Liverpool, still undefeated against the top-six this season, will want to continue that streak when they take on Manchester City on Sunday as they chase a top-four finish.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have taken 19 points from a possible 27 in nine matches played against top-six opposition – including a 1-0 win at home against City in December.
A Liverpool win at the Etihad Stadium will push them up to third place, overtaking their hosts by two points.
As it stands, The Reds have accumulated 55 points from their 28 matches and are on course for Champions League qualification, while City sit above them with 56 points from 27.
But a positive result against Pep Guardiola’s side would prove to be even more meaningful for Liverpool, given that the Anfield club has had an alarmingly inconsistent season.
While City are currently enjoying an 11-game unbeaten run, Liverpool have won just four of their last 14 outings across all competitions.
But their form seems to be on the up. After a 3-1 away defeat to struggling defending champions Leicester City, Liverpool bounced back with a 3-1 home win over Arsenal and followed it up with a 2-1 win against Burnley – the first time the Merseyside club have managed two back-to-back wins in 2017.
Liverpool have been hampered by injuries, however. Influential captain Jordan Henderson will miss the tie with a foot injury, along with Daniel Sturridge (calf), Ovie Ejaria (ankle), Danny Ings (knee) and Adam Bogdan (ACL). Roberto Firmino is a doubt because of a thigh injury, though he did recently attend a light training session.
Centre back Dejan Lovren, meanwhile, is back to full fitness ahead of the trip to Manchester, after playing a full hour for the U-23 team. The Croatian has missed out on his side’s last five matches, which included defeats to Hull City and Leicester City.
Vincent Kompany is likely to miss out for Man City while Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan are long-term absentees. The hosts enter the tie on the back of a strong Premier League run, winning four of their last five matches.
However, City will have to cope with returning to action just days after a gruelling Champions League clash in Monaco.
This should be a very interesting game tactically, with Jurgen Klopp known to favour an intensive, high-pressing game which would put Man City’s approach of playing out from the back under pressure.
Man City, having lost their Champions League Round of 16 tie against AS Monaco, will be desperate to hold on to that top-four place. All eyes will be on Etihad this weekend!
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