one point behind league-leading Arsenal Any slender title hopes that Liverpool may still have would be put to rest with one more victory at Anfield, putting them 16 points ahead of the Reds.
2. Can the midweek City game be interpreted in any way?
In the Champions League on Tuesday, FC Copenhagen held City to a 0-0 draw with the aid of former Liverpool goalkeeper Kamil Grabara.
Starting lineup included Joao Cancelo and Kevin De Bruyne, with the squad lining up in the 4-2-3-1 formation they have used for the bulk of this season.
However, Guardiola claimed that due to worries over the striker's fitness, he chose not to utilise Haaland as a substitute.
I've heard that one before when Liverpool is playing!
3. Could Haaland possibly lose out?
No, he'll be OK.
Guardiola stated in his pre-game press conference on Friday that Haaland, Bernardo Silva, and Phil Foden—players he had previously expressed concerns about—now "feel fine" and "are ready" for their journey to Anfield.
So, nothing shocking there!
John Stones, Kyle Walker, and Kalvin Phillips, a British trio, are not participating.
A possible Man City starting lineup would include Ederson, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Cancelo, Gundogan, Bernardo, Foden, De Bruyne, Grealish, and Haaland.
4. What about Liverpool's roster updates?
Excellent query! It's interesting that throughout his Friday media obligations, Klopp avoided giving anything away.
He insisted, "We still have to find out who is free after the Rangers game for the City game.
Then we will form a line up and leave.
As far as we're aware, Luis Diaz, Calvin Ramsay, Arthur, Naby Keita, and Joel Matip are all still on the sidelines.
Although Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was spotted working out earlier this week, it's unlikely that he will be fit to play for some time.
After the trip to Ibrox, let's hope there aren't any new injury issues.
5. Is using a 4-4-2 against City risky?
Wednesday, October 12, 2022, Glasgow, Scotland: Glasgow Rangers FC vs. Liverpool FC at Ibrox Stadium on UEFA Champions League Group A Matchday 4: Darwin Nez of Liverpool celebrates after scoring the third goal. (Image from Propaganda; David Rawcliffe)
In preparation for the match on Sunday, Klopp will consider that.
The Reds have used a 4-4-2 formation in each of their past three games, and given that they won their most recent match 7-1, it's likely that Klopp will do so once more.
But would going against the champs with just two midfielders and four attackers be too risky?
The key decisions for Klopp may be who lines up in which position if the formation remains the same who is in midfield next to Thiago and commands the line.
Darwin Nunez had scored in back-to-back contests, but Mohamed Salah, who came off the bench against Rangers, scored a hat trick as the central striker.
Alisson, Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Firmino, Jota, and Nunez might make up a potential Liverpool starting lineup.
6. Salah making form at the appropriate moment?
Anfield goal by Mohamed Salah against Man City in 2021 (PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo)
When these two sides met at Anfield last season, everyone recalls what Mo did.
Additionally, his record-breaking performance on Wednesday at Ibrox will undoubtedly have strengthened his confidence going into this game.
It would be intriguing to watch if Klopp decides to keep Salah as the team's primary striker in the upcoming weeks.
He appeared to discount that possibility during the press conference on Friday.
The manager remarked, "It's really not that different."
Regardless of the method we use, you must be in or close to the box to finish a play. Undoubtedly, he was present .
"I don't think it had a lot to do with the job, really. When we had the ball, there were instances where Mo went to his right side, or wing.
7. Has the boss said anything else?
Many things about Erling Haaland!
"As always, you have to make sure the best striker in the world doesn't receive too many passes when you play against him.
"That is what you must defend before entering the challenge with him, therefore that is what we will strive to do .
It won't be much easier against City if you try to shut down Haaland with too many players because that will leave openings for all the other elite players, which won't help.
We work to find solutions even if it's a challenge and a football issue.
8. Did you realise?
On Sunday, April 10, 2022, in Manchester, England, Diogo Jota of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's opening goal in the FA Premier League game between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Image from Propaganda; David Rawcliffe)
Liverpool would become the first team since March 2017 to go five games without losing to City if they avoided defeat tonight.
In his 15 appearances for Liverpool against City, Salah has scored eight goals APRIL 10, 2022, SUNDAY, IN MANCHESTER, ENGLAND: During the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium, Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara responds to a decision made by the referee Anthony Taylor. (Image from Propaganda; David Rawcliffe)
Anthony Taylor will officiate the match; he has done it four times already, all at the Etihad.
In the matches Taylor has officiated between the two teams, City is unbeaten with two victories and two draws.
In eight games in the top division so far this season, he has shown two reds and issued 27 yellows.
How do you follow?
Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League, and Sky Sports Ultra HDR will all broadcast the game for viewers in the UK.
Join Sam Millne on This Is Anfield's matchday blog at 3.45 p.m. if you can't attend the game or watch it on television.