It’s first versus second this weekend, as early pace setters Liverpool host champions Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday.
Here’s everything you need to know about that heavyweight clash:
The Reds go into this weekend’s highly anticipated encounter as the Premier League’s leading side having maintained their unbeaten run away at newly-promoted Brentford on Saturday, albeit with that encounter seeing them twice squander the lead as they walked away with just a point.
That barnstorming 3-3 draw is arguably the game of the season so far, with the Bees going ahead early on through Ethan Pinnock, before goals either side of the break from Diogo Jota and Mo Salah – who netted his 100th top-flight goal for the club in record time – handed the away side the advantage.
Thomas Frank’s men struck back through Vitaly Janelt, before Curtis Jones rifled one in to restore the visitors lead, only for substitute Yoane Wissa to snatch a deserved point for the hosts in the closing stages to cap what was a fine evening of footballing entertainment.
The Merseyside club would have been disappointed to have shipped three goals against the Premier League debutants, having only conceded once in the league prior to that match, with manager Jurgen Klopp calling for a ‘reaction’ from his side ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash away at Porto.
That response certainly came from his players against the Portuguese side, as Liverpool once again ran riot in Portugal, strolling to a 5-1 victory courtesy of braces from Salah and Roberto Firmino, as well a strike from Sadio Mane, meaning they have now hit 14 goals on their last three visits to the Estadio do Dragao.
That emphatic triumph saw young Jones once again impress, as too did versatile veteran James Milner, the evergreen Englishman putting in a typically strong display at right-back in the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold. With the creative full-back likely to be out again this weekend, Milner is expected to continue on the right of the defence against his former club.
Spain international Thiago Alcantara is also expected to be unavailable due to a calf injury that has kept him out of the last few games, while teenage sensation Harvey Elliott remains a long-term absentee.
Man City: WDWWL
It’s been a mixed week for Manchester City thus far, edging past title rivals Chelsea on Saturday, before suffering defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, with the trip to Anfield their third high profile away meeting in the space of just eight days.
Against the Blues, City were at their imperious best as they put the European champions to the sword at Stamford Bridge, clinching a deserved 1-0 win following Gabriel Jesus’ strike just after the interval, having totally outplayed their opponents in the first-half.
With Thomas Tuchel’s side having earned all the plaudits in the early weeks of the season for their fine form, the win was was a timely reminder from the champions that they are still the side to beat in the division, while it also exorcised some demons from the Champions League final back in May.
Pep Guardiola’s men then faced another tough-looking trip to the Parc des Princes in midweek, where they were ultimately undone by the star-studded Ligue 1 side, as goals from former Everton man Idrissa Gueye and from summer signing Lionel Messi fired the hosts to victory.
The Argentine genius chose arguably the best and biggest occasion to net his first goal for his new side following his shock Barcelona exit, curling his effort into the top corner in trademark fashion to seal the win late on and leaving the visitors – and Guardiola – with a sense of what might have been, after being heavily linked with the 34-year-old in the last 12 months or so.
As for this weekend’s trip to Merseyside, defender John Stones could well return to action after an injury-disrupted start to the season, although Ilkay Gundogan is out until after the upcoming international break.
Liverpool 1-4 Manchester City, 7 February 2021
Liverpool won’t want reminding of the two side’s last meeting, having been torn apart by a brutal second-half showing from the eventual champions, amid what would turn out to be a dismal run of form at Anfield for the Reds.
The visitors squandered an excellent chance early on to take the lead as Ilkay Gundogan blazed over from the penalty spot following a foul from Fabinho on Raheem Sterling, although the German atoned for his earlier error to put his side ahead with a close-range finish just after the interval.
The home side then won a penalty of their own which Mo Salah duly converted, before a dreadful few minutes from ‘keeper Alisson ultimately cost them the match, the Brazilian twice gifting possession away in the build-up to Gundogan’s second of the night, before doing so again to allow Bernardo Silva to tee-up Raheem Sterling at the back post
A fine finish from Phil Foden late on rubber-stamped the victory as City claimed a 14th win in a row, as they continued their surge towards the title.
Liverpool: Alisson; Milner, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Jones; Salah, Mane, Jota.
Man City: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva; Foden, Grealish, Jesus
Who is the referee?
What channel is Liverpool v Man City on?
UK and Irish readers can watch – or stream – the match on Sky Sports Premier League.
What time is kick off?
Sunday 3 October, 16:30 BST
Liverpool – 9/5
Man City – 7/5
Draw – 5/2