This Sunday, once again, Pep Guardiola against Jürgen Klopp in an exciting Manchester City-Liverpool, everything points to a decisive for the 2021-22 Premier. There is only one point away in favor of the ‘citizen’ team and, when this match is over, both will have seven more games left before the end of the championship. While City won’t have to face any more Big Six, Liverpool will still have Manchester United and Tottenham waiting. And nothing less than the Merseyside derby against Frank Lampard’s Everton, who is fighting for permanence.
This City-Liverpool game arrives for both teams three days before the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals. It is on Wednesday when Guardiola’s men will visit Atlético at the Wanda (1-0 for the ‘citizens’ in the first leg) and Klopp’s men will host Benfica, whom they beat 1-3 in Da Luz. If they reached the semi-finals, City would face the winner of the tie between Real Madrid and Chelsea and Liverpool, the winner of the tie between Villarreal and Bayern.
But first, at the Etihad, this Sunday again Guardiola’s touch and control football against Klopp’s overwhelming game. They are the two coaches who have contributed the most to football in the last three decades. If the German is pressure and dizzying deployment, the ball is the beginning of everything for Pep, whose City has so far scored 70 goals in this Premier, 7 less than Liverpool. On the other hand, Manchester City has conceded 2 goals less (18) than the ‘reds’ (20).
City got 12 points in this Premier against Liverpool, who shortened that distance based on his streak of results (he has 10 wins in a row in the Premier, in which he has not lost since December 28, 1-0 against Leicester ) and the setbacks of his rival (two defeats against Tottenham by 1-0 and 2-3), two draws against Southampton (0-0 and 1-1) and a defeat and a draw against Crystal Palace, 0 -2 and 0-0).
Pep, not to Brazil
Guardiola, who rejected the possibility of managing Brazil (“I would always stay at City, in any case now is not the time”), said on Friday: “Klopp is my biggest rival.” Neither José Mourinho nor anyone else. Only Klopp’s Liverpool has forced his City to perform at the limit for an entire season to be champion. The German insists that Pep “is the best coach in the world”. Between the two, so far 22 matches, 9 wins for each and 4 draws.
But aside from Pep-Klopp, this City-Liverpool offers all kinds of incentives. Duels to enjoy. Starting with the goalkeepers, two teammates in the Brazilian team: Ederson and Alisson. Each of them has achieved 17 ‘clean sheets’, games without conceding a bit, in this Premier.
In front of the goal, Liverpool has the ‘top scorer’ of the championship, Mohamed Salah, author of 20 ‘goals’, who has not scored since March 12, (in the 0-2 against Brighton), and turns with his future . “I can’t be selfish and talk about my situation now,” said the Egyptian.
Luis Diaz, emergent
The top scorers at City are three, tied on 10 goals: Kevin de Bruyne, Rayid Mahrez and Raheem Sterling. Klopp arrives at the meeting with an emerging player, Luis Díaz, author of a goal and an assist in the first leg against Benfica, and without injuries. He scored a great goal for City Díaz with Porto in 2020. Due to injury, Pep cannot count on, for many, his great pillar in defense, Ruben Dias.
Once again, City and Liverpool have not given each other truce and will jump to the Etihad a step away from each other. With the Premier at stake.