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Soccer

Liverpool versus Manchester City: Virgil van Dijk is available

John Woz, Jr.  | November 9th, 2019

This season’s Premier League fixtures does not get any bigger than Liverpool versus Manchester City. The reality of this fixture is that one of the two teams will win the league title in May.

A win for Liverpool on Sunday will put them nine points ahead of second-place Manchester City. The Reds have turned Anfield into a fortress, they’re undefeated in the last 43 matches in the Premier League. The Red Men are also undefeated at home against Manchester City in their last 20 games in all competitions. Virgil van Dijk is available for Sunday’s clash.

Manchester City Domination

Manchester City has led the Premier League in recent years, and they have won 22 of their last 25 Premier League matches. Over  £1bn of investment has contributed to City’s domestic dominance. Despite prevailing on the domestic front, City is still without their first Champions League trophy.

Premier League form

Jürgen Klopp’s men of six points ahead of City Coming into this game. Second-place Manchester City is two points ahead of Leicester City, and they could find themselves in third place before kickoff.

City has been more ruthless in front of goal on the Reds, scoring 34 goals against Liverpool’s 25. Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling have scored a combined 16 goals.  Sadio Mané and Mo Salah have led the Liverpool attack, combining for 11 goals.

Liverpool has the edge on defense, having conceded nine goals, City have conceded 10. Expect attacking football especially from Liverpool, backed by the raucous and field crowd. Pep Guardiola has to make a choice between sitting deep and playing on the counter-attack or playing on the front foot.

Sensational Raheem Sterling

Liverpool fans will not forgive me for saying this, but Sterling is a key man in this game. Sterling has been in sensational form since moving from Anfield to City in 2015. The England International has matured into a complete forward under the guidance of Guardiola. Sterling’s space, tactical awareness, and ability to score goals makes the £50 million acquisition look like a bargain. Transfermarkt values Sterling at £126m, he has made 207 appearances for City, scoring 83 goals with 70 assists.

Jürgen Klopp Legacy

Much of Liverpool’s recent success comes down to their innovative and charismatic manager. Klopp’s philosophy is to enjoy the game so much you are already looking forward to the next one. Klopp has an infectious leadership style, and it is easy to see why players perform well under him. The former Dortmund manager secured Liverpool’s sixth European title in May, can he lead the club to their first English league title since the 1989/90 season?

Liverpool team news

Sadio Mane could also make his 100th Premier League start for the club. Klopp has no concerns over the fitness of Jordan Henderson. Joel Matip, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Nathaniel Clyne are all out.

Manchester City team news

Guardiola confirmed Ederson will not play at Anfield. The City goalkeeper suffered an injury in midweek. Ederson’s injury means Claudio Bravo will start for City in goal.

Final Word

Forget about the performance, it’s all about the result on Sunday. A Liverpool win keeps them in the driving seat, but a defeat for the hosts opens the door for Manchester City. Liverpool defender van Dijk is a colossal player, and his availability could affect Sunday’s result. The Red Men thrive on his commanding presence at the back. The smart money is on Liverpool at 8/5 but those with an appetite for risk may take City at 17/10. My money is on a Liverpool 2-1 win, priced at 10/1.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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